June 18th is emblazoned in my mind.
We could not conquer my husband’s Stage 4 kidney cancer.
Steve passed on Sunday, Father’s Day, June 18th at 2 pm, surrounded by our sons, their wives and me. As he took his last breath, the Mets’ pitcher hit a home run. Seriously.
Steve loved baseball. The Orioles were his team (being from Baltimore) and the Mets were his NY team with our sons.
We had 10 weeks to say goodbye. He was diagnosed on March 31st. And in the beginning, we really thought we could beat this.
I have been putting off writing this post.
Maybe, I’ve been thinking, if I don’t write about it, it won’t be true. We spent nearly 41 years together. I met him when I was very young. We were partners in LOVE, business, parenting and most of all, best friends who made each other laugh, a lot.
Now, the quiet and the evenings are the worst. I play music loud at night. The other day I was folding towels and some of his underwear I had just washed and dried (why, I’m not sure) and thought, oh, he’s just in the next room…and then I realized no, sobbing, he is not in the next room.
We all tried so hard. After Steve’s last hospital stay, our oldest and his wife appeared at the front door with suitcases in hand to move in with us to help care for him. Zach and Agata followed two days later, arriving from Poland.
Our oldest son came up with a “magic water” recipe to get him to drink more. It was filtered room temperature water with a teaspoon of coconut oil and five drops of pure peppermint oil. He loved it. We were constantly making and serving him bone broth, as his mouth was so dry, it was painful to eat. Our bone broth was soothing, full of nutrients and delicious. The secret? Cook it a long, long time in a 200 degree oven – 24 hours for chicken broth, 48 for beef or lamb broth.
He came home that last time with two PIC’s for intravenous nourishment, steroids, saline and heparin. We could all become RN’s at this point – even with Zach watching through FaceTime on the computer from Poland, very late into night, before catching his flight here.
At his memorial service the following Wednesday, over 200 people showed up, with the minister stopping the eulogies after 15 people spoke, as we were going way overtime. We had a jazz trio play and it was truly a celebration of his life. Our meditation piece was Take Five from Dave Brubeck.
I have received so many notes, phone calls and email comments about how wonderful the service was and even an interest in our Unitarian Church. Yes, it is an all-encompassing faith that respects all beliefs and acknowledges that we are all connected and part of the interdependent web of life. A few famous Unitarians are John Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Isaac Newton, and Amelia Earhart.
What is the recipe for a great marriage? Respect and support for each other, clear communication leaving nothing to fester, laughing a lot, and dancing together. Steve was a GREAT dancer!! We danced a lot, clubbing it in the late seventies and just by ourselves lately. We were always complimented on the dance floor at weddings and bar mitzvahs. I think because we were so in tune with each other in life.
We got to have two great sons, lived in the city at first, then Summit, NJ, and then back to the city and country. CollectiveIy, we started four new businesses with our creative juices constantly flowing. I am so very grateful for our full exciting life together, never a dull moment.
My love. My honey. Such a kind, intelligent, creative and fun man who was a terrific father and husband. I miss him so.
And now I am in Poland readying for our younger son’s wedding tomorrow. I kept telling Steve we’d be here together, dancing under the stars. But it was not meant to be.
It’s now time for me to buck it up and be joyful for Zach and Agata. Only the airlines lost my luggage after leaving NYC last Saturday. I was hoping and hoping they’d find it but no luck so now, I need to find a dress for the wedding tomorrow, along with purchasing all other things…
Remember, always cook with LOVE and stay healthy.