I recognized the number on the call display. My heart lurched. I forgot to say hello after sliding the button to accept the call. “Hattie? This is Doug…Doug Lloyd. Bridie’s husband.”
“Is everything ok?” I managed.
“Hattie, I wanted to let you know…Bridie died last night.”
I froze. My breath caught in my lungs. Finally, exhaling and closing my eyes to hide from the world I stammered “Doug…I’m so sorry Doug.”
“Ya. I’m sorry too…at least she…at least it worked out the way she wanted. We had a great day with the kids. They will always remember their last afternoon together.” His unspoken agony was palpable.
“Doug, you know if there’s anything at all I can do to help…I’m just saying, call me if you need anything.”
“I know Hattie. You were a great support for Bridie. I thank you for that…” His voice was thick with heartache. I recognized that he caught himself from tears. “Reverend St. Croix will do the service. As far as I know, we are looking at Tuesday around 3PM. If you can make it, I’d be grateful.”
“I will absolutely be there Doug. She was a wonderful woman. Thanks for letting me know…” When I realized he had nothing left to say I closed. “I am so sorry Doug. Take care.” Of course I would be able to make it to the service. Tuesday at 1500 hours was exactly the regular time I had scheduled for Bridie.