Claire and Jim were friends, lovers, and sometimes enemies for 27 years. In order to get health insurance, they finally married.
Then Jim was diagnosed with cancer. With ever-decreasing odds of survival, punctuated by arcs of false hope, Jim’s deteriorating health altered their well-established independence as they became caregiver and patient, sharing intimacy as close as their own breaths.
A year and a half into their marriage, Jim died from lung/brain cancer. Sustained by good dogs and gardening through the two years of madness that followed, Claire soldiered through home repairs, career disaster, genealogy quests, and “dating for seniors” trying to build a better life on the debris of her old one.
Claire Arbogast is a graduate of Indiana University. She gardens, walks with dogs, and writes in Bloomington, Indiana. Her website is www.ClaireArbogast.com.