As most of you know, “time flies”. Kids grow up and at some point (if you’re lucky) you find yourselves in house with your spouse and a dog or a cat or both.
In 2007, my wife started working on a novel. The thing is that she had always wanted to be a writer but like me, she had put that dream aside in order to raise a family and build our home life. But here we were, now with more time on our hands so she started writing. She got caught up in it and by 2011 she had written a four part series – four books – about 1300 pages!
So then she started looking for a publisher. I guess maybe that I got inspired (or jealous). I started to wonder if my dream of writing and performing might still have some life in it. In 2013, I started checking craigslist to see if anyone was looking for an aging, overweight guitar player for their band. Oddly enough, I got a gig! One thing led to another and eventually I got into a band that now plays on a regular basis and along the way I started playing some solo shows too. And I started writing again! Oh, and my wife found a publisher! Her first novel was published in 2015!
Things were moving along – in November of 2015 my wife did a book signing at our Local B. Dalton Bookstore and my band was booked almost every weekend. At one point Wendy asked me “how far are you going to take this? Are you going to make an album and go on the road?” I laughed out loud and said “NO WAY”. I had no intention of doing that because I loved the quiet, “normal” life that we shared together – the weekend gigs were just an escape, weekends were fine, no need for more than that.
March 11th, 2016 is a day I will never forget. That is the day that a doctor sat my wife and I down and told us that she had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and that her chances of surviving more than six months was about one percent. Wow. She had been having abdominal pain and had been to see the doctor in January, but was mis-diagnosed. We both went into shock. When we started to breathe again, we made two decisions. One was to fight and pray and try to beat the odds. And two was to make every day a good day – to forget the unimportant things and just focus on love and gratitude.
If you or someone that you love has had a serious disease like this then you know that it tends to consume your life. We spent hours every week at the infusion center. Things did get better for a while, but despite the best efforts of the medical professionals and all our prayers, my lovely wife passed away on March 10th, 2017 – one day short of the one year mark. I can only say that we succeeded in making every day good. We expressed our love for each other several times a day and I was so glad that I was able to serve her that last year. She served me for so many years – she always did all the cleaning and cooking and everything. She was grateful that I was there to take care of her but I was even more grateful that I had the privilege of taking care of her – it was my chance to demonstrate my love for her.