I Married a Beautiful and Sexy Woman
I married a beautiful and sexy woman, slender, curvaceous, with full lips and large dark eyes. I told her often in the twenty years we were together that I married her strictly for the sex. That wasn't true, I married her so we could have children, I pursued her for the sex.
Margie always aroused passion in me. Even during the waning days of her life, after crawling in bed with her, holding her fluid engorged body and crying for our losses and our children's losses, I would get an erection. I could never divorce the sexuality from her dying body.
We last made love about two weeks before her death. Her one-hundred-pound body was now swollen with an additional twenty pounds of fluid and her abdomen had grown to the size of a full term pregnancy. All movement was uncomfortable for her and as I held her close and made love to her, I thought to myself, You thoughtless animalistic bastard, how could you put her through this?
When we finished, she said, "David, thank you for not being a weird man and thank you for still desiring me."
I told her the truth: I didn't have a choice.
Such Horrible Options
Margie came home from the doctors office in October, 1997 and announced, "They say I have pneumonia, isn't that ridiculous?"
It did seem ridiculous, since she exhibited absolutely no symptoms, no cough, no energy loss, no fever.
Margie had been seeing a urologist for a number years. He treated her for a bladder condition and had prescribed the drug Macrobid to relieve her symptoms. When this urologist moved from the city, her new urologist, concerned that the Macrobid could affect her lungs, ordered a chest x-ray, which revealed fluid in her lungs and, hence, the concern about pneumonia. We didn't know then, but in a few short weeks we would have rejoiced if she was ill with that condition.
Indeed, wishing for particular diseases would become a normal part of our life from then on: wishing for a benign tumor instead of a malignant one; wishing for large cell vs. small cell lung cancer; wishing for limited stage small-cell lung cancer and not extensive small-cell lung cancer, etc. It wasn't until after the tumor in her abdomen had been detected and we hoped against hope that the new cancer was ovarian and not a metastasis of her lung cancer, that I realized that when we are stripped down to our very core, we can hope and pray and live for such horrible options.
I've Already Said the Worst Thing I Will Say in My Life
I've already said the worst thing I will say in my life: "Your mother died." And, I said it twice. My daughter let out a soft wail and buried her head in my chest. This is the moment that contains all the details of Margie's suffering and death, my protection and failure, our love, loss and, now, loneliness. I feel Lily's head on my shoulder and hear her sobbing still, and my arms ache to hold her, and for someone, anyone, to comfort me.
Three stockings, not four, hang from the stairway. Lily left the "M" for
Mother, for Margie, stocking in the plastic bag and didn't even
comment. My heart is broken and I know we all are aware of what is
missing. We in this house are strong, and we don't complain, but we
know what is lost and can't even ask why. It's the first Christmas
without their mother, it's the first Christmas without my wife, and I still
have to wrap the presents.
© 2001 David Watkins, all rights reserved
appears here by permission