"I love you, too"
This was the sky over Portland on the morning of January 30, 2020. I shot the photo through the large window of Nikki’s room in the ICU, where I had spent a sleepless night on a recliner next to Nikki’s bed, holding her hand across the bed-rail, whispering and weeping. At one point during the night, she stirred and opened her eyes. I squeezed her hand and said, “I love you, baby.” She looked at me, recognized me, and said with a smile, “I love you, too.” These were to be her last words. Not long after sunrise, Nikki was transferred from her room in the ICU to an adjacent ward, into a room with no windows at all. I asked a nurse if another room could be found, pleading, "I don't want her to die in a room without a window." Around 3:30 that afternoon, half-asleep on a bed in that same bleak, windowless room, I felt the nurse tapping me and heard her say, “She stopped breathing.” I have no idea what the sky looked like then.
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