Horseplay Memories

Dear Rick,

I’m at work.
It’s 9:47 am, and suddenly I pictured being at the hospital with you.

Getting on the elevator at the medical center, you turn to me and jab at my stomach and I warn you that there are cameras watching your abuse.

Then we continue with the horseplay

I swat at you
Or I throw my arms around you
And kiss you

Just to give “them” a good show

It became our usual routine alone on that elevator…
more treatments,
more radiation,
more blood draws,
more crap that you endured.

We endured.

How can that most horrible year be something I miss now?

Because I’d take anything, endure it all again, just to be with you.

October 19, 2018

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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