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Dec 9, 2016 12:13 PM CST
Name: Barb
Quincy, FL (Zone 8b)
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Hi All,
My wonderful gallant Steve died day before yesterday at the Hospice House with the Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee, FL.  His poor beat up body just couldn't cope anymore.  We had lots of family and friends in on Tuesday and family on Wednesday.  A music therapist came in and played some of his favorite music and took requests as well.  One of the songs she sang was "That's Amore" with the traditional lyrics but I sang the parody along with her that Steve laughed at so often:
"See that thing on the reef with the big shiny teeth, that's a moray,
Put your hand in a crack and you won't get it back from a moray.
He can swim, he can glide but he'd rather hide in the coral...."
We heard that in a record shop in Cancun, bought the CD and he played it all the time.
Steve couldn't respond except by touch and really responded with a big squeeze of his hand that he loved that.  I slept in his room and had gotten up early that morning, held his hand, talked to him and sang his favorite song from way back in the 70s by the Rotary Connection:
"Want you to know you made me happy,
Want you to know you made me sad,
Want you to know you made me happy.
You are the best thing that I ever had."
It starts off with 1 voice, acapella, and each time through we pick up another voice so at the end there is a full chorus of that verse.
One of his nurses overheard me and told me that I was an inspiration to her - her husband is also in Hospice.  While he was only there for 46 hours, his room was filled with people that loved him - both family and friends, coworkers too.  The CEO, the founder and a VP from his company all came and spent an hour, holding his hand and letting him know they loved him.  Then came some of our friends from long ago, family, and more people from work.  They all stayed until midnight, swapping tall tales of Steve and all taking their turns holding his hand and telling he is loved. His oncologist came in at 6:30 in the morning and talked to me and Steve about how remarkable he was - Doc said he had never had a patient at that stage of colon cancer when discovered live as long and that was by years. He nearly made it 10 years, far longer than we expected we would have. We just had our 44th anniversary and had been together for 48 1/2 years.
My heart is broken but I am so relieved that he is no longer in such devastating pain. I went to his company yesterday to return his work computer and keys and wound up not leaving for several hours. Fully 25% of the workers came out to talk and tell me how wonderful Steve was. His HR person said that Steve, more than anyone he'd ever known, had a divine spark, filled with kindness, never complaining, always giving his best to everyone. The CEO said if I had the memorial on a weekday, she would close the company because everyone wanted to be there and wanted to invite everyone from the memorial back to the company for lunch. All of this has been so dear. Pray for me - I'm going to miss him so.
His Bengal kitty, Valentine Needletoes, just came in looking for him. I think she knows he's gone. Usually if I take him away, she sits in his chair and glares at me as if to say, "You took him away, now bring him back." This time she just came up to me and meowed softly and gently put her head in my hands. I told her we would all be together again one day.
I was so fortunate to have him in my life so I'm hoping for reincarnation so we can do it again. Angel

Barb

Steve letting me get a decent photo of him.
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Steve being a goofball.
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“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.”
― Dalai Lama
Last edited by Dragonkeep Dec 12, 2016 1:45 PM Icon for preview
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Dec 9, 2016 12:22 PM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Dragonkeep,
What a sad but wonderful post, my heart goes out to you with best wishes for a recovery from the loss, but hoping you keep all the wonderful memories.
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Dec 9, 2016 12:42 PM CST
Name: Mayo
The Netherlands, Europe (Zone 9a)
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dear Barb,

so very sorry for your loss Group hug
I'm sure you and Steve will be together again some day, somewehere Group hug


BIG hug,
Mayo
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
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Dec 9, 2016 12:51 PM CST
Name: Betty
MN zone 4b
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Sorry for your loss. Group hug Group hug
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

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Dec 9, 2016 1:07 PM CST
Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
Butterflies Region: South Carolina Ponds Keeper of Koi Hybridizer Frogs and Toads
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So sad yet wonderful tribute to a very honorable person. We should all strive to love and be loved as much as your wonderful Steve.

So sorry for your loss Group hug
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Dec 9, 2016 1:27 PM CST
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Sempervivums Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Garden Ideas: Master Level
Thank you for sharing these last moments of love with us. They sounded to be most precious between Steve and you and all the other lives that Steve touched. Take care. Group hug
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Dec 9, 2016 1:45 PM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
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Group hug Group hug Group hug Group hug Group hug Group hug

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Group hug Group hug Group hug Group hug Group hug Group hug
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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Dec 9, 2016 2:11 PM CST
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
So sorry for your loss, Barb! I echo all sentiments expressed above. My deepest sympathy to you and I hope that you will find solace and comfort in knowing that Steve is in a better place with no pain and suffering. I am sure he was able to fight the cancer as well as he did was because you were there and your love carried him through those hard times.
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Dec 9, 2016 2:24 PM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
So very sorry for your loss. What a blessing to have those final memories and to know that he was aware of your presence! Angel
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Dec 9, 2016 2:44 PM CST
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
Oh, Barb, nothing more I can say but reiterating all others have said. Hang in as best you can. Group hug
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Dec 9, 2016 2:52 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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Group hug I wish we could all hug you in person. Stay strong.
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Dec 9, 2016 3:28 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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I am so sorry for your loss, Barb. Group hug
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Dec 9, 2016 4:09 PM CST
Name: Judy
Louisiana (Zone 9b)
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Dec 9, 2016 9:05 PM CST
Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
Plant Addict!!
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Barb what a beautiful tribute to the love of your life. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. Group hug Group hug Praying for you Angel
Be a person that makes others feel special.
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Dec 9, 2016 9:23 PM CST
Name: Nora
Castlegar, B. C. Canada (Zone 5b)
Birds Region: United Kingdom Salvias Roses Organic Gardener Irises
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Barb, Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of Steve's passing. He was very fortunate to have your strong love and support. What a warm and loving person he must have been. I'm sure that you will be reconnected on the other side, and perhaps in another lifetime here on Earth. True love is a beacon for all to learn from, as is evident from the outpouring of love from so many people whose lives have been touched by you both.

Thank you for letting us feel this deep and special love.
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Dec 9, 2016 9:50 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
So sorry to hear about your loss.
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
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Dec 9, 2016 11:27 PM CST
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Barb - I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Cancer is a terrible disease. Steve's suffering has ended, but that doesn't change the sadness and aloneness you may feel. I pray that your memories help sustain you and that you find Comfort and peace from those around you who shared your love for your amazing husband. Group hug
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Dec 9, 2016 11:35 PM CST
Name: Vickie
southern Indiana (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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Barb, you have my deepest sympathy. I have no doubt that you and Steve will be reunited one day Group hug
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
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Dec 10, 2016 6:12 AM CST
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

Charter ATP Member Region: Gulf Coast I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Amaryllis Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 2
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So sorry for your loss.
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Dec 10, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Name: Steve Todd
Illinois (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Illinois Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Peace to you, and eternal peace for Steve.

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