One year ago today, October 17, 2011, I set out on a return trip to join Jim in Corozal Town, Belize C.A. Unbeknown to both of us when he picked me up that night at 9:30PM at the Mexico/Belize border that what we had thought was a new journey in our life was in fact the ending of one journey and another one to start in just two weeks and one day. The first thing we each said to each other was “I love you and I am not ever going to do this again.” We promised each other that we would no be separated again and that we would in deed travel back and forth between the US and Belize as a couple. We were not going to go through this kind of separation again.
We set about the next two weeks into our normal routine of playing darts at Vamps Chill & Grill on Wednesday’s and Scotty’s Bar on Saturday’s. The evenings were spent up at Jam Rocks on the Bay of Corozal visiting with Moses and Yara and watching the people walk along the seawall. We began the process of looking for furniture and a smaller place to rent as the house we had rented was way too big for us. We wanted something smaller, like a two bed room or one bed room house.
On Halloween, we had breakfast at June’s Kitchen which we would do several times during the week because we had not yet found a stove that we liked. We talked about going to the Halloween party at Scotty’s or just staying home that night. Halloween in Belize is a really as big a thing there as it is here. We finally decided that we would go and if we did not like it we could always leave. But we decided we were not going to dress up in a costume as that was not what we did. We ended up staying and having a truly wonderful time and meet a lot of new people. We even met a lady that had a house for rent for $250 US a month that was more to our liking. We set it up that evening to meet with her at 2PM on November 1st. Little did we know at that time that the meeting would never take place.
November 1st started off as any other day. First it was breakfast at Miss June’s and then to cash a check for cash for the next two weeks. We returned back to the house and as we were walking in Jim made the comment that he did not feel well. He was flushed and felt and sweating. He sat down in front of the fan to cool off and abut 10 minutes later said he was feeling better but that he was going to go lay down.
About 5 minutes after he went to lay down I heard him make a sound almost as if he was snoring. I listened for less than a minute to see if he made any other sound. Worried, I got up and went into the bedroom. He was already turning blue by that time. I immediately called our neighbor Mario to call the ambulance as something was terribly wrong with Jim. His response was “It will take to long for them to get here. I am on my way over.” Less than a minute late he was there with his brother in law Juan. While Betye, Mario’s sister, was cleaning out the van to take Jim to the Corozal Community Hospital, just a short 5 minutes away. I called PeggyJo and asked her to contact Gail, a registered nurse, because I knew that the hospital’s AED did not work all the time. We had no sooner got to the hospital and they got Jim into Emergency did PeggyJo and Gail arrive. We had to wait maybe another 5 minutes for Ed, Gail’s husband, to arrive with the AED. It was one of the few times that she did not have it in the car with her. Maybe another two minutes passed when Ed & Dee showed up at the hospital as well. They worked on Jim from 12:50 PM until 1:20 PM when I looked at Gail and said “No more.” They never could get his heart restarted and all they were doing was pumping air into his stomach and then I saw the blood that they were suctioning out of his lungs. I knew he was gone but did not want to believe it. Thus began his journey in heaven and my grief journey.
Thank God for PeggyJo and Gail being there because they both knew what documents were needed from the hospital before he could be sent to the funeral home to be cremated as was his wish. PeggyJo contacted the funeral home to make all the arrangements. We immediately left the hospital for me to go cash a check for $1000.00 US because I already had the $500 BZ to pay the funeral home for the cremation. Wheels were set in motion that day that I never dreamed much less thought about.