Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
Ah, one of the great passages from The Great Bard, and my lovely wife's favorite. For the longest time, we had lived in a way that dodged all, or at least most, of those missiles of ill will. But, sometimes one can not always dodge misfortune...
Just over a week ago, my lovely wife breathed her last.
In October of last year, she was stricken by waves of small but terrifyingly debilitating strokes. These infarcts left her unable to stand or to walk or to talk. Communication was only possible by blinking answers to questions that could be answered in 'yes' or 'no'. She was still able to hear and to see.
And in the months that followed, she put up a valiant defense. Progress, however slight, was seen as therapists worked with her and she started to regain some small control over her jaw, tongue, neck, and lips. In a memorable moment, she ever so gently laughed at me.
But, her opponent was relentless. More strokes followed, along with a severe pressure ulcer in her sacral area. And, just before New Years, she was sent back to hospital with pneumonia, a two week stay which left her in a weakened state.
Even allies turned their backs. In December, I received letters that no American wants nor deserves - our insurance had started to deny claims. Fortunately, Medicaid stepped in at last.
February commenced with her opponent's final assault. Outpatient treatment of the pressure sore failed, and surgical debridement of the area showed an insidious infection - MRSA. A second procedure and large doses of antibiotics kept the infection in check, but her previously weakened condition left her with no reserves with which to recover. Her daughter and I gently but repeatedly asked her if she wanted to come home, and what exactly that would entail, and she answered yes to all variants of the proposal. But, she never made it to home hospice care.
She was a woman of tremendous talent and secret fears. She was a wife, mother, sister, USAF veteran, artist, activist, and gamer.
She was my best friend, and I miss her terribly.