Midi: Put Your Hand In The Hand
Shirley's World Of Favorite Midi Music

March, 1984 He came home after 6 weeks of treatments. His neck was jet black from the radiation and the tumor was still big. He was stone sober when he got home, but he was fighting with Chantal & Jacques because they were 10 minutes late doing chores. When he raised his fist to Jacques, I put my body in between them, as usual. Did I get it that day. The phone was gone from the wall again and I was down in a corner in the kitchen. Tania (9) was hiding under the kitchen table and the other kids were trying to defend me. I was bleeding but didn't know where from. I told the kids to go down the road to some friend's house and call the cops. Chantal had an old car and had just started driving. She and the other 2 kids left for our friend's house, an old couple we had met at AA meetings.

He got in his car and I heard him squealing his tires and I thought he was going to the bar. When I seen him going the opposite direction I figured where he was going, after the kids. I got up off the floor and got in my pickup truck and went after them. I was bleeding and crying and could barely see where I was going. I was sure to find both their cars in a field somewhere and all my kids dead. I saw him turning in my friend's driveway and by the time I pulled in, he had Chantal's door open and was beating her up. Jacques got out and went around to the other door and was smashing him in the door to try to get him off of his sister. Gaston grabbed him and was slamming him against a cement wall. My door on the driver's side didn't open and it seemed like it took me forever to get out. My friends came out and he took off. I went in and called the sheriff's office and told them to go pick him up at the bar. They came over to my friend's house to get my report and they told me to wait for a while so he could calm down, then for us to go back home.

We waited about an hour, then I went to see if he was gone, and he wasn't home. I went and told the kids that the coast was clear. We all came home, hoping he'd be in a better mood when he came back. About 15 minutes after we got home, he pulled in. We were all sitting at the kitchen table. We could see how mad he was, before he came in the house. I told the kids "let's all play cards and not pay attention to him". He got his clipboard out and wrote down "you f----- b---- you called the cops again. I never said a word, but I was very scared of him. He grabbed an old metal typewriter and threw it at me, then took off again. We went uptown and called the cops and told them they better pick him up this time.

They picked him up at the bar, he started having trouble breathing, so the deputies called an ambulance. They took him to the hospital and the attending physician called me. He wanted to know what his problem was, because there was nothing wrong with him. I told him the whole story and he admitted him in the psychiatric ward. He spent 30 days there.

1984- He had a sore on his tumor and it was getting bigger. We asked his doctor and he said it was due to too much radiation. After a few weeks, the sore was bigger than a quarter.

Gaston and I were watching the 11 o'clock news one night, and we happened to see my ex (André) all scratched up, just sitting in a hotel lobby. Since Sandy divorced him months earlier, we didn't hear from him very often. The Red Cross was asking the public if anyone knew that man. He was disoriented and his apartment building had completely burned down. He needed a place to stay. Gaston told me to call the Red Cross, and go pick him up. When we got there, we found out he couldn't walk. They said he'd been that way since the fire.

I took him to the hospital and they kept him overnight. The diagnosis was broken blood vessels in the brain from years of drinking. We took him home with us the next day. He would try and get up, but he would lose his balance and start going backwards. His legs wouldn't do what he wanted them to do. Gaston or my son would help him to the bathroom.

He had epileptic seizures if he didn't drink booze for 3-4 days. He was a heavy smoker and we had to watch him all the time, or I would hide his cigarettes if we had to leave him alone. He was responsible for the fire at the apartment building that cost a lady her life. He was also responsible for another building burning down a few months earlier.

1984- Gaston came home from the bar one day and he looked real scared. I couldn't understand what he was trying to tell me. His sore on his neck was bleeding. I took him to his doctor right away. The doctor said it was blood vessels breaking and he showed me how to stop them from bleeding. He also said he had gangrene and that eventually, the artery would rupture and there was nothing to do about it. He said when it ruptured, he would die right away. After that, he would be so scared, he'd come home from the bars every few hours for me to change his bandages. He was really nasty too, he'd give me the middle finger right in my nose while I was changing the bandages.

June, 1984- My oldest daughter Chantal graduated from Gibsonburg High School. She left home and went to work in southern Ohio.

1984- The gangrene had eaten so much of his neck, I could see the carotid artery. It was not a sore anymore, it was just a big hole with just the neck bone and the artery just sitting there by itself. I couldn't stand looking at it. It was gross looking. He wouldn't look at it and I wouldn't tell him, but I knew it wouldn't be long before it ruptured.

I was so afraid to fall asleep, and wake up next to a cold, stiff body, I would try to lay as far away from him as I could. He would make a fit if I didn't sleep with him but after he was asleep, I would sneak out of bed and stay up as long as I could. I would make a lot of noise in the morning to wake him up so I didn't have to touch him to see if he was still alive. He'd get mad, but I was used to that.

We went to our usual shows that month. He would sleep in the van by himself and every morning, that he wasn't up by 9:00, I was so scared to find him dead. The smell of the gangrene was real bad and it attracted flies.

Towards the end of July, we went to exhibit at Lucas County Fair in Toledo, with 28 goats. After the show was over, a local TV station filmed the Grand Champion Dairy Goat winner. Of course he enjoyed holding the champion.

We'd been showing the goats all day, and we were very tired and hungry. I gave Tania the few dollars I had left to get some french fries to eat, while I cooked some hamburgers. Gaston had been taking three times the dosage of pain killers and drinking too. He came out of the van and asked me for money, he was out of beer. I told him I didn't have any. When he saw Tania coming with her french fries, he made such a fit, a friend of mine gave him $5.00 to calm him down. He flipped Tania off and left to go get beer.

When the 6 o'clock news came on, I went to the van to ask him if he wanted to come and watch it. He said he'd watch it at 11:00.

July 30, 1984- A few hours later, he came running in the barn, holding a towel. The look in his eyes I will never forget. He was as white as a sheet and his white show clothes were not white anymore, they were all red. He passed right in front of the first aid building to get to me. He handed me the towel and I could see he was trying to say "help me". Since he had a laryngectomy done (removal of the larynx or voice box), the blood was pumping out of the artery directly in his lungs, via the orifice in his lower part of the neck, that he was breathing out of. He was drowning in his own blood. He was coughing it back up all over me and the barn walls. I was yelling at people to find Tania and keep her out of there. I dragged him to the first aid station and he collapsed in my arms. There were people all around us, I heard someone say that I stabbed my husband in the neck. He was done bleeding by then, I think his heart pumped all of his blood out. The paramedics started cutting out his clothes and I was crying so hard, I could not say one word to them. All I could do was push them away. I knew it was over, I was expecting it but I guess I wasn't prepared for it. I knew I couldn't do anything for him but I was still holding that towel over the hole. I couldn't stand watching him drown in his own blood.

By the time the ambulance got there, I finally told them what was wrong. His heart was still beating when they got to the hospital. They called my kids to come and the doctor told me that the only vital organ still going was his heart, if we wanted to see him one last time, we better hurry, because his heart couldn't beat much longer. It kept beating for 3 more hours. He never got to see the 11 o'clock news.

August 2, 1984- Since he was raised catholic, I asked a friend that was a Catholic Deacon to give the services. None of his bar buddies showed up to visit him or to the services. In the middle of a goodbye prayer, we heard a strong roar of thunder and a flash of lightning cut off the power to the whole village of Gibsonburg. The 20 or so friends of mine and a few of our friends from AA that attended were all holding on to each other. The power stayed out through the whole service.

The thunder and lightning had stopped, but it was still raining as we walked to the cemetery. You may not believe this, but as they lowered the body in his final resting place, the sun came out and the most beautiful dark rainbow covered the east side of the sky.

Last time edited: September 20, 2000

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