“Onesimus and I rode the same bus and smiled at each other in high school. He played football at Southern Miss. We were married in a double wedding while we were in college. We were married for almost 34 years and he was always the joy of my life.
He was an engineer and we had lunch together every day, even if it was just sitting in the car. He said seeing me at lunch helped him get through the rest of the day. I miss that man coming home at ten ’til five. He always walked in the door and asked, ‘How is my queen?’ I would laugh and say you just saw me four hours ago, you know how I am doing. We were so happy and content with our lives. He was also a pastor. He loved God, church and family.
The last message he preached was on March 29. He told us about being safe and social distancing. He spoke about preparing our hearts because we are going to leave this world someday and be with Christ. Not knowing what would happen to him only a few days later.
He started slowing down after that sermon and by Wednesday he could barely lift his head. I gave him Theraflu and chicken noodle soup for a few days. I saw him change, but he wouldn’t let me take him to the doctor. He thought he was going to bounce back. He had a Bible study over a conference call on Wednesday night and spoke about being leaders in the community. He said be careful, but we still have a job to do being a light and winning people to Christ. He ended the call and laid down. That Friday morning, he called my name and told me to take him to the Emergency Room. He didn’t go to the doctor for anything, so I was running like crazy getting him out of the house.
I checked him in at Grove Hill, but they told me to go home and wouldn’t let me in. Less than an hour later I called the hospital and they said he had COVID and they had to transport him by ambulance to Mobile Infirmary. They wouldn’t let me ride with him, so I didn’t get to see him. I checked into a motel in Mobile to be close to him.
By the third night, I couldn’t breathe and was puffing on an inhaler. I went to the diagnostic center. They x-rayed me and said my lungs were full of fluid. I had COVID, too. They put me in the hospital on the same floor as Onesimus. There were only a few doors between us, but they still didn’t let me see him. I was so sick. I spoke with him on the phone once. I tried to be peppy because I didn’t want him to know he had gotten me sick. All he could say was ‘Bridgette, I don’t feel good. I will talk to you later.’ His nurse wouldn’t let me Facetime because he said ‘you don’t want to see what I see.’ I am grateful for that because I didn’t want that to be how I remembered him. They held up the phone so I could talk to him. I told him ‘I love you so much,’ but he couldn’t respond. When I found out he was a ventilator, I had to get out and fight for him. I went home on oxygen.
He passed on April 19. I never dreamed on April 3 when I rolled him into the ER that he wasn’t coming back to me. I didn’t get to say goodbye.
We would have been married 34 years this year. I thank God for every day I had with him and our blessings. He loved his sons, but he kept asking when they were going to bring him daughters-in-law. It breaks my heart knowing he won’t have a chance to be a grandfather. I will tell our grandchildren about the grandfather who would have loved them. There are texts and pictures on my phone that bring back beautiful memories. I miss him so much. I am making it through this one moment at a time. He is in a better place. There is no more suffering on this side.
Onesimus had a beautiful doctor at Mobile Infirmary, Dr. Harrison. She said they did everything they could for him. I had the best of care, so I trust he had the best of care. I am thankful to Dr. Harrison and their staff for all they did for us.
People need to realize the Coronavirus is serious. Do what you have to do to protect yourself. It is real and will attack anyone I make sure I am masked and I have a couple of extras that I can pass out. There is no reason not to wear one. It is so hard to see death numbers on the screen on CNN and realize Onesimus is one of those numbers. There are so many great losses from this. The numbers keep getting higher. I am praying for our country because this is touching everyone’s life. People I know are passing away.
I miss him daily and my whole world has changed. My health is okay now. Everyone was more worried about me having it because I have asthma.I am living with my oldest son in Birmingham. Onesimus loved his boys and I see him so much in their lives. He was a great example for them.
I used to think Bridgette and Onesimus were going to grow old together. He is buried in Pensacola and I go to his grave every weekend to sit and talk with him. I let the tears flow. I had the best husband in the world. I see it even beyond his death in the things he laid out for me. Beyond the grave, he is still looking out for me and the boys just like he had done all of his days. That’s what love does.”