Shaking his head, his eyes lowered in the direction of the lab request I held in my hand, "Are you OK?"
Assured I was fine. He walked off. There was so much that was unsaid. I sat. I cried. His voice has remained in my head for six months both reassuring and ultimately disturbing, "Don't worry, he's not going to die from this. Look, he's not going to die from this." He reassured me over and over during that first appointment and then each time we saw him thereafter.
My shoulders heaved, my eyes lowered to the floor. I had no tissues. My nose ran and the flow of tears was steady. Hospital visitors, patients and staff walked by as I tried to muffle the sounds of grief.
A stranger stepped forward, "Would you accept a hug?" The woman probably in her forties had been on her phone chatting with someone when I first entered the hospital and then later texting. Her arms wrapped me. She whispered comfort into my ear, "It won't always be like this. It will get better." This compassion was touching.
As I moved closer to my turn at the lab, still crying, I shifted in my seat seeking comfort, I noticed a full sized Christmas Tree on display nearly touching my elbow. Fabric stars with names hung from the branches. I scanned the tree and found a star in honor of my husband. I smiled. He is with me always.