A day or maybe two prior to Scott's last day (it's hard to remember), the hospice doctor told me that she wouldn't be discharging Scott home - that he would spend his last days there, at Overlook Hospital. The relief I felt was immense. You see, I had chosen Atlantic hospice because they had beds at Overlook Hospital in case our family was unable to care for Scott in anyway. Scott was having trouble breathing and couldn't swallow well at all. It was scary - so scary. I learned how to clear his airway and administer meds. But then he also had these bloody noses... So much blood and I couldn't stop it. The final days weren't always peaceful. They were scary and painful. So when the doctor told me that they would help me through those final days, I was forever grateful. I sobbed. I cried because I was relieved to have help but I mostly cried because she was telling me he was at the end, the very end. That was terrifying.
On our final night, I stayed up late playing songs for him. Slow, peaceful songs and laying by his side so he knew I was there with him. I told him I loved him and felt the love he had for me. I always felt that love, he made sure of that. I didn't know, though, that it was our last night. But looking back on that night, I think I knew it in my heart. The next morning I went through my usual routine of sitting at his bedside and visiting with our friend Tom who brought me coffee every morning and came to see Scott. The kids didn't go to school that day and came to the hospital to be with Scott because we didn't know how much time he had left. Then Tom's family all came too...his youngest daughter was graduating 8th grade that day but she told her family that they had to stop to see Scott before graduation...she knew too. Somehow she knew.
Sometime mid to late morning, the hospice Doctor told us that Scott didn't have much time left. I asked her if she meant that we should all stay at the hospital? She said yes. How she knew this, I don't know. But I think it is a rare thing to know exactly when you're loved one is going to die. At some point, a short time later, I noticed that Scott's breathing became more labored. I asked the family to gather around his bedside...Ron, Jan, Paige, and JJ. JJ was hesitant but ultimately joined us. We all held onto some part of Scott...his hands, his toes, his head...he was surrounded in a circle of love. Then I asked Jan (Scott's Mom) to start praying ... It was very shortly thereafter that Scott took his last breath.
And now, here we are, one year later. I told Scott so many times that I would be ok. That I wouldn't like it but that I would be ok. I think he needed to hear that....he needed to know that I wasn't going to crumble and leave our family to flounder and tumble. He needed to know that I would continue to raise our children with the values and morals that we, together, held. I hope that he is looking down on us thinking that we are doing ok, even if our grief, at times, still feels so deep and our sadness, at times, so great.
On this day, the 9th of June, 2017, the kids and I are spending the day at the beach. I can't describe how much I love them, how I see Scott in both of them and how that brings me such happiness. He would be so proud of them. Ron, Jan, Ben, Laura, Katelyn and Brooke will be joining us at the beach, too. We will smile, laugh, play and we will share stories. And we will cry. We will all miss Scott, as we do everyday. But we will try to remember how he loved life and how he would want us to be living life now too. And that's all we can do.
I miss you baby.