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Re: Share your love story here!

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Message 21 of 22

MY LOVE STORY - PART 1

 

 

April 15, 1998

 

 

It is 6AM and my son and I are sitting in the waiting room of a hospital in New Brunswick.  My husband Ted was having emergency surgery and we were waiting for it to be over.  I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was my son saying “Mom, mom, the nurse wants to talk to you.”  I opened my eyes and looked up and the nurse said “The doctor would like to talk to you.”  So, we both got up and followed her into one of the nicest rooms I have ever seen in a hospital.  It looked more like a living room.  There were comfortable chairs, furniture, lamps, etc.  We had only sat down for a minute before the door opened and people started coming in to join us.  There were nurses, other people I could not recognize and then finally the doctor came in.  I looked at his face and directed my first question to him.  “Well doctor, how bad is it?”   He looked at me and said “Well, we operated on your husband and used the heart/lung machine and when the operation was over, we turned the machine off but your husband’s heart would not start.”   He then went on talking, telling me about all the heroic things they tried to do and his words were lost to me.  I was waiting to hear the “really bad news about how ‘bad it was’ and I paid no attention to what he was talking about.  When he stopped talking, I started to really absorb what he said and I asked him “what do you mean, his heart wouldn’t start – are you trying to tell me that my husband is dead?”  He said ‘yes’.  For a moment, his words hung in the air and I couldn’t or wouldn’t believe him.  Then, in the next moment, I felt angry and said to him “but, you told me his heart was strong”.  He very calmly said to me “that was before the staph infection went through his system and to his heart area.” I looked again at all the people in the room and now I ‘knew’ why they were there.  One was a nurse holding smelling salts and one was a hospital administrator and one was a chaplain.  My brain was racing with one thought after another and there was so much that I wanted to say but no words would come out of my mouth.  I felt as if I were paralyzed.  I remember my son taking my arm and guiding me out of the room.  I remember my son saying that he would drive me home and I remember saying that I wanted to drive my own car home but I asked him to follow me.   When I got home I pulled into the driveway, and went into the kitchen and sat down and just sat there for the longest time.  My son arrived and sat there with me.  After a while, I asked him to make all the arrangements and he said he would.  He got on the phone and made all the calls necessary, the Social Security office, the companies that handled insurance, etc.  I called my daughter and she drove right out to be with me. 

 

This was not supposed to happen.  A while back, Ted’s doctor said that he needed a heart valve replacement.  I remember him telling us “We do it every day – just like tonsils – no danger.”  Well, there was danger – a lot of it.  Evidently while in the hospital, Ted was infected by a staph infection.  In no time it went through his whole body.  They tried giving him the strongest medicines but nothing worked.  They brought in specialists in the field and even they couldn’t help.  Ted kept telling me that he wanted to go home.  I asked the doctors if I could treat him at home but he said that I couldn’t do at home what the nurses are trained to do in the hospital.  He completely lost his appetite.  We kept bringing in things that he loved to eat but he wouldn’t touch them – he just laid there and he didn’t look good.  It was the night before Easter and about 1 or 2 in the morning; I was woken up by a phone call the hospital.  It was Ted’s doctor and he informed me that Ted was quite sick and needed immediate surgery.  I said that I would be right down.  Before I left I called my son Rick.  He said he would stop by and pick me up but I said no, I lived closer to the hospital and I would be there quicker.  And then on Easter morning Ted died.  It all happened so fast, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

 

The next few days are a blur.  Going to the funeral home, picking out flowers, calling people – making arrangements.  I do remember the many, many people who showed up for his funeral.  There were so many people waiting outside to get in and the room inside was filled to capacity.  I think I was in a state of disbelief – how did this happen?  I still don’t have any answers.

 

I do remember getting very angry.  I remember going to his closet and dresser and taking everything in it and stuffing everything into plastic bags.  I asked my son to take all the bags to the place where people come in looking for clothes, etc.  After he did this, I looked around and everything in the room just looked so empty.  I felt as empty as the room.  My whole life felt empty.

 

I think the fact that I was still working full time is what saved my sanity.  I was so busy at work that I didn’t have time to think about anything except work.  I guess I was one of their best workers.  Sometimes I even went in on Sundays and worked.   During the next few weeks an opening occurred at work as secretary to the President of the company.  I knew I could do the work but I never gave it a thought to apply for the job since I was very happy at present working for the Vice-President.  All the other secretaries were all excited and were putting in their application for this top-level position.  One morning as I had just gotten into the elevator to take me up to the floor where I worked, the President’s current secretary came up to me and asked me why I hadn’t applied for the top job.  I smiled and told her that I was very happy in my present position and that I liked working for the V.P.  That same day I got a telephone call from her.  She said that the President of the company asked her to find out why I had not applied for the position as his secretary.  I was sort of taken aback but I nicely replied again that I like the present job that I had and had no intention of leaving....   Evidently, the President called my boss and persuaded him to “talk to me”.  My boss came into my office that afternoon and told me that the big boss was putting pressure on him – he wanted him to convince me to apply for the job as his secretary.  I could tell that my boss was a little upset and embarrassed by even talking about the subject.  I said to him – “do you want me to apply?”  He looked down and sort of smiled and said “Yes- Dolores – the boss is really leaning on me but – I don’t want you to do something that you don’t want to do but…..”   I sort of felt sorry for him that he had been put to so much trouble – for me.  He was a wonderful boss and I smiled and told him that I would do it.  He smiled and thanked me and walked back to his office. 

 

The next day I sent email to the President’s secretary that I was applying to be her replacement and she gave me an appointment to meet with him that morning.  The appointment was for 10:30AM and when I showed up, I was led into his large, sprawling suite and sat down in front of him.  He smiled and said “Dolores, I am SO happy to hear that you are applying for the position as my secretary.  I have heard such great remarks about you over the years from so many of my staff.  One the remarks that I have heard is that “if you want something done right and quick, give it to Dolores .”   I smiled and said, “Yes – I do like to work – in fact, I have always liked to work and I’ve been working since I was 14 years old.”  He laughed and said to me:  “when can you start?  That sort of startled me because I knew many of the other secretaries were applying for the position.  I told him that he should work out the details with his vice president.  He smiled and shook my hand and said he was very happy to have me in his office.

 

I started to work for the president the following week and I do mean work.  He was a slave driver but then I always knew that from what I’d heard.  He was always travelling and he would call me from wherever he was and dictate the viewgraphs that I had to make and email to him.  He would think nothing of calling me on a Sunday morning when I was getting ready to go to church and give me a long list of “to-do’s” for the next day.  He would even call me late at night and dictate a letter or two or give me instructions on what he needed me to do the next day.  I guess it was good that I was so busy – it made the days, weeks, months just fly by and for that I was grateful.   So I sort of developed some kind of ritual where I would go to church on Sunday and then I would drive to the mall and have lunch and then I would go to a movie.  That was my routine for quite a while.  I didn’t like being at home all alone – so being busy at work all week and then spending Sunday at the mall seemed to be working out well.

 

I do have to admit that sometimes he drove me crazy.  He was always very nice to me – he just expected me to be on call 24/7.  He was busy himself – always travelling and bringing in contracts from all over the world.  I was in charge of the contracts which meant that I had to stay late many nights.  When we were awarded the contract, everyone always got a bonus – including me.   On one of those negotiations we were having with a very large corporation, he was working even harder than ever.  Again, I was in charge of the contract which was over 100 pages and growing.  I had to work late so many nights in the conference room with my boss, our lawyers and top engineers.  Every time a change was made in the contract, I was the one who had to type it.  Then I had to email the contract to the client’s lawyers showing all changes in color and wait for their response.  We were getting down to the wire one night and I was thinking to myself – “I can’t wait for this negotiation to be over.”   After two weeks of this, we had reached the deadline.  The client had to have the completed contract in their hands by 8AM the next day.  Of course, I stayed really late that night – got all the changes made – and got home quite late.  I had to be back at my desk early the next morning when I was going to email them the contract but at least I felt a little relaxed because it was almost over.

 

The next morning I got in early and found that my boss had made further changes to the contract. I though I was going to lose it.  I had little time to make all his changes and get it emailed by the deadline.  I felt myself shaking.  Well, I got it done and emailed.  And yes, the client signed it and emailed it back.  Everyone was very happy and especially me since my boss gave me a $5,000 bonus check for all my work.

 

Now, to get back to a few days earlier, one of the girls in the next office saw I was waiting for the client to email back the contract with their changes and she  dropped a piece of paper on my desk.   There was a website written on it.  It said My One and Only.Com.  She said to me “Dee, you have got to check this out!” and she was laughing.  So, since I had nothing to do while I was waiting for the client to respond, I went on to that website and saw pictures of so many men and a write-up next to each picture.  I thought to myself “Oh I would never email any of these people – I don’t even know them.”  However, at the very end of the page there was a write-up with no picture.  I read the write-up and whoever had written it had a knack for creative writing.  It was so beautiful that before I logged off, I sent that person an email saying that he had a talent for writing and that he should pursue it.  Then I went back to my work.

 

The next morning when I logged in, there was a response from the person I had emailed the night before.  He thanked me for my kind words and started to tell me all about himself.  Wow – he sure knew how to write – I didn’t know he had been an English teacher.  I quickly answered his email with a few lines and then went to work.

 

Well, every morning that I logged in, there was an email from this Daniel.  It was short but full of information about him and his family, etc.  I would answer it briefly and then get back to work.  Believe it or not, this went on for months.  One day he sent me an email and said, “You know, we have been emailing each other for quite some time and I was wondering if we could ever meet for lunch one day.”    All of a sudden I was apprehensive, thinking this guy could be “Jack the Ripper” for all I know – I better be very careful.  I sort of stalled him saying I was really busy, etc. etc.  A couple of months later he brought it up again.  I thought to myself, well he’s a retired teacher, he must be a good person and I never take any days off, so I agreed to meet him for lunch at the  mall. 

I arranged with Personnel to take a day off – the first time I think I ever applied for a day off.  In fact, I had lost so many vacation/sick days because I never used them.

 

So I drove to the mall to meet this man called Daniel.  We met at the appointed restaurant and he had flowers for me.  He was very, very nice, very polite and well spoken.  I could tell that he was a man of high intelligence.  He told me all about his family; he had four sons, and some grandchildren.  It was afternoon when we met for lunch but by the time we left the restaurant and he walked me back to my car, it was dark out.  Dan always said that I did all the talking but that’s not true.  He had lots of things to talk about. Well, we went back to emailing each other every day for a couple more months and then one day he asked me if I could come to his house for dinner on Sunday. All his sons and their families were gong to be there and he would like me to meet them.  He said he would pick me up and drive me so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting lost, etc.  I thought about it for a day or two and then I decided to tell him I would be happy to meet his family for dinner.

 

I

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Share your love story here!

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Message 22 of 22

So many of you have such great love stories - we would love to read them and have you share them with our community.  Tell us about yours!

AARPTeri
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