It was unexpected even though it should have been. It's not like he hadn't threatened it a 100 times or more over the 30 years we spent together. But still, I walked into the bathroom, shut the door, and never imagined what I would see a mere second later as I returned to the bedroom. It was the loud pop that alerted me. My eyes immediately searched for him as soon as I reopened the door, and found him slumped over, but by some miracle still breathing, hard, labored breaths, his lungs determined to continue doing their job. His heart still beating, I screamed at our daughter, still sitting in stunned silence on the living room couch, to call 911, "he's still alive!"
As though waking from a nightmare only to find it wasn't a dream at all, she grabbed for the phone and called for help. For 27 minutes, our daughter and I fought to keep him alive while she stayed on the phone with the operator. He would stop breathing and I would yell at him to please breathe and he would until he couldn't anymore then our daughter took over and did cpr until he started again. It was at that moment he tried to say what would be his last words, "I da I da I da." I love you? I'm sorry? Only he and God know what he was trying to say. Unwillingly we turned him over to the EMTs when they arrived, still breathing, but there is no doubt in my mind he breathed his last as soon as we let go. It wasn't called until his body arrived at the hospital by helicopter sometime later, but he was long gone. February 17, 2015 will mark a year since that evening.
Today marks the beginning of this blog.