By Kelly Florence
You never know how tragedy will affect your life or what gifts may come out of it. This was the case for me when I simultaneously lost my husband but met my best friend during one summer.
I was twenty-three years old, spending three months in the intensive care unit of a hospital next to my twenty-four-year-old husband. He was diagnosed with lupus only two years prior. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own tissues. In the case of my husband, he had a stroke, and his lungs and other organs were failing. Treatment after treatment took place over that summer and it was a lot for a couple so young to go through. I would often be mistaken for his “girlfriend” due to our young age. Only family members were allowed to visit. I would have to assure the staff that I was, indeed, his wife and we had been married for four years already. Day after day, the only escape I would have from the monotony of the beeping monitors and the horrific sound of the life support system that was keeping him alive was a trip downstairs to the cafeteria or restaurant.