She doesn't want to get up in the mornings. Once she did, because the nurses came by so early to help him out of the bed to wash him, and dress his foot. But it doesn't matter any longer, so she lies there, looking at the ceiling or at the curtains.

Sometimes she can't remember if it is morning or evening. It's light out, but it is also summer, and summer evenings can be very bright. The hands of the clock will point to ten, but is time coming or going?

She doesn't know. She doesn't really care any longer.

As she lies there she can still hear him, crying out in pain. So many years of dying took their toll. On her. On him, eventually. And she is left a shadow of a person; a moth around the flame she used to be. Never really there. Some of the time in the past, some in the present - and some in a reality of her own, neither here nor there.

And she will try to tell her children of this pain that is still so fresh in her, and sometimes she can see the hurtful disinterest in their eyes. Mom, they think, this was eleven years ago. And you have told us a thousand times a year. We have moved on.

She knows. They have their own crosses to bear, and they have their own lives to live. They lost their father. They grieved. They moved on.

But she lost the love of her life, her companion, her reason to fight. The one who knew her, inside and out, and still loved her. The one who stood by her through bitter and sweet, through thick and thin, through hard times - and sometimes even worse times, for 40 years. The one who would hold her hand and smile, just because. The one who would break his back to make things right for her...

...the one who would cry, secretly, for being a disappointment to her. The one who would try and try and try to please her...

The one whose last coherent words, before entering a two year silence ending in nothingness, were:

"I never should have married you..."

She doesn't want to get up in the mornings.

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