As many of you know by now, my life changed drastically on March 4. My husband, Jay, was taken away from our family in what still seems like a dream. Every day I expect to wake up and find all has gone back to being normal. Every day I expect to hear his car pull up the driveway. Every day I expect to hear him yell, "Hey, Patty Cake, I'm home!"
Many of you reading this know exactly what I'm going through. I just hope you had the support system in place as I did. There are so many people to thank. Not many personal thank-you notes have gone out yet, but I thought perhaps I could thank some of you in this column. You will all still be written notes. I ask for your patience in that.
My son, Tommy, is on the top of my list. He has turned into my rock. His love and support have brought me through some of the hardest times. He knows when to hug me and when to leave me alone. He and his father were best friends, so I know this is as difficult for him as it is for me.
My grandchildren, Jay and Sarah, stayed with me for several nights. I know their hearts were breaking, but they comforted me as much as possible. Teen-agers like that are what gives me hope for the future of our country.
The Wimmer family were by my side through the entire ordeal. Susy stayed at the hospital the entire time, even though she was needed at home to be with Dick. There are no greater friends in the world.
Jay's mother and sister are as supportive as they can be in such a time. No parent should outlive their children. What Ro is going through right now is hard to imagine.
My colleagues, Barry Paschal and Barbara Seaborn, both sent words of encouragement, for which I am extremely grateful.
The list is too long to continue, but everyone has shown me friendship and love that's hard to find in today's world. You truly never know what great neighbors and friends you have until something like this happens. My next-door neighbor, Kay, has been especially supportive. She followed the ambulance to the hospital and stayed with me all day.
Life will go on, but I ask for your patience to give me time to get back to writing. Right now, my heart is empty, my house is quiet, my bed is too big and even the one toothbrush in our bathroom seems lonely.
There are good days and bad days. Between the tears, all the happy memories will take over. Between the tears, I know there are people I can call for help. Between the tears, the future looms before me like a black cloud.
I will miss you, Jay. You were the one constant in my life. I never doubted your love for one minute in our 41 years of marriage. Nothing will ever again be the same.
Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.
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