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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Last Page------------

A few days before the election, I got a call from the nursing home.

Stu was requesting help in filling out his ballot, and they are not permitted to help patients with  that.

I was already planning to visit on Sunday, but this made it extra special.

It didn't take long.   He knew how he wanted to vote.  He somehow managed to sign the outer envelope with a shaky signature-----it was good to see him hold a pen and make those strokes.

When we were finished with our little mission, we visited for a bit longer, me showing him pictures of the grandkids, him telling me about Rachel's visit the day before.   She had brought Shayna with her (our oldest granddaughter----she's ten now!)   "I love Shayna", Stu told me (as he has many times before)  "She's such a good artist!"

As I gathered my things to take my leave, Stu seemed reflective and tender.  He was thinking again about our long marriage.  It's one of his favorite subjects, how against all odds we have managed to stay together.  It has been challenging---very challenging----even before the stroke.  The years since the stroke have just been a different level of challenge and suffering.  But miraculously, through all the ups and downs, there has been real devotion, humor, forgiveness, and true love.

His parting words to me as I got ready to say goodbye were:

"It's been a wonderful romance, hasn't it Sue?"  

I had to smile.  

Yes, Stu.....the very best kind.

Stu passed away just few days later, on Friday night.  There was no particular sign the day I visited that he would decline so rapidly at the end and that those would be his last words to me------but as the days unfold after his death, those words shine.  They comfort me and remind me about the best of us together.
A wonderful romance indeed.

A beautiful way to sign the last page of his story.

Thank you, Sweetheart!