“Then, there was how you treated me. How would I have found the strength to have made it through that week without you?
How many times did you walk into the room to find me sobbing, my head down, resting on her hand, and quietly go about your task, as if willing yourselves invisible?
How many times did you help me set up the recliner as close as possible to her bedside, crawling into the mess of wires and tubes around her bed in order to swing her forward just a few feet?”
“How many times did you check in on me to see whether I needed anything, from food to drink, fresh clothes to a hot shower, or to see whether I needed a better explanation of a medical procedure, or just someone to talk to?
How many times did you hug me and console me when I fell to pieces, or ask about Laura’s life and the person she was, taking the time to look at her photos or read the things I’d written about her?
How many times did you deliver bad news with compassionate words, and sadness in your eyes?”
“When I needed to use a computer for an emergency email, you made it happen.
When I smuggled in a very special visitor, our tuxedo cat, Cola, for one final lick of Laura’s face, you ‘didn’t see a thing.’
And one special evening, you gave me full control to usher into the I.C.U. more than 50 people in Laura’s life, from friends to co-workers to college alums to family members.
It was an outpouring of love that included guitar playing and opera singing and dancing and new revelations to me about just how deeply my wife touched people.
It was the last great night of our marriage together, for both of us, and it wouldn’t have happened without your support.”