I first met Allen in the spring of 1984 — being a single mother at the time (Andrew was 3) I was certainly on the lookout for a worthy father and husband. More than anything I wanted a sibling for Andrew, another child for myself — Allen was perfect (well, mostly!).

We were married in 1987 and in 1988 had our son, Lance. What followed, for the next 26 years, were mostly happy times. Busy, busy family lives — raising two sons, both of us working. Allen built our family home at the end of Muriel Place and it was a wonderful place to live out the best part of our lives.

I retired in June, 2013, after teaching for 28 years — looking ahead, everything looked so good for us: Allen was going to retire within a year, our two sons were doing well.

Our motorhome was parked in the driveway, ready to begin the adventures, the travels we had both so looked forward to for many years.

Sadly, all of these anticipated good times were cut short when the month of May, 2014 became the very worst time of my life. Allen suffered a heart attack first; he was doing so well, home after four nights in the hospital after having a couple of stents put into one of his arteries. But then, the worst tragedy struck when late in the evening five nights after being home — Allen suffered a cardiac arrest.

Allen lived for another nine days, never regaining consciousness, but remaining alive and allowing all of us, myself, his sons, his brother and sister, to say our goodbyes. Finally, Allen’s heart stopped late in the evening on May 25. I was alone with him when he took his last breath . . . that was such an honor and also a huge tragedy for me.

Since losing Allen I have learned to cope, but not to truly be happy, not to accept the fact that my life ground to a halt when Allen took his last breath; it’s been a struggle.