Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow everyone! If you have a partner, I hope you take time to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. One event in life can take them, or you, away.
My Valentine Story starts on February 13, 1989.
Rick and I were preparing for open heart surgery on this day. There were so many emotions, so many unanswered questions and so much fear of what was to come next.
Would he survive the surgery? Could it be that we waited so long to be together to have it all end too soon? How would I survive if he didn’t?
Here are a couple short excerpts from “Home At Last.”
“Once the girls were tucked into bed, Luke and Darlina lay on their own bed snuggling close.
“Darlina,” Luke began.
Now, regretting her earlier insistence that he tell her everything, she put her fingers on his lips. “Sh. Let’s not talk anymore tonight. We need to rest.”
“But, I have so much to tell you.”
“Then tell me tomorrow. I just want to lie here beside you and pretend everything is like it was a month ago before all of this started.”
Luke gathered her closer. “I love you, sweetheart.”
A stray tear escaped and she buried her face in the covers. “I love you too, Luke Stone. Never forget that.”
Long after Luke’s breathing steadied into an easy rhythm, Darlina lay awake with thousands of thoughts racing through her head.
How was she going to hold all of this together and be everything for everyone who needed her? She couldn’t allow emotions to get the best of her. She had to keep up a happy positive front for Luke and for the children.
But, what if he didn’t survive the surgery? A gasp caught in her throat. She must not have these thoughts. Surely, he would be okay and they would have many more years together.
She looked over at him in the darkness and branded to memory the familiar silhouette of his face.”
“Darlina stood quietly by as nurses helped him into a hospital gown, inserted an IV, then shaved his left leg and chest.
Her eyes misted as she watched him joke, and make light of the situation. Every time he looked at her, she forced a smile, but it was almost more than she could do.
She watched the clock and as each minute ticked away, her heart pounded so loud she wondered if others could hear it. She wanted to yank that clock off the wall and stop the hands that measured her time with Luke.
Finally, the nurses finished and left the two of them alone.
“Come here.” Luke patted the bed.
Darlina climbed up and stretched out beside him. He stroked her hair and she struggled to hold back the fountain of tears that clogged her throat.
Words were unnecessary. They’d all been said. They held each other tightly, dreading the sound of squeaky footsteps.
All too soon, the curtain parted and the anesthesiologist strode in. Darlina got off the bed, wiped her eyes and watched while he put medicine into the IV that would put Luke to sleep.
She leaned over, kissed him on the forehead and whispered. “I’ll see you soon, my love.””
The good news was that Rick (Luke) did survive the heart surgery and lived another twenty years. Of course, I wouldn’t want to spoil the book for everyone who hasn’t read it. 🙂
In honor of that special day in 1989, I have reduced the price of the “Home At Last” Kindle version starting tomorrow. I hope you’ll pick up a copy if you haven’t already.