In Loving Memory of
Gail R. Reynolds


My Dearest Gail:

It has been three months and three weeks since you left us so suddenly. I never dreamed when we left ER that day that I would never again hear your voice. I was so glad they were admitting you to ICU because before your transplant, it never mattered what went wrong, they always had a way to fix it.

I knew they would this time again, too.

But I was so wrong.

As I approached your room in ICU and saw all those doctors and nurses standing around your bed, I knew immediately something was wrong - and then I saw you on the respirator.

You looked terrified. Your hands were strapped down and you were pulling so frantically at your bedding. I could only think you were trying to free your hands so you could remove the respirator. You always hated it when they restrained you, and you hated that tube in your throat.

I remember touching you - your face, your chest, your arms, your hands. I remember trying to calm you, telling you to try not to talk, that everything was going to be OK. And, at that point, that's still what I believed, or wanted to believe.

People have since assured me that it would have been the morphine they were giving you for pain that you were reacting to - not fear or panic as I perceived it to be. I pray they are right, because it was so hard to see you that way. You were such a fighter - you clung so tightly to life, you never showed fear in the many battles you had to fight in your last two years of life.

If only I hadn't gone to the cafeteria that day. If only I had stayed by your side. If only someone had told us just how serious this was. But all the "if only"s in the world don't matter now. I don't think anyone knew you only had a few hours left, not even the doctors.

You were in such a rapid downward spiral. The doctors tried everything - but our "Higher Power" was in control - and He was calling you back home. I know how much you always missed Scoop and Mable, and more recently, Janet, - and I take comfort in the thought that you are all together again.

We had so little time before they sedated you totally to put in the central line - did you know I was there? They said you were asking for me before they put the respirator in . . . why didn't they page me? I never left the building.

Gail, were you still present in the room after they disconnected everything? Did you see everyone come in and tell you goodbye? Did you see Jamie come in and move you over so I could lay down beside you one last time?

Sweetheart, I miss you so much, sometimes I think I cannot take it any longer. I think I will explode from the pain of losing you. You were the one true love of my life, and I cannot wait until we are reunited again.

I know you are with me, and I know you are watching over all of us, because no one else could have turned on the light behind your chair those times.

This world is a better place because you were here, and I know I'm a better person for having shared over 30 years of our lives together. We all miss you more than we can ever say.

Goodbye, once again, Sweetheart - I will always love you!

Your loving wife, Vickie


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