Last Friday was my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary. Or rather, it should have been. March 26, 2003, Dad went into the hospital for leg pain. He never walked out. We got him home to die exactly one month later, April 26, and he managed to hold on for one more week until he got to say goodbye to everyone in the family and his very large group of friends. He died on May 3, with Ethan holding one hand and me the other. Each day for the next month will be another "first anniversary" of something from that horrible time.
A year ago today, I had a nice chat with him. We thought he was getting better. We didn't know that something was horribly wrong and that he was being poisoned by an infection. In one way, it was nice that we all got to say goodbye to him, that I got to tell him that he was the best dad a girl could ask for... he never got to say thank you to his dad, but five weeks is a long time for someone to be in pain.
And we still have the "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" to deal with. We should have been more aggressive in getting him moved to a different hospital. We should have taken him to a bigger hospital to begin with, not stayed at the local hospital where they "did their best" that just wasn't good enough. Would he still be alive today if we had? It's not a question we want to think about, but it's a question we can't help but ask.
Mom's holding up fairly well. She wasn't dependent on Dad for her social life, not the way some of her friends were on their husbands. On the other hand, she misses him greatly. May 3 is going to be very difficult.