Every few weeks my job requires me to stay for the weekend and be manager on duty. Usually Celena was always the bartender on duty and would ask if we were married that weekend. I called her my weekend wife. She had been working there years before I arrived. We have spent about 12 years together and in that time Celena has been a great employee, friend and a good weekend wife for me. Sometimes I needed to be told what to do and she wasn’t afraid to tell me. I admired her for that and also appreciated her too. She took a lot of initiative on her own and she was well liked by all the customers and fellow employees.
For the last year or so she had been battling health issues and I don’t think I have ever seen someone so positive about their ability to recover from this. She went to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota every few months and in between was in local hospitals attending to her treatments. She would never talk about it or give it a name. I think she wanted to believe it wasn’t there. Maybe she thought that if she didn’t acknowledge it it would disappear as silently as it had developed. Despite the pain, despite the side effects from the treatments she wouldn’t complain. To us at work, I think she wanted to act as things were normal and life would continue that way.
Deep down I wanted to talk to her about it, I wanted to know how I could help, I wanted to hold her and take her pain away. She wouldn’t have it, she wanted it her way. We had no choice but to respect her wishes. This wasn’t about us, it was her life, her sickness, she didn’t want us to be wrapped up in it. She didn’t want to hear the negativity of us complaining about her not talking about it.
My weekend wife left us yesterday and I didn’t get to say goodbye. She wanted it that way. She wanted us to remember her as the strong one, the confident one. She didn’t want us to see what the disease did to her, she wouldn’t let it rob our memories of her. She protected us even in her battle. She showed us how to fight and how much she cared. She was a good wife.