Dear Velna: It is time for me to report after you have been gone for three months. I am starting to feel a little better though I am still struggling with my balance, a leftover effect of the vertigo attack I had a year and a half ago. I am trying to keep my promise to send out the birthday cards, one of your last spoken requests, though I have been a day or two late on a couple of them. I remember that day when our friends and you and I went to Vedauwoo. I remember those shoes you were wearing. I remember what a good time we had, such a relief to get away from the campus and my janitor jobs for a few hours. And I can see from this photo why I thought you were the prettiest girl I had ever known or wanted to know. The question I get from everyone is "How are you doing?" and I still don't know what to say so I try to say I am doing better though I don't know about that. How can you do better when you have no one to talk to, no one to talk about family history, no one to complain to, no one to ask if I can help you or if you need anything or is your pain any better today or are your shoulders better or how did you sleep or what would you like for dinner and a million other things. I wish I had helped you with the financial records since I can't find some of the most important documents I need for the taxes. You managed to save every utility receipt and phone bill but where or where did you hide the purchase contracts for our two condos? I have turned the house upside down without success in finding them. Also, do you know where you put my mailbox key? I can't find it anywhere. I have no one to blame, no one to share my worries and concerns with, no one to say evening prayers with and pray for relief from your pain and your daily suffering. Instinctively, some times I look over at your chair when I wake up and I wonder, where are you? Where did you go? And then reality sets in. I cook something that used to last three days and now it lasts more than a week and I'm tired of it after three day. I spend about half of what I used to spend on groceries and I have a huge stock pile of stuff I'll probably never fix or never eat. Most of the time I'm not very hungry. I used to care about trying to fix something nice for dinner for you every night and now I don't care what I eat for supper. The house is empty. My tears have mostly dried, but they still flood now and then over the most seemingly inconsequential thing, the hint of something, the sight of something, the memory of something, something I know you liked, your continual acts of kindness and encouragement for me. I guess I am making some progress. Every day I still need to change some address, take your name off some account, send legal papers in somewhere to take care of something, the details never end. Your children have been unbelievably kind, compassionate, and helpful. Our neighbors continue to be supportive and kind in so many ways. I am surprised in some ways that I am still here and the hardest thing I have to do each day is to get up and get going when that is the last thing I feel like doing. Every dayh I realize more and more how much I took for granted when you were here, how I wish I had been more considerate, more helpful. But life goes on as long as I am still here and I am gradually starting to try to do a few more things as I feel a little better and don't drag around quite as much through the day as I did for weeks. And yes, I did pay the church tithing, one of your very last requests before you left me. I'll report again on another day. Your husband.