Well, not quite the actual beginning, but let's back up to the year 1997. That was when I met my current husband, a fine, healthy specimen of manhood. We found ourselves to be true soul-mates, and we had a wonderful year getting to know each other, then we became engaged, and bought a condo in San Francisco, where we were both born.
The timing was perfect, in a bittersweet way, for he came along and was my strong support when my mother unexpectedly died suddenly the following year. I don't know how I would have pulled through that without him.
Our wonderful, carefree time was short-lived, however, for during the following, year, my precious mate had a heart attack. Lest you think this was awfully young, I'll share that this was not a first marriage for either of us; we each had kids from prior marriages who were already grown. We were in our mid-to-late forties at the time.
However, I was in shock. I could not lose this wonderful man so soon after finding him, and bringing him into my life! Thankfully, the doctors did a fine job of inserting arterial stents to open the coronary artery that had been blocked, causing his attack. After a few days of recuperation, he was back, as good as new. All was well with our world once again. We started a handyman/repair/remodel business together, and life was good.
The good life lasted until about 2001. During the ensuing years, my poor darling had a few more attacks, until in the fall of 2001, (very soon after the infamous "9-11" attack), he had to undergo a full open-heart bypass surgery. This is known by the acronym, 'CABG,' and stands for "Coronary Artery Bypass Graft." Inside medical circles, this acronym is pronounced "cabbage," just like the vegetable. Luckily, he did not become a vegetable following this procedure.
The recovery time, however, was nearly a full year before he felt like himself again, and to this day, there are residual effects from the surgery, such as collapsed arches and swollen ankles, resulting from compromised circulation to his lower leg and foot in the leg they used to take venous tissue for the repair of his heart.
In 2003, we moved our residence out of San Francisco, as we were both tired of "freezing" all summer. We'd been born and raised there, and while he'd lived for a time with his family in the South Bay, I never left until my first marriage. We are both, however, very familiar with the truth of Mark Twain's famous statement, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
The bad news is, these CABG surgeries tend to only be viable for about 10 years, and his time is up. He's had several more attacks in the intervening years, since our relocation, and several more stent insertions to date. So now, we are travelers on a new road: a very scary road.