Click to preview To Keep A Man Alive photo book

The first snowfall of the season came early in 1985. Big, heavy, wet flakes came down all afternoon. We always ate out on Friday evening and that November night we drove and walked through five to six inches of slush. Leaving the restaurant, I noticed that the temperature was falling and the slush was starting to freeze. By morning the streets would be covered with frozen ruts.
Harry woke me up just before two a.m. and asked me to tie his shoes. I wasn’t fully awake until I finished the second shoe and realized that he was dressed and moving away from me. I asked him to help me up and he said he couldn’t and he walked out of the room.
When I reached the hallway, he was near the bottom of the steps and I asked where he was going. He said, “to the hospital – I can’t breathe.” Thinking that he was having a heart attack I told him to wait, I’d call 911. He didn’t answer and I heard the back door close. I reached a front window just in time to see his car fishtail around the corner on the way to the hospital. And that was the start of a journey that he and I would share for the next 17 years.

Audrey Lorbiecki-Rhyner


About the Author

Steven Rhyner
srhyner Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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