One Year Later…

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Last February 11, one day after losing his mother, my husband suffered a heart attack. I wrote about it in an earlier post and feel a need to revisit the past year on the anniversary of that traumatic time.

It is difficult to describe the emotional roller coaster we have ridden during the past twelve months. Of course, there was enormous joy when Larry survived and relief when we learned his heart was undamaged. I threw myself into revamping our diet – mostly cutting down on salt and further eliminating processed foods.  Larry entered cardiac rehab to regain his strength while under medical supervision. Our moods improved as did our blood chemistry.

But there were hard times as well. In retrospect, I realize that I suffered some moderate PTSD, much more than did Larry. Every Friday as the clock approached 3:30 I would relive the scene of our small house suddenly filled with firefighters and paramedics, the ambulance ride to the ER and the wait outside the cardiac catheterization unit, where I willed my husband’s survival. When Larry gradually resumed his Friday tennis, I felt unable to leave the house during his game. (We live across the street from the public court.) It seemed I would never resume my visits to the neighborhood farmers market, because I felt I had to watch over him after his match. I’m certain my “hovering” must have driven Larry crazy.

To this day, my heart leaps when I hear or see Engine 8 race through the neighborhood. I still get teary-eyed when we run into “our” crew in the grocery store or local coffee shop. Our bond with those life-savers is tight, and there have been several visits to the nearby station to drop off brownies or a Starbucks card for the team.

Last summer, we took a road trip north and visited friends in Napa and Marin. I will never forget being greeted by Mary and how she told me of the death – by heart attack – of a well-known food blogger’s husband. When I met Jennifer at an event last fall, all I could think of was the unfairness that my husband, quite senior to hers, had survived while hers had not. She was left with two young children as well.

So we are  quietly celebrating this weekend, saying to one another, as we try to do each day, “We are so lucky”.  I’m doing my best to push lingering fears aside and mark today as a gift, a treasure. And I’m praying for another, and another, and another…

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30 Responses to One Year Later…

  1. Don Rudesill February 11, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Glad Larry is doing better. hope I see you at next Farmers Market.

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Hey, Don – thanks for visiting – I go to the market early every Wed. because I have yoga at 4:00 – will look for you.

  2. Jayne February 11, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Gosh Liz, what an emotional read! It was such a horrible experience for you, natural for you to feel its effects long after. Im sure your “hovering” was appreciated as true love! What a difference a year makes! Although I want to cry reading this I am just so very happy to see that picture of Larry, looking even more handsome than the last picture I saw!! Hugs to you both and I will be joining you from across the miles in your celebration!

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      You are such a supportive friend, my pal I have yet to meet face to face!

  3. Carol Sacks February 11, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Liz, I’m teary as I type. Best wishes to you and Larry. How fortunate you are to have each other and all of that love.

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks, Carol, it is starting out to be a teary day. I think I need to bake the pie for tonight’s little gathering. Being in the kitchen always lifts my spirits.

  4. Cathy February 11, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Lovely post Liz. So glad all is well.

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      Thanks, Cathy, hope you all are enjoying the conference and NYC.

  5. The Wimpy Vegetarian February 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    What a beautiful post, Liz. I’m so happy Larry is doing well – and you too. It’s perfectly understandable what you’ve gone through the last year! Thanks for sharing this with all of us 🙂

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      Thanks, Susan, I took this shot of Larry on our way home after having visited you and Myles.

  6. apuginthekitchen February 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Such a lovely post, I am so glad that Larry is doing well now, thank God! I completely understand your emotions right now and wish both you and Larry a wonderful day and continued good health. You are such a strong person and I know that helped your husband tremendously.

  7. Elizabeth February 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Thank you for such beautiful post. Your description of all the linger emotions that come from such a big event in your life is something that everyone can relate to, but is rarely talked about. Life is simply fragile. Blessings.

  8. merry jennifer February 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    I’m so thankful that this all turned out okay in the end. Such a scary thing, and you just never know…

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Yes, it was absolutely terrifying – so grateful today.

  9. TasteFood February 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I am so happy for your one year mark – you both are great. xo Lynda

  10. Sunchowder - Wendy Read February 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Oh Liz, what a beautiful and touching post. As I sit here teary-eyed just thinking about how this must have been for you, I am so relieved that his heart is well and strong. Love Hovers my dear…your care and attention to him was perfect and appreciated. Congrats on your one year mark.

    • lizthechef February 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Wendy, you sweetheart – I’m feeling much better after a cranky day, once we passed the 3:30 mark. Larry is, of course, totally relaxed and tolerant of my carryings on…

  11. sippitysup (@sippitysup) February 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    You have a way of making all of us feel your pain and love with your words. I am please to know you both. GREG

    • lizthechef February 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      Thank you, Greg – already looking forward to seeing my favorite valet at Camp Blogaway 😉

  12. Oui, Chef February 14, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    A frightening time that I’m sure you’ll never forget, but how wonderful that Larry is doing well and that you clearly cherish every moment you have together.

    • lizthechef February 14, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Yes, this Valentine’s Day will be easier than last year…Thanks, Steve.

  13. Laurie February 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    What a beautiful, touching, emotional post. I know you have been through so much in the past year and I’m proud and moved that you are able to rise above all setbacks and appreciate the beautiful gift you both have in your relationship and the blessing of Larry doing so well. Pls give him my apology for not calling as promised – my time has just not been my own of late. Big Valentine hugs to you both.

    • lizthechef February 15, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      Laurie dear, without you there would be no blog! Thanks and no worries – all is well here. X0

  14. Kim February 15, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Liz – what a beautiful post. It’s moment like these that make you count your blessings, no?

    I have a confession to make. My husband is in good health; I’m trying to keep it that way by feeding him good, whole foods. Regardless, if he’s doing work around the house and I don’t hear from him for awhile, or if I call home and no one answers (he’s always home), I get frightened and my heart skips a beat. And my heart rate won’t slow to normal until I hear from him. Crazy? I don’t know – but I’m terrified of the “heart attack scenario.”

    Wishing you many, many more happy and healthy years together. 🙂

    Celebrate today!


    • lizthechef February 15, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      But we have wonderful guys, worth a bit of worrying about…

  15. Diane and Todd March 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this, Liz. It’s a joy to see you both together and more of your journey, one year later. Wishing you another, another and another…. years together.

    • lizthechef March 3, 2012 at 6:37 am #

      So lovely to find your comment this morning. You both inspire me so much – thank you.

  16. Dianne Jacob March 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Liz, now that I’ve met Larry, these two emotional posts have even more meaning to me. He is a wonderful man, so caring and empathetic. I wish you both many more years of happiness together.

    Your story reminded me of an ambulance that appeared in my life a year ago. I did not ride in it and arrived at emergency about an hour later. It was because my young cousin Dana had ridden in so many ambulance rides before — his caregiver and I thought it was just more of the same. But he died a few hours later. I was lucky to be there with him.

    • lizthechef March 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Words fail me right now. Thank you for your gracious comment. You have another fan in Larry – hope we will all meet again soon. Life is so precious, yes?

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