It had been fourteen years since her beloved Mark had died. She knew now that there was no one else in this world for her. Elizabeth felt bad about Ella having to grow up without a father. Every time Elizabeth looked into Ella’s eyes she smiled sadly. Ella had Mark’s eyes. Her eyes were always so full of emotion. Just like Mark’s had been. Elizabeth and Mark had only been married a year when he died. In total, they had only three years together. To Elizabeth, they had been the most wonderful years of her life. She would give anything to have those years back. She remembered their first kiss. It had been sweet and tender. Their last kiss was an unfeeling kiss. Mark had not been able to kiss her back. That’s why it had been unfeeling.
When they first got engaged, Elizabeth saw herself growing old with Mark. That reality came crashing down around her when she learned of his brain tumor. Yes, he had miracle surgery, but Elizabeth lived in a fear that he would die suddenly. He did die suddenly. She tried to look on the bright side. At least Mark had made it to their wedding and Ella’s birth. He had even made it to their anniversary and Ella’s first birthday. The month after he had died. That day was still fresh in Elizabeth’s mind. Mark had lain down to take a nap and he wouldn’t wake up. She had called the paramedics. Since the paramedics knew Mark and Elizabeth, they let her ride in the ambulance. The whole ride to the hospital, she desperately asked Mark to wake up. He didn’t. They got to County and his vitals were slowly dropping. On the radio, the ER staff heard that Mark was coming in. They all wanted to help. Kerry and Carter came out to meet the ambulance along with Abby. Elizabeth came out of the ambulance with Ella in tow right after Mark had been lifted out. Abby told the tearful Elizabeth that she would take Ella. Elizabeth reluctantly let go of her daughter. When she tried to go into the trauma room, Kerry stopped her. She asked Elizabeth if she could handle seeing Mark like this. Elizabeth was silent for a moment and then told Kerry yes. Elizabeth pushed open the doors and went to Mark’s side. Carter told her that he was stabilized for now and that he had probably had a stroke due to the tumor. Tears began to flow freely down Elizabeth’s cheeks. Carter also told her that Mark probably wouldn’t make it. That’s when she started to cry much harder. Carter put his arm around her and told her that they would do everything possible. Then Carter left the room. Elizabeth sat down in a chair next to Mark and gently took his hand. "Mark, I hope you can hear me. I just want you to know that I love you. I’ll never love anyone the way I love you. I feared this day would come and now it has. I don’t want you to leave me. I don’t want you to leave Ella. But, I-I don’t want you to be in pain. I love you too much to watch you suffer." Then Elizabeth started to cry harder than she ever had in her life. The staff kept passing the trauma room. Elizabeth saw them out of the corner of her eye and hoped none of them would come in until they were needed. Right now, she wanted to be alone with Mark. Elizabeth sat there for two hours. To her, it felt like five minutes. All of a sudden, she heard a noise she dreaded hearing. It was a beeping noise. As soon as she heard it, she knew she wouldn’t talk to Mark again. Since Mark had a DNR order, Elizabeth knew there was no point in calling anyone to help. She kissed Mark one last time. "Goodbye Mark. I love you." Then, she cut off the machines. She made her way to the doors. She slowly went out to admit. Her feet felt so heavy. She finally made it to the desk. Her lip trembled and she said, "He’s gone." With that, she broke down. Everyone started to cry. "Where’s Ella?" Elizabeth asked. "In the lounge with Haleh," answered Kerry. Elizabeth tried to dry her eyes without much success. She went into the lounge. Ella was grabbing onto a chair to help herself stand up. Elizabeth smiled sadly at the sight of her daughter. "Is he?" Haleh began. Elizabeth nodded and fresh tears found their way down her cheeks. Haleh cried and gave Elizabeth a hug. Then she went into the ER. Elizabeth picked Ella up and gave her a tight hug. "Ma-ma," Ella said. "Yes Ella. Mama’s here." Ella cooed happily. Elizabeth sat on the sofa and put Ella in her lap. She made four telephone calls. The first one was to Jenn and Rachel in St. Louis. Elizabeth heard Rachel break down in the background. Then Elizabeth called Doug and Carol in Seattle. Finally she called her parents, separately of course. She went back in the ER and told everyone she was going home to make funeral arrangements.
It amazed Elizabeth how fresh that day was in her mind. For Ella’s sake, she was glad her daughter did not remember that day. She tried to tell herself that Mark hadn’t suffered and that he was in a better place now. Maybe he was, but she couldn’t get over the thought that he’d be just as well here with her. She’d never forget the love they shared.