“Kathy I’m lost,” I said, but I knew she was sleeping.

July 10, 2021 — 8 Comments

We were four years old when Paul Simon and his girlfriend started the road trip that would later inspire his song, “America,” and the memorable line that serves as the title to this post.

We met twenty years later and started a journey together that ended when she died today. 

I have spent the last few days watching over her as she sleeps. Then, when she is awake, we talk. Sometimes about things we need to do, but mostly about our times together since we first met.

We had been dating for only a few months when she accepted a position with a Baltimore law firm. We got married a year later. Abigail was born a few years after that.

We journeyed through life together, watching school plays, swim meets, and graduations. We spent a lot of time on long walks and especially liked canoeing together.

Sometimes we got lost. Like the time we could not find the exit from an airport parking lot in France, or the time we could not figure out which exit to take to get to my Arlington apartment.

Through it all, Kathy kept us on track and focused on essential things. She was like the red end of the compass needle, always pointing to the right way forward.

Our last days together were hard. The morphine helped with the pain, but it caused her to sleep more and more. When she was awake, we talked, but not about the future. We shared memories instead, like how much fun we had on our recent trip to Lake Placid. 

Over the last days, her body slowly wilted away. Towards the end, she used an oxygen compressor to ease her labored breathing. That night, I played soft Irish music on my phone to cover the machine’s hum and pulsing. 

I spent some time removing pictures from her work phone and was surprised to find a photo from our wedding many years ago. How young and healthy we were then, unafraid that cancer’s deadly mystery would remain unsolved when we were older. 

I treasure our journey together but, like everyone facing the death of a loved one, wish that it had lasted a bit longer. 

My faith has never been as strong as Kathy’s, and I am not as confident as she is about what lies ahead. But I am sure that if there is a heaven, Kathy has found her way there.

8 responses to “Kathy I’m lost,” I said, but I knew she was sleeping.

  1. 

    So sorry for your loss, David.

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  2. 

    Sorry for your loss David.

    Like

  3. 

    I’m so very sorry David for your loss. Your post is beautiful and reminds us of the essence of Kathy. She will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Abby and Adam, and of course Mary.

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  4. 
    Susan Donovan July 10, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    So beautifully written David. So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and Abby and your families. Susan

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  5. 
    David F. Mister July 11, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    David
    I am so sorry for your tragic loss.
    You are a good man and you and Kathy made a wonderful, loving couple.
    I share your grief. I am still grieving for my Wife 9 years later, as I am sure you will continue to do for Kathy.
    Life does go on though and enjoy it with your children and friends.
    If ever I can do anything for you or you need a friendly ear, don’t hesitate to ask.
    God bless you.
    David

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  6. 

    Dave. It was many years ago when you told me of Kathy’s sickness. We were in line, buying bagels at CG. You looked so uncharacteristically fearful that day that I began to tear up after we parted. When i read your words this morning i again remembered seeing you at CG, but I was remembering the last time i saw you there- just a couple weeks ago. You looked strong and gave me a big, friendly smile. A fearless smile. One that said “it’s a good day, Bob, go make the best of it”. You and Kathy must have grown a lot over these last years. I’m so glad you had them. My love to you and Abby. -Bob

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  7. 

    Such a beautiful post, Dave. I love you and Kathy so much and her passing makes us all so sad. She led a wonderful life. I will see you in July.

    Like

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