This is the kind of day one dreams about in New Jersey, from the most northern parts of the state to the southern tip, and I have been fortunate enough to have spent lovely October days with my borzoi in both places, but especially in Cape May with Bob, my deceased and last husband, who died suddenly in 2011. Today, the sun is bright and warm, and the sky is azure blue, or, as I like to note, the magic color of a robin blue eggshell. However, this is the exact time we learned of my husband’s illness. Getting Bob’s diagnosis broke my heart, because my knowledge of medicine made his diagnosis very realistic to me that he would never recover and after a very brief illness he died. When the oncologist told us his diagnosis and prognosis, we were in the hospital, and I was standing at the foot of the bed. We both worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and I don’t think he knew that then. Later, he told a friend of mine whom he met that he did not know if we understood what he had told us. She assured him we did. After the doctor left the room and we were alone, I turned to Bob and said, “We could have been so happy. Now, we’ll never have the chance.” Sadly, he seemed to agree with me and understood what I was saying.
It was late October. We had planned to stay at our favorite inn at Cape May that weekend where we could bring the borzoi, and it had to be canceled, but I was referring to more than that. I believed our marriage failed in every way. I had not been happy. A most beloved borzoi puppy bitch had died before its second birthday, and I had a complete nervous breakdown in 2006. His way was to be remote and detached from me and he had hobbies that took him away from home when I craved his companionship. He also favored his sons who lived with us, over me. These events destroyed my love. However, when he became ill, I did everything in my power to help him become well. It seemed to me the oncologist had written him off, but I insisted he be given parenteral nutrition. It did not save him, but it helped, and if there were to be a miracle, it would have been the difference that helped. But while the tumors were shrinking, there were infections and internal hemorrhages. He succumbed.
I often look back on that time and ask myself, would we have separated and divorced? Would I have forgiven him for not understanding why I grieved over my puppy so badly? Would he have spent more time at home with me? Did he still love me? Was I healthy again? Better? Instead, I had to stand up and take charge of our home and our dogs without him, care for them all, and in a year, I downsized and found a loving home for Tresor, my little “Terror”! It has had its joys but many difficulties. I have had cancer twice and broke my shoulder walking Tresor. Love in my life has been nonexistent. It fails 100% of the time so I have to let it go and learn to be strong, very, very strong, alone.