I seem to have had an empty spot in my being, all of my life, it just seems to grow. Four years ago I received a phone call from my best childhood friend asking me to come home. She had just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, was going to have surgery and wanted to see me. My husband was returning the next day from one of many business trips. I met him and told him of Cindy’s dilemma and he said that I should go, of course. That he would take care of everything at home, watch over our son, eighteen years old and our three dogs. I was apprehensive to do this because of Michael’s drinking problem, he promised that he had control of everything. Still had this nagging feeling. It seems that I am a constant worrier and thought this may be the last time I can see my dearest friend so I went.
Thankfully she was still able to recognize me for a short while and then slipped into a coma, she had been sent home to come to her final leaving of us. I was staying there with her sister and husband trying to help care for her. As everyone knows I am sure, watching someone that you love suffer and not be able to do anything about it is devastating in itself. Watching her husband and seeing the love in his face made me want to come home and see if there was anyway possible to fix our marriage. I tried calling my husband at home and he was out, left message at work for him but received no reply. My heart was feeling those old pangs of wondering where he was now and what has he gotten into now?
That evening Cindy’s condition took a turn for the worse and I forgot to try and call home and check to see how things were going. I should have known to expect some sort of problem, it was St Patrick’s Day, Michael’s favorite day to celebrate and party. Little did I know the nightmare was just beginning. The next day went by and still no word from Michael or the family, that was not unusual, they were always so busy. Saturday morning came and looked like it was going to be a nice day weather wise, I was standing looking out Cindy’s bedroom window and listening to a bird noise, thinking that is a strange call, then realized it was an owl, this really strange feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. About half an hour later my youngest son called to tell me that his father had not shown up for work for two days and no one could seem to find him. In twenty years of marriage he had never failed to go to work, no matter how drunk he may have been. I told my son that I would call the police and report his Dad missing, they would not allow me to do this via phone. I made reservations for the first flight possible to home. It was difficult to leave Cindy and not be there for her finale goodbye but my heart knew that something was horribly wrong at home.
My daughter met me and we went straight to the Casino to see if they remembered seeing him or if they had given him a ride anywhere. There were people that had seen him but no real information. We went home and prepared to go to his workplace to look for any info that might give us a clue as to where he may have gone. We were there early and they were very kind to us. They let us into his room and we went looking for anything that could help find him. Thought maybe he had gone to a party and maybe just stayed drunk for days. The only things I did find were heartbreaking and hurtful. It seems my husband had been unfaithful for sometime, who am I kidding I had suspected it for many years but thought things would eventually work out, guess I kept my head buried in the sand, it was easier. We had gone to a few local restaurants that he hung out in and asked if anyone had seen him recently, no luck there.
We were in the car and on our way to the ferry to go back home and wait for news, my cell phone rang and it was my son calling to say that the police were out in the road with traffic stopped and that a body had been found in the ditch across the street from our home. They would not let him outside but asked for a picture of his father to try and identify if it was Michael or not. There were news crew planes flying over our home and my son could see it on TV. I still get ill thinking about my poor baby having to go through this on his own. The trip to the ferry was pure torture and the ride much worse. When we arrived in our neighborhood the traffic was backed up for blocks and they would not let me through. Finally I was allowed to go to my home. The coroners van was in my driveway and they were waiting for me. They would not allow me to see his body, he had been in the ditch for days, animals and bugs had gotten to him. I still feel that I should have at least been able to touch his hand to say goodbye. I know that sounds silly.
The next month was a blur of a nightmare. My Cindy passed away the day after Michael’s memorial here. Finances were a mess; insurance money was looking doubtful not only was I trying to grieve but was totally unprepared for the rest of my life. I have not worked in years and had and still do not have good job skills. I went to school for Medical Billing but did not learn what was needed, mainly computer skills. I must claim a portion of responsibility there, I had started drinking way more than ever before. I did a few really stupid things, like getting tipsy and falling in my bedroom, knocking myself out, therefore my kids called 911, that was totally embarrassing. Brought me back to reality for a while but find it very easy to fall back. I don’t go out very often, I can’t afford it and find that even though there are people around me, the loneliness still hurts.
I have wonderful friends and they are very supportive but late at night when I can’t sleep and just want someone there to comfort me, I feel very alone.