Received
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Chapters
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    I certainly never expected to see Bill holding his head,
    then neck, then his legs, all in agonizing pain. I couldn’t
    believe my eyes as he lay across our bed. I knew
    whatever was happening wasn’t good.

    “I’m calling 911.” I felt my heart beating faster and my
    limbs feeling shaky, as I didn‘t know what was
    happening to him. When the operator answered, I told
    her we needed help. She calmly replied that she would
    send help but needed to ask me some questions and
    could I answer them? “Yes,” I said. I had used the phone
    upstairs in the hallway, but it had a cord. I franticly
    explained, “I need to get the cordless phone.” I can’t even
    remember going downstairs, but I grabbed the cordless
    phone, unlocked the front door, and ran back up. I
    breathlessly told her, “I‘m ready.” Her calm voice assured
    me help was already on the way. She sounded like an
    angel. Bill was not looking very good. As we spoke, I got
    a wet cloth to cool Bill’s brow. He was sweating
    profusely. The blanket he laid upon was already
    drenched. Time seemed to move in slow motion. I held
    onto the phone as though it were my only life line and
    listened to the operator’s calming voice. I could feel my
    body trembling as I gave her the information. One more
    time she promised me: “Help will be arriving very soon.”

    The sirens could be heard coming down the street until
    they ended in an abrupt death…silence. Red reflections
    throbbing on the front windows of our bedroom revealed
    the ambulance accompanied by a fire truck, here at our
    home. Oh, God, for my husband!
                       

    for Bill to come downstairs. He usually went up to the
    bathroom and would finish getting dressed after I was
    together. He held all the licenses and was lead man, but
    I always felt I gave him exceptional help – and the two of
    us made a great team! I took care of most of the
    paperwork and scheduling and assisted him on the job.
    We did very well and kept active throughout the day going
    on one service call to the next. He had taught me how to
    do wiring and many of our customers enjoyed watching
    the two of us accomplish our tasks. We worked in
    harmony and rarely had any conflicts. This amazed
    practically everyone we met. Being best friends, our work
    was merely an extension of play for the both of us.

    Heat was the only debilitating problem that could
    become a threat to our livelihood. Bill was starting to
    have some concern with the hot summer days that were
    surely going to arrive too soon. Temperatures seemed to
    elevate earlier each year. Occasionally having to go into
    attics made his job treacherous. I assured him that after
    the 15th of the month he could excuse himself from attic
    work and we would pass those jobs on to our son’s
    business. Of course, if the house sold, we could semi-
    retire. What a heavenly thought.

    Just before 11:00 I heard a call from upstairs – or should
    I say a yell – from Bill. "VAL!"  I couldn’t imagine what his
    emergency was but yelled back, “Coming!” and went up
    to see. As I ran up the steps, I imagined Jake had left a
    package or worse yet the toilet was overflowing.