December 28, 2013 was without a doubt one of the worst days of my life. The doctor had told me just the day before that Russ was doing so much better after his heart attack, that his vital signs had improved to the point that he would get well; the doctor even said that it would take a long time, but he would eventually be normal. That same evening his breathing became labored, and I wanted to stay with him, but the nurses ushered me out because I didn’t have permission to stay over the night. I wish now that I had asked for permission earlier—I had meant to, but it somehow slipped my mind and then it was too late. I had spent the last two nights with him and I was so tired…
The next day, I was there a little later, and when I saw him he was so different; honestly, he was already on his way out. The ventilator wasn’t helping, and his eyes were opaque. She left at 4:00, but I didn’t want him to be alone. I put on his music and held his hand until he flat-lined… The doctors tried to bring him back—they tried for 20 minutes and then, they asked me if they should continue. I asked if he would come back and they said no; I told them to let him go. At that moment, I wanted to go with him, I yearned to be with him, or better yet, to go back in time, so I could make him call an ambulance when he said he didn’t feel well. I just didn’t know it was that bad; hindsight let’s us see what we should have seen before.
And now, four months later, I yearn for the days before his heart attack; I miss him so much and though that limbo land feeling is still around, days like today still come around, where my heart is so heavily empty. I do what I need to do, but the tears are never far away. I miss his cooking (unless someone else cooks it, I’ll never eat another steak, because his was perfect and I can’t cook it like he did.), I miss his stimulating conversation, I yearn for the music he would regale me with: from opera to rock, from Tommy Makem to Bach and more…I yearn for his hugs and his jokes that were so terrible that they made you laugh. I just yearn for his caring and his encouragement and support. Insomma, I yearn for his love, for him.
His last words in this life were, “You know, you’re really becoming more New York everyday; you’re becoming more impatient, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” I didn’t know that I was impatient, but now, I don’t know… Maybe I am, because I yearn for the time when it’s my time to go meet him again. When it comes, in a year or forty, I’ll be ready, but only then, not before.
© Mary Purpari April 29, 2014 “Y” is for Yearnings