Mark E.  
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My Wife and Best Friend

I miss my Lyuda:

We met on a blind date. Nether of us were interested in a relationship with each other before our first date. I was turned off by her poor English, she was an American citizen who had immigrated from the former USSR. She was not interested in me because I was not Russian. I had tickets to the symphony and needed a date. Lyuda loved music and a free concert was something she could not pass up. So, we agreed to meet. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted in front of the symphony by one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. We talked during the intermission and after the concert I convinced Lyuda in join me for dinner. (She later told me that she meant to say no to dinner but she accidently said yes.) By the end of the date, I know I have met my sole mate. It took Lyuda another month or so to realize I was something special. We fell madly in love marrying six months later. I'm sure our family and friends didn't realize how much we loved each other. Lyuda would say our relationship was "like a paradise."

One half year after celebrating our marriage Lyuda was diagnosed with stomach cancer. We spent the next eleven months going through stomach surgery, chemo, and radiation. Once Lyuda was well enough to travel we took a seven-day cruise with my sister and her husband. Once again, Lyuda said it was "like a paradise."

Unfortunately, shortly after returning from the cruise Lyuda started to have stomach problems. The following year Lyuda was diagnosed as terminal. Being the stubborn Russian she was, she worked up until the week before she passed hiding her illness from her coworkers. She passed at 5:30 in the morning laying in a hospital bed located in our living room with me lying by her side holding her hand. My mother and Lyuda's aunt where also standing by her side. She was only 36 years old. She left us much quicker than anyone had anticipated. Hospice delivered the medical equipment on a Saturday and Lyuda passed the following Wednesday. Although it was a blessing to have her go quickly, I would give almost anything to be able to have spent just one more day with her. I miss the way her eyes would smile every time she would look at me, even when she was in a lot of pain. I miss her accent. I miss hearing someone refer to me as clownchick, her nick name for me that she used 100% of the time. I miss holding her hand.

Lyuda didn't loose faith in God. She knew that this was part of God's plan and that he only wants the best for us. I have always known that God brought Lyuda into my life. I know if Lyuda could speak to us today she would be telling us to have faith. I had no idea something could hurt so much.

Now Lyuda is truly in "a paradise."

Last modified 07/19/02