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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The End of Days

In late August, Joyce and I returned from a vacation at Disneyland and Oceanside with our kids and grandson. We had a great time while I did research for my third Rick Cantelli, P.I. novel, titled Into the Darkness. We visited The Nite Owl bar with our kids, where Cantelli hangs out in my novels. It was a wonderful trip, but we loved being home again.

A couple days later, Joyce saw blood in her urine with stabbing pains. An emergency room visit later with tests revealed Renal Cell Carcinoma in her left kidney. It shot through her before it could be halted or adequately treated, finally reaching her brain in this past week, stealing away what little mobility she had. She and I had just spent eight days and nights in the hospital with the inevitable torturous journey into our own darkness; but with silly humor, prayer, and holding her in my arms. We shared every moment together in these months past. I had closed my auto shop. Thank God my writing allowed me to do so. She needed me with her, and I needed her more than life itself. I brought her home. Joyce died in my arms on Monday night with her Mom, sisters, and our kids with me.

I wrote this for her on our 37th wedding anniversary this past January. She said it was her favorite one I had done for her.

We don’t talk about love, because we own love.
We don’t turn from trouble, because we own trouble
We don’t need life examples - we are life examples.
We don’t measure our success – we simply succeed.
We don’t seek others’ blessings – we count our own.
We don’t demand respect from others – we earn it.
We don’t cry when denied respect – we settle for fear.
When one of us needs help, we know who’ll be at our side.
When we’re in danger, we know who’ll bring the shotgun.
When danger ends, we know who’ll be at our side burying it.
We don’t waste precious moments trying to turn back time.
We spend what time we have left making precious moments.
Our kids don’t look for backup, because we are backup.
Our friends wonder how we’re still together – we don’t.

I love you with all my heart. Happy Anniversary!

My partner, Joyce Lynn Whitney DeLeo passed on to the Lord on October 13th, 2014. Through the decades we spent together - from the time she stopped me at the Grants store in Warren, Ohio when she was sixteen in 1968, and said, ‘Hi, I’m Joyce Whitney. I live up the street from you’, she had me from that moment on. When trouble and hard times visited us over our many years together, I could count on one thing: when everyone else ran in fear – at my side would be Joyce, fists up, and game face on, feet dug in next to me. I needed nothing else. She is here with me still. My brothers and sisters rightly labeled her Saint Joyce, because she put up with me through the years. Amen to that.