The end was only the beginning

Paul and I met in Scotland on 6 February 2002. We hit it off instantly and on 21 May 2005, we were married and settled in Washington State. We were in the process of starting a family through adoption before Paul died, just the day before we were talking excitedly about the young boy and girl who were coming to stay with us in just two weeks.

Note: This post was originally shared on my “widowhood” blog, “Frances 3.0: Still in Beta”.

It was all so sudden when Paul died. He was training for a marathon and was extremely healthy, or so we thought. But in the wee hours of the morning, long before the sun ever thought to shine, he went into cardiac arrest; I began CPR and then rode in the ambulance with him to the ER. But there was nothing anyone could do to save him – it turns out he had an enlarged heart, most likely caused by a virus he contracted within the last two months of his life (still waiting on pathology reports). There were no warning signs; there was no way to know what would happen that morning. I’ll spare you further details of the worst day of my entire life – it’s bad enough that I have to relive it in my dreams.

That was nearly 16 weeks ago – Sunday, 26 April 2009.

On Saturday, 25 April 2009, Paul and I had a lovely day together. It was just a typical day – we woke up and had breakfast, Paul made fancy coffee in the French press (cafetière), then we went into town for some shopping. Our first stop was the “hippy store” (also known as the Moscow Co-Op) where we got a few groceries and had lunch at the in-house café, then we walked around the corner to get some energy “gunk” for Paul’s marathon training (his race was only a month away). Then it was off to the liquor store for a nice small-batch Bourbon, to Tri-State for a new chainsaw, and the mall because I needed new shoes for work.

At the mall, Paul was pleased that I bought the more expensive shoes, and he was very excited about the fact that they were sexy high heels. We also got some new additions for our Fiestaware collection – he was so happy that we got new glassware to go along with the rest of the set. We looked at shoes for him, but he didn’t see anything he wanted. Leaving the mall, we went to Safeway to get the rest of our groceries before finally heading home.

When we got home, we had a snack and a margarita then I made a nice dinner for the two of us. We watched a movie (Five Minutes of Heaven) curled up on the couch together. Then I headed off to bed – after giving Paul a hug and a kiss goodnight, and telling him I loved him. He’ll have come to bed an hour or so later. I can’t remember if I snuggled up to him when he came to bed that night or not…

While that Sunday was the worst day of my entire life, I’ll always remember the last Saturday we had together. It was a typical day, but it was the sort of day we always looked forward to. On our last day together we talked about the past and dreamt about the future. We had so many plans, and we were so very happy. I will always be grateful that I had that day with Paul.

As for the shoes that I bought that day, sadly the first time I wore them was at his funeral.

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