D passed away on Feb 2nd 2021 @ 5:10pm here in our home while holding my hand. He fought hard against GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme)
Over the past weekend I held his Celebration of Life here at the house in the back yard. I waited a few months so try and catch my bearings but also to allow more people who were vaccinated the chance to be here. This whole hosting things while in COVID times is a mess and complicated and I wish people would hold more grace for those who are just trying their best to get through this thing called life. I digress here is the letter I wrote to D and I read to him and our friends and Family on this past Sat!
March 25, 2021
My Dearest D – Friends and Family,
I am going to try my best to get through this without too many tears… This is a letter for D, and to everyone here! It is a love story, and a heartbreaking one all rolled into one!
Where do I begin? I think the beginning would be the best I suppose. It started with an online dating app in late Aug 2018. You messaged me 1st I do have photo proof of it 😊 You said, “Hi Cutie, how are you doing this fine evening?” We talked on the app for a little while then moved to texting one another. After about two weeks of texting, I decided I could trust you enough to meet up. I had you come over to my condo at 10:45pm and we sat in my living room and talked for 5 hours. Never once did we run out of things to talk about or have long periods of awkward silence. We talked about how you were going through a divorce and I talked about my past relationships as well.
We dove into deep conversation that night from what we thought about gender being a construct, to how we thought the world might end and how it would happen, we talked politics and what we liked and didn’t like, we talked about our childhood and shared fond memories, like how you dug a hole for no reason in your yard, and how I used to like to catch snakes to scare my mom. We just meshed. We talked about what we both wanted out of a relationship and what our past ones were lacking and not providing for us. We talked about how we wanted to find someone who would be a partner not someone who would try to overshadow the other but walk alongside one another. We talked about how intimacy is important in a relationship and not just sexual but emotional, and physical like hugging and cuddling. We talked about how we might one day like to get married again and what that would look like. WE JUST GOT EACH OTHER! Once we realized it was 3am, and we both had work in the AM we would call it a night, but you would be coming back over in less than 24 hours.
We had overnights and I wasn’t ready to have you meet the kids and you respected that so you would get up at like 5:45am-6am and “sneak out” well one day we slept in and when we were walking down the stairs my oldest said “Oh Hi J” thinking you were a friend of mine because he didn’t really look at you and all he saw was the beard. I was mortified, you hugged me, kissed me, and were laughing the whole time at me… I was a very dark shade of RED!! you told me no worries and I should just call you J from now on and with a twinkle in your eye and smirk!
D, you traveled a lot for work and were gone most weeks. One of your 1st work trips you took when we started dating, I made Chocolate Chip cookies for you, and wrote you a 5 page note by hand to read on the plane. You called me when you got to DC and told me you didn’t want to “fuck it up” with me and that you were falling for me. D had dated other women before me and he said no one compared. No one understood him like I did. No one else had the drive and determination to make mountains move, no one could light up the room like I could. I was special and he knew it!
After you got home from the trip, we were pretty much inseparable, and that is when we decided to make it official and tell more people. We did so much together: bike rides, 5k’s, work trips, Seattle exploring, I even became a morning workout person for you! Even when you were gone, we still talked all the time. We made sure to have dedicated “Date Nights”. One thing I loved doing for you was taking you to the airport, parking, walking you up to the security line to see you off, and picking you up at the baggage claim when you got home in cute clothes that would make your jaw hit the floor. You told me no one had ever done that, and it felt nice to be missed while you were gone. In Jan of 2019 we were in Olympia. You were working at a client’s and I was working from the hotel room remotely. We dressed up and went out to dinner and that is when I told you I was falling in love with you while sitting in a back booth at Tugboat Annie’s. You looked at me and said, “I have these big feelings towards you, too, I just don’t know how to say them yet.” I told you that you didn’t need to say anything, and I just wanted to share what I was feeling.
I took you to the airport 2 days later for your trip to AZ. When I was saying goodbye, “I love you” slipped out and I played it so cool (well I think I did). I am sure I was all shades of red and pink. You kissed me goodbye and said see you soon. I turned around and overplayed that moment over and over! I called my sister and asked her if you heard me (because I was hoping you didn’t!) She didn’t help calm those nerves, she just teased me. When I picked you up, you were so excited to see me. We got into the car and you handed me a novelty pack of gum that said “I love you” on it. I looked at you like “wth is this???” and you said “I love you, too, C”
In late February, we were back in Olympia and we were at the hotel having dinner, playing hangman, and talking. We had discussed back in the beginning if we would like to get married again and we both said yes, we would. I knew you were the one, kind of like when you are looking at houses and you walk in and you’re like this is the one, it was that feeling. I had made a hangman game for you to guess. It said, “WILL YOU MARRY ME MR. W?”
You stared at the question for a moment, started to cry, and said “Hell yes, I will marry you, my future Mrs. W!!!”
March of that year was a hard month for all of us. You were diagnosed with GBM, and we were rushed from one hospital to the next to have an emergency craniotomy. It felt like the whole world was falling apart. One thing held true, and that was we loved each other very much and still wanted to walk through life together regardless of this crap we had just been served, and what others thought about our relationship. On April 14th, we held a private hand fasting commitment ceremony for those who were in from out of town down at the pond in the neighborhood. A couple of weeks later, you started chemo and radiation while I managed a schedule to make sure you made it to all your appointments with help of family and friends. I worked hard on making sure you lived life as close to normal as possible. The last thing I know you wanted was to be made to feel like you were sick.
In June – we got Married. Best day ever!! Even with the rain ❤
That August, we took the boys on a train from Everett to NY, who’s smart idea was that? Never again!! While in NY I noticed that you were breathing heavier and that one calf was bigger than the other. I got you to go into an urgent care clinic off 5th Ave, and they said we needed to get to the ER. We arranged to get to the hotel, pack up the kiddos, and call my sister. C came and got the kiddos, and you and I stayed in the hospital for 48 hours while they put in a IVC filter for DVT and 2 PE’s. Even with that set back we made the best of it. You took me on a horse carriage ride through Central Park the night before we left to get to C’s ; it was magical! We finished showing the kids the sights when we got to DC and enjoyed life! Thank you for that D, thank you for showing me life is worth it even with the crap!
In November 2019, we found out the chemo you were on wasn’t doing anything and that the tumor was starting growing again. We did one more round of a different chemo, and in the meantime we also did a genetic test on your tumor and we found a chemo that might work with the type of cancer you had. At the end of 2019, we were told that the trial in SF for ONC201 was a great fit for your type of cancer, and that they might have spots open. We started calling immediately! Unfortunately, they were full, so our next closest hospital was MD Anderson in Houston. We called and got on the schedule for mid Jan 2020.
We left on Jan 9th, 2020 for Tampa and set sail on Jan 11th for the Western Caribbean. We had no idea about COVID till we got back home. Man, we lucked out! Went to Texas a week after we got home and he was accepted into the trail. We had to take monthly trips down, but it was worth it to us. So, in February we went down, and then in March. At our March appointment is when they noticed huge amounts of swelling, so they started you on 2 a month injection of Avastin (a drug that helps starve the tumor.) Covid really started to ramp up at this time too, so they sent us home and allowed us to come down every other month. We did MRI’s and blood work here on the off months and more MRI’s and blood work when down there. Things were going well; You were in good spirits still working FT for MS.
In August we decided to take a road trip to TX. It was on our way home through Yellowstone that we hit another roadblock. You had your 1st grand-mal seizure while driving. But like any set back we had so far, we handled it with grace. We kept enjoying life and living the best we could. In November of 2020, you had 3 more seizures. I knew in my heart that this was the beginning of the end, but I told you that you were looking great. We enjoyed the holidays with family remotely, and just enjoyed all that we could. Jan 7th we were told that you had about 3-6 months left, so we called J in Germany. He came flying in, and we took H, T, and the kids to the ocean one last time. Once we got home, we got started with Hospice here at home and I kept you comfortable and happy while here. I kept my promise to you to have you at home all the way up to the end. You passed peacefully on Feb 2nd here at home while holding my hand and surrounded by J, H and me. D, I miss you so very much!! I love you to the Moon and Back Baby! I hope that you are flying high and keeping your eyes on us! Till we meet again! I will have thin mints for you!
~ C your wife forever and always!