Posted by Todd's wife, stephanie. on December 07, 2001 at 00:47:16:
To my Beloved Husband Todd~
who left this earth on June 19th 2001.
seventeen days before our twin girls were born.
i love you, i miss you forever my husband.
i can't wait to see you again.
come in to my dreams.
i'll be waiting for you.
i know you were with our twin daughters in Heaven before they came to live with me on this earth seventeen days later.
i know you visit them & take care of them in their dreams.
thank you for choosing to spend the rest of your life with me.
thank you for the last 9-1/2 years of my life.
thank you for our beautiful wedding in Maui.
thank you for always sounding so happy to hear from me when i would call you at your desk.
thank you for always calling to wake me up in the morning.
i miss your eyes.
i miss your face.
i miss your laugh.
i miss your voice.
i miss the way you say my name.
no one says it the way you do.
i miss the funny way you dance, and the funny songs you would sing.
i miss the annoying things you do.
i miss you calling me your "crab".
i miss your perfect lips.
i miss the way you look in your clothes.
i miss the smell of your cologne.
i miss watching you comb your hair.
i miss driving in the country.
i miss you making sure that i ate.
thank you for feeding me for the first time in my life.
thank you for taking such good care of me.
thank you for always buying me flowers.
thank you for our new car.
thank you for finding our house eight years ago.
thank you for wanting to remodel it.
thank you for not leaving until it was almost complete.
thank you for landscaping our backyard last summer.
thank you for not making it be up to me, of when to let you go.
thank you for waiting until everyone that you loved, and that loved you to be there to witness your transition from the old world to the new.
did you see all the people from the picu at your sliding door?
did you see me look up towards Heaven to try to see your face?
did i look into your new face & your new eyes?
did you see me?
did you cry?
did you say "i'm sorry... i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry...."
remember... that's what i told you on monday, the 4th...
that i had the feeling you would say that to me.
"what am i supposed to do if something happens to you Todd?"
and you said,
"well... i'm sure you could find someone else...."
oh Todd. i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry.
we were too late.
all this work for our family.
all the years, and all the money.
and we were too late.
do you hear them cry?
do you try to comfort them?
what will they do without having you truly & physically in their lives?
if only you could have stayed better for just a while longer.
if only we had been successful earlier.
but this was God's plan.
they were created on your birthday.
that was His gift to us.
and twins Todd.
you always knew we would have twins.
and for God not to have blessed any of our other prayers, for Him to grant us that wish.
i know there is a reason.
i know this was meant to happen.
i know this was our fate.
from the moment of our creation.
we were meant to be together.
we were meant to become one.
you stayed just long enough to become a "father-to-be".
your mom said that made you so happy.
liz said that she is glad that you... that we had something happy to look forward to for after your surgery.
that's why your doctors wanted you to have it now, remember?
for you to be healed & well for when i "needed you".
you weren't there.
i know that made you feel so bad.
you weren't there for the last two times that i really truly needed you.
i'm sorry. i'm sorry.
did i do good for when you finally left?
did i make it special for you?
did you see us all there?
matt & kamela, brent & kim, your parents, sven, richie, liz, phyllis, tim...
did you hear the music that i played for you after you left?
our wedding songs...
"we are in love", "stars", "recipe for love", "kiss from a rose"...
"here with me", and "wedding song"?
did you hear me sing to you?
did you feel me laying my head on your chest?
did you hear me when i said
"you're not in flutter anymore babe...."
did you hear everything that i told you?
"no resentment. no regrets. i would do it all over again."
"you're my best friend Todd. my best friend."
do you remember when you first went back to sleep again and i told you that i wanted to renew our vows at the party that we were going to have when you came home & were better?
did you really see Jesus?
i know you did.
it was too real.
you never talked like that Todd, and we only ever talked about God.
do you remember when i told you what He said to you?
do you know that i left out the part about when you told me He told you that "the days were already here..."?
i was too afraid to tell you that part Todd.
i knew what that meant.
it scared me.
what else could it have meant.
and you saw Him only two weeks after your surgery...
and you left six weeks later.
thank you for getting better for me for four weeks.
thank you for being with me for just a little longer, before you fell asleep again, before you left me.
i'm sorry you were so sad that granny passed away on the 2nd.
i'm sorry that we couldn't have been there.
i'm sorry that i didn't want to go visit before your surgery.
i'm sorry i couldn't swallow my pride.
i can't believe that she let you go with her.
i thought for sure that she would have fought for you to stay with me & our girls.
you two had such funny conversations on the phone about our pregnancy.
little did both of you know that you would see each other again sooner than either of you thought.
i know that's why ja'deed left last year...
so she could be in Heaven waiting for you.
you missed her so much.
i know you are playing rough with her, and she is so happy to live with you again.
i know you are pushing her on a rollie chair down a hallway, and she is meowing so happily.
did you send the grey kitten to see me at liz's in october?
you know she looked just like ja'deed when she was a kitten.
i made scott take two pictures.
they did turn out.
i'm so happy you sent her to see me.
i would have clepto'd her you know... :)
"no honey.. you CANNOT have 20 cats!"
i always told you i'd end up being the crazy woman on the corner with her million cats :)
did you watch over molakai in october as well?
did you hear me scream for you?
did she really see & feel you for a few minutes?
she went completely limp, and she did her "i'm leaving" meow.
i was so scared Todd, i couldn't believe that you would take her so soon.
so soon after you left me.
did you like your service?
wasn't the church beautiful?
and there was your "flying Jesus" Todd.
did you see Him?
do you remember driving by that church just last christmas when we went looking for christmas lights?
and we looked at the church with all those people outside, and wondering what was going on there that nite.
i know you wanted to be buried Todd.
but i wanted you with me always.
and you had said that you wanted to keep your ring, but after wearing it for you for those two months in the hospital, i want to wear it forever.
i know you weren't afraid, not like you were when we kindof talked about it a couple years ago.
do you like your new home?
i said "well babe, i don't know if you like dolphins... but you love the ocean."
you have slept with me on our bed every nite, up until last month, and now you are sleeping in our girls' room.
do you remember at the end of july when i took their pictures with you?
it was very sad.
i put the pictures in the "Daddy's girl" frames that i got at one of their baby showers.
were you at larry & yesi's wedding last saturday?
finally they got married.
you made them play our song didn't you.
as i was leaving?
they played "Stars" from Simply Red...
i said, "this is one of our wedding songs, i have to go"
i was there for 4 hours already, so maybe that was your way of letting me escape :)
and guess what?
they have been going to see our i.f. doctor since 1999!!
i think larry is very sad about that.
yesi has had 4 miscarriages, she is optimistic though.
like you were.
but when larry has seen our girls, he won't look at them.
i don't know if it's b/c they are YOUR daughters, or b/c of the fact that they can't conceive.
i'm sorry for all the termoil i caused with all of that the last four years.
i was better after we were pregnant though, wasn't i?
remember i asked you that, and you said "yeah! you are!!" :)
did you hear the music as i had it turned up while you were leaving?
and you left during "Future Love Paradise"...
did you hear it again when i played it for you at the church at the end of your service?
did you hear all of those songs i played for you as you were leaving me?
i can't believe you left me.
you left me Todd.
you're not here with me.
i will never gaze in to your eyes again.
i will never kiss your lips.
i will never lay my head on your chest and listen to your strong heart beating.
it blessed you with life for 33 years Todd.
that's a long time with someone with your defect, you know.
you are such a lucky boy Todd.
God looked over you so well.
you are the strongest person i have ever known.
i know you said that you don't feel very strong.
but you are.
to have lived through everything in your life.
and to have loved your life, and to have wanted to do it all again.
you are a hero Todd.
you are a hero to so many people
people that you don't even know.
and people who didn't know you very well.
and people you had lost touch with.
remember how you were always afraid that no one would remember you?
i've made sure that no one will.
remember how we always thought no one ever thought about us.
well, they do.
i have had so many people tell me that we have changed their lives.
You have a purpose Todd.
You have a legacy.
did you see dr.rice beside you crying when you left?
i think dr.mack was there too.
i remember looking into your eyes that monday the 18th, after your brother & grandpa left to go back to idaho..
your pupils were fixed.
one was bigger than the other.
did you hear me say,
"michele- look at his eyes! look at his fucking eyes!"
you couldn't breathe Todd.
what did you feel.
were you scared?
were you trying to tell someone?
were you screaming so loud but we couldn't hear you?
they tried to change the tube as quickly as they could.
they called in the specialist.
they came running down the hall.
did you see them Todd.
did you see all the peole that they had been working on you.
you had such a good weekend...
you were almost off your ventilator, and your blood pressure meds were finally being weened down again.
your nitric was being turned down...
the 7th of june...
you almost left.
everyone was in there, breathing for you.
yelling at you.
do you remember me being at your head for those two hours talking to you?
telling you who was protecting you, and what to say?
do you remember that monday nite before you left, susan & her pastor & the other lady coming to pray over you?
they annointed you with oil in the form of a cross on your forehead.
they read to you from the bible.
they chanted and laid their hands on you.
they annointed me with oil too.
and hugged me, and chanted.
did you feel every procedure that they did on you those two months?
but i had to let them do anything they could.
i wasn't going to let them do nothing.
that's why it was easier when you were asleep.
i made all the decisions.
you fought them when you were awake.
"cooperation babe. remember? cooperation."
i know you were tired.
i know you hurt.
i know you were tired of being poked when they couldn't find a vein.
i know you hated dialysis.
but it wasn't going to be forever Todd.
and it worked the first time, remember when you were SO happy when it was your last time to have it?
i know you hated your tube feedings.
i know that's what made you so sick that you couldn't eat.
i know all the pills that they had you taking were just making everything worse.
i'm sorry you aspirated.
you hyperventilated afterwards.
i know you were scared.
remember when you asked me to call your mom?
and asked her to come up?
it was 5:30 in the morning.
and everyone came up.
your parents, your brothers, and brent's wife, and the kids.
i'm glad holly & brandee got to see you.
i'm sorry that j.d. only got to see you when you were asleep.
i'm sorry that pa only got to see you asleep too.
but i'm glad that michael got to see you awake.
and i'm glad that mark got to see you awake too.
remember when rick & patty came in to see you the morning you left?
you know how much he hates hospitals Todd.
he just had to see you.
he looked so scared.
remember when you talked on the phone when you were "well", and he told you that he loved you?
that warmed your heart.
you couldn't believe that he told you that.
remember darlene coming to see you when you were asleep the second time?
remember when she would call & i would put the phone up to your ear so she could talk to you?
she loves you too.
remember when you had to be reintubated after your refenestration on Tuesday, the 5th?
you wrote me a note asking how long, and you wrote "short time",
and i said, "yes, just for a short time, just so you can get some sleep."
and you nodded.
remember when i always asked if you were going to get better, and you were going to be ok & be healed?
remember that you ALWAYS nodded your head "yes", even when you were sedated?
and you always told me yes when you were awake?
remember when you shrugged your shoulders when i asked you that very same question after you were reintubated.
and i said "what do you mean, 'you don't know'?! Todd, you always tell me 'yes'!" and laughed...
that was the last contact i got from you.
that was wednesday, the 6th of june.
remember earlier in the day on Tuesday the 5th, when you first came back from the refenestration, and you wrote me a note asking me to help you take the tube out??
i laughed, and said "no... i won't help you take it out silly!"
and you looked at me, like "oh, come on... help me!"
then they asked if you wanted the tube out, and you nodded your head yes, and they said "ok buddy!" and they took it out?
then you got to have ice chips and a little soda... but not as much as you wanted. :)
and you got mad at me, b/c i was making you obey the rules.
remember when you could walk?
remember when i helped you to your bathroom?
remember me helping you?
i didn't mind.
all the chest tubes, and the oxygen tubes, and the medication poles & pumps.
i didn't mind.
i told you that you were giving me good practice for when our babies were born.
do you remember?
remember when i said, "look babe.. i'm wiping my husband's butt :)"
i know it was weird, but, you are my Husband.
don't be embarrassed.
you just said, "yep" and kissed me bashfully.
remember when you looked at me, and took my hand, and said "i love you...."
and i asked why,
and you said, "i just love you."
remember when i showed you our wedding pictures, and you shook your head, and i asked what was wrong, and you said, "i'm afraid i'll never be that person again."
remember when dr.burch came in to see you before i left you?
"oh buddy... i'm so sorry."
he loved you so much.
i know he feels so bad that i lost you.
i think he may feel a little guilty too.
you counted on him so much.
and i'm glad that he was able to come & give you pep talks while we were in the adult units.
remember when liz came to visit us?
the day before your refenestration?
she said that you looked so sick, but that you were so cute.
she said that she's so glad that she got the chance to see you.
she feels so bad that you aren't here.
"just one day. why couldn't he have been here just one day to hold his babies..."
remember when i gave you orange soda on the pink sponge?
before you got excubated on the 5th?
remember a couple nites before your refenestration when you had the hamburger & the large rootbeer?
you said it was the best rootbeer you've ever had.
you said that you wish you could just drink it so fast.
that you were so thirsty.
but you'd get an ice cream headache, and you weren't supposed to drink alot anyway.
remember when mark walked in after you had left?
he almost fell to the floor Todd.
it was the saddest thing.
he just wept.
you were his best friend for a long time.
you had alot of happy times together.
he lived with us for "just a couple months..." which turned out to be three & a half years!
remember when he threw up in the back of your truck the nite you all went out, before we met.
remember our first date.
remember when you kissed me for the first time, and you made my toes curl.
you looked at me with those eyes.
those hazel eyes.
i miss your eyes Todd.
remember when larry came to see you before dr.burch?
he rubbed his face and cried and just looked at you laying there.
remember when dr.burch was about to leave, and he kissed his hand, and rubbed it on your forehead.
did he tell you he loved you?
did he thank you?
i don't remember now.
i'm sorry i cut your hair Todd...
did you hear me apologize to you?
do you remember us trying to do your handprints?
did you hear me complain and say that it's not turning out the way i wanted?
i wanted the lines on your hands.
i wanted your prints.
i wanted them to roll in the copy machine and do it that way.
did you see the wood box they gave your mom & i to put your handprints & hair in?
i took the blankets that your head rested on, and your i.d. bracelets.
i ran my hands over your body.
your tummy was still warm.
do you remember when i put your hands on me so you could feel your babies moving?
i hope you felt them.
your infiltration on your arm was almost healed up.
i told you not to pick on that in-grown hair, didn't i! :)
you couldn't believe that that's what it was from.
your split finger was healed up too.
how many years was it like that?
did you see sven taking pictures?
he said that those were the hardest pictures he's ever taken.
did you see the other ones?
the ones that i took of you.
did you hear me say that you looked like Jesus?
did you like your beard?
it was really red, hu? :)
and yes Todd, it was really soft too.
everyone kept offering to shave it for you, but i said "no" that you've always wanted to see how long it could get, so this was "your time".
but when you came home, it'd be gone! :)
was that you in two of my dreams...
when you were standing behind me...
you were gone, and i always know that.
but you were standing behind me, with your arms folded, just looking at me.
there ahead of me, was someone who looked just like you.
bigger, taller, but exactly like you.
like maybe you might have looked if you hadn't been born with your heart defect.
i went running to him, calling your name.
and when i caught up with him, he turned around and looked and me, confused.
i knew it wasn't you, but i had to.
i think i apologized.
i turned around, and you were still where you had been standing.
with your arms folded.
looking at me.
with a very faint smile on your face.
just looking at me.
with those eyes.
was that you in my dream, where you were gone, and someone that looked just like you was my friend, and wanted to take care of me, b/c you felt sorry for me, and you had me wrapped in your left arm, rocking me back & forth.
and in your other arm was a hispanic girl who you were professing your love to.
it didn't hurt my feelings, or make me sad, b/c i knew this wasn't you.
so i closed my eyes, and pretended that this was you.
holding me, & rocking me from side to side.
and i thought, maybe someday, you wouldn't love this other girl, and maybe we could be together.
remember how afraid of dying i have always been?
sometimes not even wanting to leave our house.
well, i'm not afraid anymore.
i know that when it's my time, that you will come & get me, and i will be so happy to see you again.
i miss you so much.
sometimes i can't believe that this finally happened.
you finally left me.
i just can't believe it.
it was inevidible, i know, but still..
it finally happened.
remember on wednesday the 18th, the nite before your surgery.
we spent the day on the hill, meeting the doctors, and taking the tour of the picu.
remember me starting to cry in the cafeteria, you smiled and said, "it's going to be ok, steph."
remember all the errandds we did afterwards-
went to the spaghetti factory, and you finally ordered the pesto dressing, and we got bleu cheese anyway!
and going to barnes & noble, and to winco to buy the last of my groceries, for when i was going to be home "in a couple days".
remember coming home, and i was so tired b/c we were 5 months pregnant, and i wanted you to come to bed with me, but you wanted to clean the house & do the bills.
i finally said, "i want to spend some quality time with my husband!"
and when you finally came to bed, i cried and you put your arms around me & told me that you were going to be ok, and you promised me.
you promised me Todd.
you told me that you were going to be ok.
remember when i called home, so you could talk to the cats over the phone speaker, and you heard a crash?
the bewildered look on your face Todd.
it was funny.
i told you it was ok.
i made you pick who your favorite cat was...
you felt guilty.
you love them all.
but you picked 'spooky'.
"Poody buddy... ready to go to bed bud? ready to go to bed? come on... let's go to bed bud."
he loved you the most too.
he lays beside you.
he misses you.
remember playing "million questions", and i would ask you about anything & everything?
and i would show you pictures of our cats over & over & make you tell me who they are.
remember when i always played Chris Isaak for you...
and when you were finally awake, you asked if i could change the cd, and i said "no, you don't understand..."
remember the delusions you had?
the pee dripping from the ceiling, the "poop" on the walls, the potatoes growing on the curtains.
remember when you saw the rainbows on the ceiling?
remember when you said you went down to the car to get your sweats b/c you were leaving & going home?
remember when you yanked out your g.i. tube b/c it was getting in your way when you were "running through the house & fell in the fireplace" when you were a spy?
remember how the hospital was always a house, and downstairs was the most disgusting place you have ever seen, and you wanted to go "upstairs where everybody else was"?
remember when you always thought they were having parties at the nurses station outside your room?
remember when the phone would ring, and you'd go "helloooo?" and every one thought you were crazy, but they didn't understand that that's just us, we did that in real life.
remember when you woke up and you didn't know i was your wife?
i looked like your wife, but i wasn't your wife.
and one time when i said that i would kiss you if your lips were healed, and you said "i can't kiss you, i'm married"?
and i asked what your wife's name was, and you said "stephanie", and i asked what my name was, and you said "stephanie. but you're not my wife. you look like my wife, but you're not my wife."
and then the time i asked who i was, and you said "liz?"
remember when i finally had you trained, and i would ask you who i was & what i was to you, and you'd say "stephanie. you're my wife."
and other times, i was your "barmaid", and your "waitress"?
remember when you thought the crash cart was a sushi stand?
remember when you thought the "panda gurny" was a fruit stand?
you told me a month before, that "this is why God is making all of this happen now... we'll have our kids, and i'll be done with my surgery... and this will last me another 30 years! by then, i'll be an old man."
you were so confident.
you are always so optimistic.
you *knew* that you would be ok.
b/c you always have been in the past.
remember walking to the hospital doors thursday morning, and i stopped and started to cry again, and you said,
"don't start now steph, it's going to be fine. everything's going to be ok."
and, "i'll love you tomorrow"
and i said, "what is that supposed to mean?"
and you said, "i'll love you on friday."
remember when we went to the beach for the last time on Easter Sunday, four days before your surgery?
we got ice cream, and you got a mocha, and they ripped you off by $10?
did we go in & have pizza?
i'm just remembering that... did we?
or was that another time?
we walked on the sand, and we were both so tired.
i didn't want to be at cannon beach, so we drove to indian beach, and we took those last four pictures.
our only pictures of us pregnant.
our only pictures of us as a family.
i remember trying to make myself not think "is this the last time we will be here?"
and it was.
ofcourse you do.
i just feel like i need to write it.
b/c i know you can hear me,
and i know you can see everything i'm writing.
and i know you can feel what i'm feeling.
i miss our life Todd.
i miss the stupid arguments.
you said that when we finally did have our kids, that you were sure that i'd find something else to bitch about :)
i told you "no, b/c i would finally have everything that i never thought i would ever have-
and a family.
that those were the most important things in life,
and they are the reason for life.
and our girls were created on your birthday Todd.
everyone says that makena looks just like you.
do you hear them when they say that?
and that aisha looks just like me.
we finally got our "aisha makena" Todd.
we just had to divide them in to two separate names.
i know you liked "aisha makena" together, but how many people's middle names do you know?
do you like their middle names?
i had to have your name in there, "Todd".
and KayLynn is for your mom & for me.
and Elizabeth is for both liz's.
i know liz is taking care of you in Heaven.
probably driving you a little nuts?
and telling you, "you know Todd, i always told Stephanie that you would have your children soon... i was right."
you always thought it was so incredibite that i met our new liz on the internet.
"out of all the people in the whole world you could meet, you meet someone from ((one town over)). that's incredible!"
and you would shake your head in disbelief.
did you see ronnie when he came up to see you after we had all left?
he felt too bad that he missed us.
they asked him if he would like to say goodbye...
but you know him, he gets so nervous.
i told him to please not feel guilty for that, that you know he came to see you, and that makes you so happy.
he's always worried so much about you over all these years.
i know it would scare him all the times you'd be in the hospital.
i love you.
and i miss you so much.
thank you for being in my life.
thank you for choosing me.
thank you for loving me.
for once in my life, i felt loved & cared for.
you fed me, you clothed me, you gave me shelter, you have me nice things.
you "((said)) it in other ways"
~*~ Todd E. N. T. ~*~
Friday, November 17th, 1967 - Tuesday, June 19th, 2001
first date was on Saturday, January 18th, 1992;
married on Saturday, January 18th, 1997 in Maui, Hawaii;
twin daughters born on Friday, July 6th, 2001
born with a three chamber heart defect;
had the "modified" Fontan surgery at the mayo clinic in minnesota on Wednesday, March 17th, 1982. St.Patrick's Day;
"updated" Fontan at doernbecher children's hospital in portland, oregon on Thursday, April 19th, 2001.
love to you all ~
Todd's wife, stephanie.
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