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                      GOODBYE MILT

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             I smiled often and told jokes his afternoon. It was a part I didn't know
          I'd be able to play, as I held hands with Milt, who was sitting beside me at
          the sitting room table in his home. I told him of all the prayers that were
          said for him by my friends at poetrypoem.
             We reminisced about all the good times we had during the fifteen years
          we spent together. Milt was the big wonderful teddy bear who decorated the
          third finger of my left hand with a diamond engagement ring. When I wanted to
          break our engagement a few years ago, he refused to take the ring back. He phoned
          the next day and I welcomed him back. My fiance' is also my best friend.  
              My children and grandchildren loved Milt and his eyes lit up when we talked
          about the good times we all had together. My grandson Jason, who was
          with us today, told Milt that he and his brother, sister and cousins all thought
          of Milt as their grandfather.
              Milt looks like a different man today. He has lost more than eighty pounds,
          and Parkinson's disease has sapped him of much of his strength. His caregiver
          is with him twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  This hurts me so much
          because Milt took such good care of me throughout the years we were together.
              Milt was by my side eight years ago, when my son Ronnie had a liver
          transplant and he was with me every minute of every day six years ago when my
          son Steven suddenly died of a massive heart attack.  
              Milt is an optometrist and he was by my side after we discovered I had
          glaucoma.  He took me to a wonderful surgeon and was with me during the seven
          eye surgeries that saved my vision.
              On September 16th, I will travel from New Jersey to Malibu, California, to
          spend a week with my youngest son Alan, Alan's wife Marie and my grandchildren,
          Jake and Margot.
              On September 16th, Milt and Nick, his nurse, will travel by car to Milt's
          daughter's home in Raleigh, North Carolina, so that he can "recuperate." He says,  
          "I want to get better."
              He plans to stay in North Carolina for three months, but I know he will not  
          come home to New Jersey during the cold winter months.
              Milt said, "You saved my life, sweetheart." Then I told him how much I
          would miss him, and he said, "I'll miss you more."
              I promised myself I wouldn't cry and I didn't -- until after I closed his
          door and said goodbye.
                                              September 8, 2010

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