The weeks after my accident were, in a strange way, some of the best in my life. I know that sounds odd, but you need to remember my past experiences of being taken care of were not such stellar memories.
I’ve never had anyone dote on me like John did during those weeks of recovery. He wrote down all medications and times I’d taken what and made sure I was taking a probiotic to offset the antibiotic prescribed by my doctor.
He drove me to doctor visits and physical therapy and he even helped me with my hair. I could hardly go to the bathroom without him wanting to assist me. I felt completely spoiled and cared for by the man I loved, and it was the first time in my life I’d experienced that.
As soon as the doctor released me to travel, John took me to Lake Tahoe for a long weekend.
We stayed in a cozy cabin with a fireplace and a view of the lake. We had a wonderful time exploring the town and took the tram to the top of the mountain to marvel at the spectacular panoramic views.
When we got home from that vacation, we fell into a comfortable routine together. John had purchased a ’69 Volkswagen Bug and when he wasn’t taking care of the estate or me, he was out puttering on that old bug.
He would change something on it and then grab me for a test drive around Napa Valley. He loved that thing, and there were several times I’d be out there with him as his assistant.
It became our project together, sort of like a Love Bug.
On February 13th it was a beautiful sunny day, and John was out working on the Bug by himself. That afternoon, he came into the house and grabbed my hand and said he wanted to take me for a ride.
He had a sheepish look on his face, and I wondered what he was up to. As always, he opened the car door for me and sitting on my seat was a bag of peanut M&Ms. He knew I had a weakness for them, and I thought it was a sweet gesture to have them waiting for me.
It’s funny to picture it now, two 50-something-year-olds trolling around in an old VW Bug eating peanut M&Ms like a couple of kids; but we were having the time of our lives.
John said he’d found a lake he wanted to take me to, and I eagerly approved.
We drove up to an area I had never been before and when the road ended, John parked the Bug and said we’d have to hike to the lake from there.
The sky was crystal blue, and the only sounds we heard were birds singing as the lake came into view. It was so beautiful with big boulders around one side.
John climbed onto one of the boulders and then pulled me up to stand next to him. He held my hands, looked into my eyes and said, “I love you, Loretta. Will you marry me”?
I said, “No.”