What If Your Last Conversation Was Your Last [and you didn’t know it]

(4:20am, Mar. 4, the morning we brought Nancy home from Emory)

I looked at her lying there in the low light of the Emory University Hospital room, so very quiet and still. I wanted so for her to wake up right then, smile that familiar face and say in her whispery voice, “Hey.”
But she had been rendered silent by that insidious monster, CJD (Crutchfeldt-Jakob Disease). I had kept constant vigil over her for the past four weeks as she was driven downward from complete lucidity to comatose.
How I hate all the acronyms that interrupt our otherwise beautiful English language, I thought. But, where in hell had something called Crutchfeldt-Jakob Disease come from to take away my Nancy! Answer me, dammit! Careful, lest the suffocating, frustrated anger that had me hugging myself was being directed at her. But, never at my precious, precious Nancy.
Hot anger turned to cold as I realized my greatest fear since this all began: I would never again hear that one-of-a kind-Nancy Robinson laugh, nor hear her utter any words – we would never again speak to each other and she would never again hear my incessant reminders, “I love you”… so many never-agains to come.

The room came back into focus. This is reality. Our tears are falling together on my heart, yet no sounds are heard and I am drowning. The silence has formed a bubble that surrounds my entire mind.
But my conscious mind is empty because my Nancy is no longer with me and I can never, ever fill that void with her again! Alas, she lives on forever in my heart, in our children, so vividly in my memories…
O God, I said out loud, I can’t remember what we said in that conversation that had become our last conversation.



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