I Love You

June 1, 2011
I tried to open my eyes. It felt like someone was holding them shut. Of course, that wasn’t the case. I had been awake for… 37 hours? I don’t know. Now I made the mistake of blinking, my eyes were now glued shut. No! I couldn’t fall asleep now! I had… to… stay… awak… zzzzzzz.

When I woke up, I was stiff. How long was I asleep? I looked around and almost fell out of the hospital bed. I grabbed onto the railing that was on the other side of the bed. You automatically reached out a hand to steady me, even though your strength was fading fast, you still were trying to save me. I bit down on my tongue to stop the tears that I knew were coming.


“I – I fell asleep.” I said staring into your perfect blue eyes. You chuckled, deep and throaty, I’m so glad that sound never left you, even at the end.

“Yes, you did, about 12 hours ago.” You whispered. You were so weak you couldn’t even speak normally.

“I’m so sorry.” I said and put an arm around you. I buried my head in your shoulder. If you didn’t hear the panic in my desperate tone, you could always see it in my eyes. You chuckled again, such a normal sound, it reminded me of when you were still healthy.

“I had forgotten the last time you slept, you looked so peaceful. I’ve been watching you for the last few hours.” You smiled at me, still trying to comfort me, even though YOU were the one dying.

“I just... don’t want to waste any time with you. Since we have…” I stopped.

“So little time left? It wasn’t time wasted, Love. I love watching you sleep.” You smiled and then coughed. I lunged for a glass of water. “I’m fine, just relax.” You reached out for the glass and carried it with trembling fingers you your lips; I was surprised you could carry it at all.

“I just want you to be comfortable.” I said in a small voice.

“I AM comfortable, Love. I just want you to relax.” You smiled lightly and set the Dixie cup back on the bedside table. You placed a hand on my cheek and I smiled, just for you. I glanced at the clock, 3 AM.


I was glad to have some alone time with you. Your family was always there, or doctors, or nurses, or other patients. But this moment was special. We were the alone for almost the first time since you were diagnosed. The nurses had moved you into a private room for your last few weeks.


“Derik…” I whispered your name desperately, and let the tears spill freely for the first time in months. I had to be your strong wife for so long. I really wasn’t that strong. And now, when we were finally alone, and I would tell you everything I had planned to, I lay in your arms and cried.

“Shhh… Shhh… It’s okay, I’m here. I’ll always be here.”

“But… You… Wont…” I sobbed. You pulled away from me and looked at my tear-streaked face in the moonlight.

“Yes, Love, I will.” You said and pulled me closer. I felt your hot tears on my head. We lay there and wept together. Both being weak together.

“I love you so much.” I whispered.

“I love you too.” You whispered back.


By the next week you were gone. We never got to be alone again before you died. I never got to tell you about what the future would have been. I never got to tell you that my favorite color was really green, not purple. I never got to tell you how much better IceCream was when you scooped it. I never got to tell you any of those things. But that night, when we just held each other and cried, that said it all. I love you, Derik, I always will.





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