Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 15, 2013

4 years

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since we last looked into each other’s eyes. I miss you and love you. Remembering you this day….and always.

BTW…the 3rd Annual Sheila Ann Wheatley Tennis Classic went well yesterday. Beautiful day. Good turnout. Karen, of course, came in from Colorado to help. She’s a great sister of yours. She loves and misses you deeply.

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday

Always remembered…today, on your birthday, and everyday.

love you

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 14, 2012

Three Years – You’ll Never Be Forgotten

My precious Sheila,

Unthinkable that in a half hour it’ll be three years since you took your last breath. I miss you so much, and I think of you everyday, throughout the day. You will always be remembered and thought of, every single day that I’m alive.

I love looking at our picture. We were so happy that day. And you were so beautiful, as usual. So photogenic. My Princess Di as I’d call you. What I would give to kiss your lips, or to look into those eyes and see that smile again.

I love you so much,

Ken

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 11, 2012

Gray day

Hi Precious,

It was the type of day befitting the sadness that permeated every hour.

I don’t know if you remember PJ from Cal State and Grossmont College, but he retired about a month ago, mostly due to his longterm illness, but also because of State budget issues impacting his retirement package.

I went to his retirement party and all things considered, he looked great, had his usual broad-faced smile and was standing the entire time, laughing, eating, drinking and genuinely having a great time. Lots of hugs going around. I’ve known him for about 20 years, and he never struck me as a hugger. But he hugged me at lunch a few weeks earlier, and he hugged me several times at the party. His wife, Christine, was clearly happy and content looking at him enjoying the night and all the people who had shown up to celebrate his accomplishment.

He talked about teaching part-time and traveling with Christine to visit the kids up in Seattle and in general relaxing after 30+ years of teaching.

So I was taken aback yesterday when I got a call from a friend of Christine’s telling me that PJ had taken a turn for the worse and was now in hospice. I asked if I could come and see him, and she said that he’s heavily sedated, so no, visitors weren’t allowed at the moment. Check back tomorrow.

When I got to the office today, I called Margaret and she said that the hospice was allowing limited visitation and that I should come over this morning because they weren’t sure how much longer PJ was going to last.

I put your car up for sale a couple of days ago – obviously hard to part with – but as you and I had talked, we suspect it was dropped at birth. And although it’s been running fine these past three years, the valves are making noise, and there’s an occasional wheezing sound coming from the center vents when I shut the car off, so it’s time to let her go.

So I got a couple of calls on it and for the first time in probably two months, I backed the car out of the garage this morning and headed to work.

It was very appropriate, and comforting, that I’d have your car with me, on your birthday, to visit a friend who is near the end.

I met Christine, and a nurse, at the door of the hospice. I’d never been in one before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Much, much nicer than I expected. Very clean. Didn’t have that hospital smell. There were about four other residents there besides PJ.

We sat in the kitchen with her son and his wife. They’d flown down from Seattle last night. We talked briefly, then the supervisor, Laura, came in and introduced herself. A few minutes later the nurse came in and said that I could visit with PJ.

It’s always difficult seeing someone who was once so active and vibrant balled-up in a chair, seemingly unaware of who is in the room. But when I touched his arm and spoke to him, his eyes suddenly opened and he looked at me, briefly, then closed again. And when I grasped his right hand, he squeezed it. So at least, I think, he knew that someone had come to visit.

On the way to the hospice, Philippa called, sobbing, and I thought that something had happened to her husband, Albert. But it was her dog, the one that’s been sick for some time, that had suddenly passed away in front of her. I felt so bad for her. Those dogs are such an important part of her life. They still have Mocha, fortunately.

So you can see why it’s been such a sad, gray day.

I know I say it a lot, but I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.

And of course, I love you deeply.

Happy birthday, again.

Hugs and Kisses

Ken

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweetie

Dear Sheila,

Wishing you a happy 55th. I love you immensely and miss you everday.

Always in my thoughts.

Kisses,

Ken

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | June 22, 2012

Happy 4th Anniversary

Hi Sweetie,

Wow….hard to believe it would have been 4 years already. What would we have done in all this time? What new places or experiences? Whatever it would have been, I’m sure it would have been wonderful.

It’s a gorgeous day today. Not anywhere near as hot as it was on our wedding day. You were still a beautiful bride despite the humidity. And that smile…and those eyes…

I miss you and think about you everyday.

Happy Anniversary!!!

Love,

Ken

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | December 25, 2011

The Brighter Side

The box sat on the side counter in the kitchen for a few months. The part of the counter that Sheila had her photos, mail, nicknacks, phone, notes…

It was the original box that contained her wig. I had finally moved the wig from the stand in the bathroom and wrapped it up in the tan tissue paper, placing it all back in the box. It made it from the back of the house to the front of the house. Baby steps…

So after several months of looking at the box, I was finally able to donate it this past Thursday to The Brighter Side, a boutique for women who have cancer (www.mybrighterside.com).

I hadn’t been back there since we bought the wig, and was surprised how impactful it was to walk through the door. You hear about how scents bring back memories. The combination of physically being there, and smelling the pleasant scents, immediately, tangibly, brought back the days that we wandered around the store looking at the various hats and clothing items all designed to make the unfortunate process of dealing with cancer more palatable.

I handed the box carefully to the woman behind the desk. They accept donations for women who can’t afford to buy a wig. I hoped, as I’m sure Sheila would have, that someone will have better luck with it than she did. I told the woman that my wife didn’t make it, and I wanted them to have it now. She nodded a couple a times, offered her heartfelt condolences – as I’m sure she’s had to do more times than she would care to remember – and placed the box on the corner of the desk.

After I left I sat in the car, Sheila’s car, and felt the weight of the moment. How sad. How much I still miss her. How sorry I am that she’s not here to love, in person.

As I left the small parking lot I was struck by the name of the business. Hopefully, in fact, Sheila is in a brighter, happier place. The name made me feel a little better, actually.

So on this third Christmas without you, I’m sending you my deep love and tons of kisses as I do everyday. Merry Christmas, Sheila.

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 14, 2011

2nd Anniversary

In an hour it’ll be two years since I last looked into your eyes. I think about you all the time. I’m always happy that you’re not suffering anymore, but I miss your presence. Your touch. Your laugh. Your “look.”

Uncle Earl finally passed away and his funeral service was at Fort Rosecrans on Monday. Jeanie looked good, considering the loss of her 62 year partner. Couldn’t imagine what it must be like after all that time together. She was cute…she wore his military ball cap.

Working on your tennis tournament. Doesn’t look like it’ll be as big as it was last year, but it’ll happen no matter what.

Well, I’ll be looking at the clock in an hour.

I love you, Sheila…

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | August 10, 2011

Missing you tonight

I miss you every day. Every day. Some days more intensely than others. Tonight is one of those nights. I miss your touch. I miss your smile. I miss your hugs. And your kisses. I miss your soft skin.

I actually thought you were outside with me on Sunday when I was working on the new float for the pond. It was weird…I could have sworn that a shadow passed over my work area, and I quickly looked up to see who it was and of course no one was there.

As I came to terms that no one was there, I looked over at the flat rock at the other pond and remembered taking the picture of you and Jean sitting there one evening, a long time ago, after her birthday dinner.

I love you, Sheila….I hope you’re at peace….

Posted by: Ken Wheatley | June 23, 2011

3rd Wedding Anniversary, 21 Months, Woo Who Song, Marina Park

Yesterday, three years ago, Sheila walked down the aisle on a very hot and humid day in Point Loma to become my wife. She looked soooo beautiful. So happy. And I’ll never forget the look on her face as her eyes searched for mine when she rounded the corner. Beautiful day, beautiful memories.

I’d been off my mark early last week without knowing exactly why, and then I checked the calendar, and immediately knew the cause. Last Wednesday, the 15th, was the 21 month mark since Sheila passed. I find that, even without knowing what day it is, I start to get unsettled a day or two before the 15th of the month.

Ironically, I was having lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack across from the San Diego Convention Center. The last time I ate there was with Sheila.

I was sitting at a table, alone, across from the booth where we last sat. The booth, and the table, look out at San Diego Bay. Beautiful view.

Part way through the meal, the Woo Who song that always made Sheila crack up giggling and smiling came on. It always makes me smile recalling how happy the song made her feel. For some reason she really got a kick out of the Woo Who verse and would sing along while bobbing her head to the beat.

The place where we had the pivotal discussion about whether we should start dating each other happened at the Embarcadero Marine Park next door to the restaurant. I’m so glad we did.

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Sheila. I love you!

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