Helen died on September 28, 1999, ten days after our sixtieth anniversary. The date today is July 9, 2000, but the grief is as deep as it was then.
We had the joy of having spent our mutual birthday together on May 27 with Helen in the so called transition unit of our big hospital in Saginaw, Michigan. She was there because of surgery on and infected elbow. The infection had made her very ill and for reasons too numerous to relate here, she spent about half the summer there. I spent all of my time there where we became known as "the card playing couple." During most of this time she was confined to a wheelchair. This was because of a half cast or splint on her arm. She eventually became able to walk again with her walker. She had used a walker for many years because of fighting MS for forty years. She was a fighter.
After finally being home for two weeks, she again became ill and I had to rush her to emergency. This time the diagnosis was pneumonia. She was extremely ill for several weeks but antibiotics, therapy, and other measures apparently pulled her through. At least she was released.
Helen was home for two days and again became very ill. It was necessary to call 911 and back to emergency. This time they called it pneumonitis which in English is severe bronchitis. After a few more weeks, the medics declared her recovered and sent her to a fine nursing home near where we lived. There some fine therapy people had her walking with her walker in a short time. There on September 19 we celebrated our sixtieth anniversary with family and friends.
After five days, however, I received a phone call during the night that she was being rushed to emergency. It turned out that the pneumonia had returned.
On September 26, she fell asleep as had been happening but this time I couldn't wake her up. I held her hand and talked to her until it got so late that the nurse urged me to go home. She said she would call if anything changed. I went home and came back early the next morning finding that she was still asleep. Again I held her hand and talked to her hoping that I could get through but to ow avail. It became very late and the nurse finally persuaded me to go home with a promise to call if there would be a chang.I went home for some sleep. At five o'clock in the morning the nurse called me and our oldest son, See. He picked me up right away and went to the hospital. When we reached he room, The nurse said that she had just passed away,
Those who knew her will believe me when I say that through the whole summer she never complained at all and was always cheerful and smiling.
I want to state that Helen was as close to a perfect person, as far as I could ever see, as was humanly possible. I am thankful for having had her for so long. I thank God for that wonderful gift to me. I am very lonesome after ten months without her as I was back then
Thank you for listening.