Ah, Tracy my love, my life partner. Of all the great luck in my life, meeting you was the luckiest. Of all my life's satisfactions, our happy 30 year-long marriage was the greatest -- one I thought I'd never have.
I smile now at the no-nonsense way you dragged me to pre-marital counseling all those years ago, where we managed to take the edge off my chauvinism. And since then, I can't recall ever having a serious fight. While travelling the world and sharing so many adventures together, I could always trust you to say and do the right thing -- and to convey your thoughts to me with glance.
Now we've grown old together, and you're bearing all the load. The kids know the story well, so I needn't repeat here how you got me and my ileostomy bag to the carcinoid specialists in NYC, and how that surgery has kept me alive for the last five years.
It's more difficult to convey the day-to-day challenges that you continue to soldier through, like putting up with my grumpiness (I'm not an easy patient), shopping for the ever-narrowing list of foods I can swallow, monitoring my medications, etc.
You deserve long hugs and sweet kisses, someone to kill the bugs, carry in the heavy dog food and share a sly Bill Maher joke with a smile. So when your courage flags and you lean against me and whisper "Don't leave me," it just breaks my heart.