I don't think I can even begin to compare the two days.
Today, a year ago, was the last day that the three older kids saw their daddy alive (the baby came to the hospital with me the next day for a few minutes and was able to see Barry).
The day started off normally, it was a Sunday, and we were all excited Barry was coming home for his usual week off. I knew he was sick though, but strangely, went about my day as normally as I could, cleaning up and getting the house ready for him. I already knew there was a possibility of him going to the hospital, but he had said he'd drive himself.
Around 6PM that evening, he rolled in the driveway. Told us all to stay on the deck as he did not want the kids to get sick. I walked up to the truck, and he said he had to go to the hospital right away. I immediately got on the phone with Sara (who already knew she may have to come over), and she was over within 10 minutes. Thankfully she lived right up the road (and still does) and came right over.
Barry waved at the kids from inside his truck, got out and climbed into the van. That was the last time the three older kids ever saw him alive. I drove him to the hospital, never knowing that the next time I would take him home would be in an urn. We got to the ER, and waited a good 3 hours or so. I don't remember exactly. It was quite awhile.
I helped him get undressed,and into a gown. I carefully folded his t-shirt, his shorts, and placed them in a bag along with his tennis shoes. I stuffed his can of chew into his shoe too, where it remains to this day. His last can of chew. Did I take his glasses then too? I can't remember honestly. I think I may have, but I am not entire sure if he had them on or not.
He was being seen by a doctor at this time already, and as it was nearing midnight, I decided to leave, and said I would come back in the morning. We had been told already he would be admitted. They knew he had pneumonia at this time. I said my goodbyes, told him I loved him, and walked out of the hospital.
My last view of him that night was being wheeled down the hall in his bed to the XRay room.
I miss him so much. I have trouble believing he was a real person. It is hard to fully explain that feeling, because yes, he was alive and in my life for a long time, but he's not here anymore. He is dead. Perhaps it is my coping mechanism that makes me think this way, process my thoughts and memories this way, so that it is easier to go on day by day. It truly is like a dream when I think of him. At times a very vivid dream, and at other times, I can't quite grasp that memory.
And now today, I am blown away by the stark differences to just 365 days ago.
I am sitting here at my desk, in my new house, with one more pet that Barry didn't get to meet sniffling around me. Athena is looking for breakfast scraps the kids dropped on the floor, she's 6.5 moths old now.
I have suitcases behind me waiting to be packed full of extra stuff like toiletries, snacks, and a few last clothing items.
I am going to Walt Disney World tomorrow with my children. I have a million things to do today, laundry, packing, running a few errands, packing the pets' food to to go the kennel. Finish up my laundry and pack it into my suitcase, call the shuttle and confirm etc etc etc.
This really is a true testament to how life goes on. Yes, Barry died a horrible tragic death last year, and we miss him terribly every day, but life has gone on. It is inevitable. And he would have wanted that. Insisted and demanded more like it. He wouldn't want me to sit and mope and just let life pass me by, so I am taking the bull by the horns and taking the kids on our first REAL family vacation. I am sad that Barry was never able to enjoy one with us, and this is a first for the kids as it is their first time on a plane, but without him this would not have been possible.
Now to get my day started, I do have a million things to do, and I leave tomorrow evening! Better get a fire lit under my ass!
I love you sexy man, and I think of you often. Thank you for being the best man I ever knew, for sacrificing so much, for working so hard. I love you and miss you so much.