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To Tamara,

I write this with the absolute knowledge that you will shed tears reading it. It might be a foolish endeavor, but when was I ever bright when it came to you? Anyway... I have to write this for my own peace of mind as well. Wallowing in misery and at the bottom of a Jack Daniels bottle is not where you'd have wanted to see your husband once upon a time.

It's been six months since we went for that dinner date. It seems like yesterday doesn't it? You in that nice mermaid dress and me in my sport jacket for good occasions... I remember your smile... that laugh you had that made everything seem funny. God, we were good together. Maybe we should have used the Fifth Avenue just like you said. I don't know how I'm going to do this thing called life without you Mara.

Sorry... I promised myself I wouldn't spill any tears when I wrote this. We both knew about this day coming and I'm not about to say that you went and left me without me knowing. The kids are asking about you and I don't know what to say, Mara. Kelly's the only one who knew about your condition and even she had trouble accepting this day was just beyond the horizon. I wanted them to come visit you but you said you didn't want them seeing you like this. I know that I agreed to it... but Maddie isn't coping well with your absence.

I don't blame her though. Our little girl just turned seven last month and she spent every moment of it crying that her mother wasn't home with her. I've tried everything to make her pain lessen but I don't know how to when my own is eclipsing it.

Jack never comes out of his room anymore. When he does, it's to yell at me. Sometimes I yell back because I'm looking for some kind of scapegoat from the pain just like him. He was always close to you more so than with me. He's resenting me for making it out of the hospital alive. I didn't have the heart to tell him that it wasn't the accident that is taking you away. What use would there be to tell them that the heart you used to love them with is the same one that's failing you?

Kelly... well, you know better than anyone how Kelly would deal with something like this. She has yet to call me but I have a general idea of how she's handling it. Howard tells me that she has relentlessly thrown herself into her work in hopes of finding some sort of miracle to prolong your life. She's a brilliant doctor, but I don't see how she can make this go away. I'm glad Howard's there to take care of our baby girl. She's always been volatile with bad news... just like her mother.

We are all trying to make this work, Mara. But we just don't know how we will be at the end of the day.

I forgot to tell you this yesterday when I came over. Julia pushed up her wedding so that she could come to be with us. I know you have issues with your sister, Mara but she was the first one here when I told her about your health. The doctors said that you don't have much time left now and I don't want you having to leave this life with regrets. Just call her before you go under for the operation tomorrow.

Well, I think that's everyone's message. I would have stayed all night but the doctor insisted that you have some rest after that scare we had today. Frankly, I think he was right about telling me to go. I know I smiled and told you that it would be fine... but I'm not able to do that again. My life cannot sustain the constant hope for a better day only to leave the hospital at night with twice the burden I walked in with. I have lost any affinity to come and see the drugs you are taking defile the body of the woman who I have loved since we met in high school. It is for this reason that I'm really writing this letter to you now, Mara.

Don't you find it unfair that you spare the kids any images of you laying in that bed, weak and fragile, but require me to come and witness your very death being drawn out one day after the other? I have lived for four months in that room you are confined to, thinking that any day might be your last. Every day I walk into the house and deliver the news that you have not succumbed to the illness, Maddie breaks down into tears and Jack strings a long line of profanities at me before going back to his room. Even they understand that the wait is more for your mortality to slip than for your recovery.

But even with everything I have written here, nothing will keep me away from that room come tomorrow. The dread of never knowing is stronger than the desire to end my seemingly never-ending pain of seeing you so pale. So I have decided to numb the pain with more than just the love of our children. I admit that that is the primary reason that Jack says unprintable words to me, but everyone as their way of dealing with pain. For Kelly, it's work. For Maddie, it's tears. For Jack, it's solitude. For me, it's Jack Daniels.

Do you remember that poem you used to read to Kelly when she was still a baby? The one about death that I told you to quit telling a two-year-old? I found it among your work when I was clearing it out. There is a line that you wrote... The Living fall in love all the time, so why shouldn't the Dead do the same? I get it now. I used to think that you meant the dead required to be loved by the living. How we all should devote our love to those we loved even if they lay six feet underground. But I get it now. It took me four months of you in the hospital and a bunch of drinks, but I get it now.

I won't keep you waiting long, Mara. I know I will follow very soon. You've already promised me your love. I could care less whether we are dead or alive.

With Love,


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