Fifty-eight years, eight months and twenty-one days after that first, “I do” Rodney Wilson drops to the floor with a “catastrophic brain hemorrhage.”
About mid-afternoon the next day the nurse says, “I expect his heart rate and blood pressure to spike and then plummet.” This doesn’t register so I am shocked when it rapidly happens.
The doctor arrives and declares the death at 8:45pm, June 5, 2011. I struggle to maintain a calm demeanor, but remain in a state of numb shock. My physical, mental and emotional realities switches off.
Planning, notifying and receiving condolences fill the next few days. Timing for the Memorial Service becomes a question. The scheduling mustn’t be on his granddaughter, Nora’s birthday. Finally, the things that must be done are done.
I discern that through the fog my memory buttons are turned off. The only recovery option for that is to pick up pencil and paper and write. An unused journal book from my desk begins to fill with all that I hope to remember later.
Sometime this fall I expect to publish Zero Meridian, Five Degrees North. This story of Rodney’s life he intended to write himself. My journals, his desk drawer full of speeches, news articles, interviews, and random notes furnish the episodes of this story.