I am finally ready to release this story to the world. It was a promise I made to him, now partially fulfilled. And it was incredibly healing to write it.
36 Days: A Memoir by Karen Y. Hamilton with Alexander Procho
I haven’t written the middle part yet, our years together as he struggled with depression and alcoholism. Those are hard years to write about because I suppose I just want to remember the main thing – he was the love of my life.
And one day, his sister calls me, “Alex is dying.”
You can know, really know, that this is coming, but somehow hearing the words knocks the soul out of you anyway.
“Where is he?” I ask.
It turns out he is in a nursing home less than two miles from me. There is no thought process. I just go to him. And I stay with him all the way to the end, for 36 days.
What a wonderful gift God gave to us both those last weeks – allowing us to connect again in that way that we did those nights we breathed each other in. I made his last weeks here better. I know I did. And he did the same for me. We fell in love in again, we loved our way through what could have been a horrible ordeal. All the way to the end, we gave love and solace to one another.
That is what I will hang on to. Not so much all of our years together, in which there were many beautiful moments, but those 36 days of pure unconditional love for one another.