Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Golden Wedding Anniversary

On December 17, 1999 we observed our 50th wedding anniversary at the Winterset club house. Fred and Marilyn directed the celebration inviting friends from the area. It was not a gift occasion but I gave Ellen a gold necklace with the names and dates inscribed. In 2001 I celebrated my 80th birthday. I went to the Senior Center in Lake Wales and made some friends playing Bridge every Thursday. These friendships have continued until today. Fred bought an RV to live in to save motel bills and carry his equipment. He towed my car back and forth from Winter Haven to Blowing Rock. We rode in comfort and safety for two years. We enjoyed the cool temperatures in the mountains and the Florida sunshine in the winter. We did our regular walks together. In 2003 both of us had health problems. I had to have an angioplasti examination for my heart. I escaped the bypass operation because my heart was already beginning its own blood vessels. I was put on medication to control colesterol blockage of blood vessels, to control my blood pressure, and to regulate my heart rhythm. I was put on six month checkups and urged to continue my exercise program. In Ellen's six month check up a growth was found on her uterus. Surgery was required to remove the growth which was not malignant. The operation caused you to lose considerable weight. You were down to 60 pounds. When you recovered you had to use a Walker to keep from falling. The irritable bowel problem got worse. We had to get a portable toilet seat to keep nearby to prevent accidents. Regaining weight was a real problem. Your stomach was small which curbed your appetite. Food seemed to go through without nutition to your body. We tried nutritional supplements which were liquid in form but the problem continued. I had to stay nearby because you were so weak. We invested in an exercise machine which worked for both arms and legs. You were faithful in using it because you could no longer walk. On Thursdays we arranged things so that I could get away and play Bridge with my friends. I had to leave you for short periods of time for my daily exercise and to buy groceries. Besides all your physical problems your depression returned requiring electroshock. It was this that brought your death. After the shock treatment your body did not return to normal. Your organs were not functioning properly. You were put on oxygen to help your lungs. I could tell that you were passing away one organ at a time. You reached the point where you could no longer talk. I brought in pictures of our wedding and the children when they were little. You seemed to look at them with some feeling. In December 2004 very close to our anniversary you passed away. Because of our life styles we both had decided on cremation. I began a garden in Ellen's memory at Eagle Lake Elementary school parking lot since she spent most of her adult life as a Third Grade teacher.