I have been replaying the events of Sunday night and Monday in a seemingly never ending movie loop in my mind. Sometimes in incredibly clear focus other times in a blur of sheer emotional turmoil. In an effort to release the pain and make sense of the senseless, I have decided to write down the events. I have added and deleted more times than I care to admit as I debated often on what parts I can share and which are still too raw, painful, intimate.
I returned to the hospital that Sunday night, I was worried as he had had a rough morning and his pulse had been racing most of the day. His mom and sister went to spend some time with him in the late afternoon as his sister was leaving the next morning to return to Texas, I knew how emotional it would be for C. It has increasingly tugged on his heart that he was far from his family and he expressed often the idea of moving back. So when I went to his room I checked the monitors outside, his pulse was much lower than it had been and his blood oxygen was decently high. I remember being so thankful and relieved and looked forward to finally shaving his face like we had been trying to do for a few days, but one thing or another had prevented that from happening. As I went into his room, I wasn't sure that night would work either.
His breathing was heavy and labored, more so than it had been throughout the past week. He had taken to typing messages instead of talking. In this I am sad, but thankful..... all our last conversations are mine to look over when I want, without the blur of emotional memory. He was concerned and we discussed moving him to the BiPap machine, a heavier duty breathing machine than the High Flow he was currently on. We decided, with the doctor's advice that we would watch and wait since his numbers were okay. As we got ready to go to sleep, Clint admitted he was scared and asked to hold my hand, so as we fell asleep that night we did so holding hands. When I woke up two hours later I looked at the monitor, I am not sure what woke me but as I looked up his numbers had gone crazy again, his breathing was still labored, and he just couldn't catch his breath. We decided to move him to the BiPap machine and after getting it situated on his face, he and I went back to holding hands and fell back asleep.
We woke up to the doctor standing there Monday morning...... still holding hands...... he spoke with us about the machine and how C was doing with it. I went outside to speak with him further as I had taken to doing, the doctors weren't very optimistic and while C knew that, he didn't need to hear all the numbers and details. While I was outside his room, I received a text from him. His breathing had again become labored, even on the machine...... C felt like this was it, he was in pain, exhausted and scared. I immediately made arrangements to get the girls there, as C requested, so that he could give them one last hug, though he wasn't sure he could hold on long enough to do so. I then called his sister who was en route to the airport to head home to let her know of the turn of events. She and C's mom decided to turn around and come back to the hospital.
As I made arrangements to increase C's pain medicine, he was texting me furiously trying to get out the thoughts before he couldn't anymore..... maybe one day I will share those, but not today..... let's just say, I know exactly how much he loved me and our girls. The girls arrived at the hospital, gave their daddy hugs, trying to be careful not to wake him. A wonderful friend took them home with her and treated them to a day of fun, not knowing what that day was sure to bring.
That afternoon, shortly after C's brother also made it to the hospital, surrounded by family and our love, he took his last breath. I was still holding his hand.
There is much, much more to that day, I have to admit that I struggle with much that went on. I know in my heart that all decisions made were the ones he wanted, I know that I loved him through the fear and the pain, and I know he fought to not leave us........