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Because of Her

Updated on November 9, 2016
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He wrote for IHPVA magazines and raced these vehicles with his father (who builds them).

“Milly, dear,” he asked. “We’re missing our walk. We got a big day planned today.” Milly didn’t stir. Bernie reached over to rouse her from her sleep.
“Milly, dear,” he asked. “We’re missing our walk. We got a big day planned today.” Milly didn’t stir. Bernie reached over to rouse her from her sleep. | Source

The first ray of light slipped through the blinds and touched Bernie’s face. His eyes fluttered as he started to adjust to the intrusion of light.

He was confused: morning?

This was the first time, in a long time, he woke up after sunrise.

At 90, Bernie was a creature of habit. This was particularly true when it came to his early rituals of walking with his wife, Mildred (or Milly as he affectionately called her). Milly usually woke him up before the crack of dawn. It was what she had done for the last 30 years -- of the 60 years -- they’ve been together.

He sat up in bed, ignoring the aches and pains that age had placed upon him. He peered at Milly. Her eyes were closed as she lay still.

“Milly, dear,” he asked. “We’re missing our walk. We got a big day planned today.”

Milly didn’t stir. Bernie reached over to rouse her from her sleep.

Bernie pulled his hand away. The realization hit him hard, but the tears didn’t flow. Instead, the memories came rushing to the surface of his consciousness.

The first ray of light slipped through the blinds and touched Bernie’s face. His eyes fluttered. He was confused: morning
The first ray of light slipped through the blinds and touched Bernie’s face. His eyes fluttered. He was confused: morning | Source

“Come on Mil…” he shuddered. He had placed his hand on her shoulder, but didn’t feel the warmth of her skin coming through the thin gown she wore. She felt icy cold. He checked for breathing, and then for a pulse on the side of her neck. Nothing.

Something caught his attention; there were several open bottles of medicines on her night-stand. Despite her spry demeanor, Milly's health was declining. She was dependent on them.

Did she take a lethal combination? He shuddered to think.

Bernie pulled his hand away. The realization hit him hard, but the tears didn’t flow. Instead, the memories came rushing to the surface of his consciousness.

It was Milly, he recalled, who started the morning walk rituals. She was concerned about his weight and health so many years ago. So, one day, she forced him out of bed. Since then, Bernie lived like he had never done before.

And, he never fell ill. He was alive, discovering new things on their walks, learning, an d experiencing every sense of joy that the day brought. And it was all because of her that he felt more alive at 90 than at 30 years of age.

What now? He thought as his head sank to his chest. Suddenly, nothing felt important. Facing a new day and the walk simply didn't matter. Nothing appeared to matter for him.Life was...

For a moment, something deflected his hopelessness.He saw the pills, and stared at them, transfixed A small idea festered and became a realization. He what to do. He grabbed them and downed all of it. He lay down next to Milly and waited to join her.

Later that morning, he did.

For a moment, something deflected his hopelessness.He saw the pills, and stared at them, transfixed A small idea festered and became a realization. He what to do. He grabbed them and downed all of it. He lay down next to Milly and waited to join her.
For a moment, something deflected his hopelessness.He saw the pills, and stared at them, transfixed A small idea festered and became a realization. He what to do. He grabbed them and downed all of it. He lay down next to Milly and waited to join her. | Source

© 2015 Dean Traylor

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