12 years ago today on April 12, 1999, Joe left this plane. It had been a long week since the doctor had told me there was nothing more which could be done. I had fallen asleep next to him on the bed. Norma and Anita were keeping watch. Joe was Norma’s only son and it was very difficult for her. She had lost Joe’s dad, the love of her life when he was the same age as Joe.

In my sleep, the dream was very peaceful. Joe and I seemed to be having a telepathic conversation and he was happy and healthy again. Just as the dream ended, Anita nudged me to tell me that the end was coming and within seconds he had passed. In that short time of sleep I understood that he was ready to go.

I only remember two times during the 14 years we were married that I was ever angry (for lack of a better word) with him and both times Kicker was with him. Both times they were doing stupid stuff after having too much to drink. Good thing for him, years passed between those times because I have never had much patience with people who drink too much. If I had met him in his younger days, I am sure we would have had nothing in common as he was too wild for me. I only ever saw him angry with work or children. At work it was because he had grown managers who behaved like children and at home it was because the children were behaving like spoiled brats.

He had a grand sense of humor and was the life of any party. We finished each others sentences and when we had discussions with our children, one of us would start and the other would pickup mid-sentence and never miss a beat. This would make them so angry!

We had conversations without saying a word and very often the silent conversation would end with one or the other of us speaking aloud confirming that we had just been thinking the same thing. One evening before Bill became ill we were sitting in the living room, each of us thinking about how good things were and at almost the same time we started to speak. Each of us saying aloud our feeling that things were too good and wondering when the other shoe would drop and the peace would be disturbed. I think this was the moment that we both knew something was coming that we would never have expected.

Joe was a motorcycle man and I always feared that he would die in a motorcycle accident caused by carelessness on his part or of one of his friends. There was something about those men getting together that turned them into irresponsible adolescents. Cancer was second on the list but it was the “gotcha” that took him.

He still visits me in dreams and they seem so real. Many times I awaken from the dream feeling like he was just there. Other times, he is there but always just out of reach. I take this to mean that he is always there, just out or reach but watching and guiding me just the same.

We love and miss you!

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