I met my husband, Ronnie Sanders, in May 1980, on my first day at a new job. He was very shy and wouldn't talk to me for a while. A co-worker finally talked him into asking me out and I already had plans, so I said no. Fortunately, he got up the nerve and asked me again. Our first date was July 4, 1980. We found out so many things about each other, including the fact that we shared a birthday and that I was a year older than him. Ronnie and I were married in March 1982 and started our wonderful adventure together. During our time together we faced many trials but had more than our share of miracles and good times also.
We went through illness and death in our family. We got through our differences and realized we loved each other so very, very much. We faced a hurricane and an earthquake in 1989 and told each other often how important we were to each other and that we never wanted to be with anyone else. I have never before been so accepted by another human being, Ronnie loved ME, no matter what. In 1990 Ronnie was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma. He had surgery and treatment at Duke University in North Carolina. We had a son in 1992, just a few months after Ronnie's father passed away, bittersweet but just one more miracle in our life.
In 1999 Ronnie was diagnosed with a recurrence of his Melanoma. This time he went through long, arduous chemotherapy/immunotherapy treatments. I was able to give him some of his treatments at home and our sonhelped me take care of him. We had 15 months and took advantage of all that time to tell each other again how muchwe loved and cared for each other. Ronnie worked up until the Friday before he went into the hospital for the last time. He was in for about 2 weeks before he died. Every time he was in the hospital our son went to visit him and they spent every minute possible together. I remember how tired Ronnie would be but he still got up and took Patrick to school and did homework with him after school. He took him to sports practice and read to him at night.Patrick and I will be blessed for the rest of our lives by the time and love Ronnie gave us while he was with us. We know we will be together again and that Ronnie is no longer sick and in pain. I was and still am amazed at how Ronnie got through every day fulfilling all his obligations and loving us so much. One of the greatest gifts he left Patrick with was loving his mother and not shielding him from anything that happened, there were no surprises. The best gift he gave me was to love me unconditionally and giving me Patrick.
Patrick has been wonderful for me and if I didn't have to get up each day to care for him I would be lost. I wonder if Patrick and I will be okay as we go through life without Ronnie but I know it will all work out for the best.
I would like to hear from others who have faced this situation.