I’ve loved you since I was 18. 51 years ago. My parents weren’t too sure about the 13 year age difference but you very quickly won them over and they’ve loved you ever since. We had our disagreements and rough spots, especially one very long and difficult time, but we never quit loving each other. I always knew that you were there for me no matter what. You opened up a world for me when we were dating and gave me opportunities after we were married that I never thought possible. We packed a lot of great times into our 51 years together. You’re the most intelligent, practical, patient, generous and level-headed person I’ve ever known. Always knew what to do in every situation. It was a shock when you suddenly got sick in May and the doctors told me you wouldn’t survive surgery and that you had 10 days to live. One of the hardest things to accept is that you also had dementia. A fine, highly educated mind wasting away. I took you home, cared for your every need, made you as comfortable as possible. You were frustrated because you were bedridden and sometimes didn’t recognize me, our daughter or where you were. The one constant thing was your will to live. Toward the end, you slept 22 hours a day and was unresponsive but I’d talk to you anyway – how much I loved you, how important our 51 years together was to me, how thankful I was to have you in my life. Then I told you the most difficult thing I’ve ever said – I told you that it was OK to let go, that our children and I would be alright. You died 3 months ago. It’s been sad, trying, confusing, irritating, lonely and every other adjective I can imagine. I am mostly grateful because, without my knowing it, you had seen to it that we would be taken care of. I still love you and talk to your photo every day. All of your favorite things are around your urn-your magnifying glass, your glasses, flashlight, wristwatch, school yearbooks, your favorite opera and your two walking canes. I love you, Bob.
Love, Your Wife