A love letter to my husband and his village

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Through the years I’ve shared with Main Street readers how Bert married me and my three daughters in a giant leap of faith back in 1986. We’ve both been blessed by the union, as have our daughters — and now our grandsons.

A week ago this past Monday, Bert came home a few hours after he’d gone to work, not feeling well. When I questioned him as to what didn’t feel well, he started listing things that caused alarm. Off we went to the ER at Kootenai Health, which began a weeklong emotional roller coaster ride that culminated in him undergoing open heart surgery.

By the grace of God, with the love and support of family and friends, the Lakeland School District and an exceptional team of medical professionals at Kootenai Health, Bert and I will celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary on March 15. From the moment we pulled up to the entrance of the ER, without exception every single person we came in contact with was kind, helpful and supportive, no matter their role at the hospital, starting with the parking valets at the ER.

ER Dr. Ben Perschau, cardiologist Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh and cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Rob Burnett and the teams of nurses and support staff in the emergency room, heart center, OR, 3 South and the Critical Care Unit provided much more than medical treatment to my husband, the patient — they “treated” me with understanding and respect for the fact that I was feeling helpless and overwhelmed.

I’m grateful that we have a medical center that has a top-notch trauma care and heart center just 15 minutes from our front door. On March 4 I wasn’t sure that Bert would be here to celebrate our anniversary, but on Friday, we’ll share a quiet night at home and begin marking the bonus days that we’ve been given thanks to so many people.

If I live to be 100, I’ll never be able to thank each one of you for your prayers and good wishes this past week. During a really challenging time, both Bert and I have been lifted up to know that there’s such an extraordinary village of people in our lives.

•••

Things to Do:

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion at the annual Steven H. Nipp American Legion Post 143 Birthday Banquet on Friday. 773-9054.

On Saturday everyone’s Irish, so enjoy the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The parade kicks off at 4 p.m. on Sherman Avenue at Eighth Street and through downtown to First Street.

Get your green on with the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Saturday night for Coeur d’Irish at The Coeur d’Alene Resort. Bagpipes, Irish dancers, food and specialty drinks. 5 p.m., info www.coeurdalenerotary.org

•••

Happy birthday today to Paula Sharp, Robin Karrick, Laurie Boeckel and Erich Eickmeyer. Tomorrow Tom Capone, Wayne Cofield, Bud Evans, David Cehr, Candace McEnespy, Teri Rouse, Fabian Medina, Ina Bressler, and Sheila Kemmis celebrate. On Friday John McGruder, Bill Haughton, Terie Huston, Len Crosby, Barry Rubin, Zack Yost, Pam Humphrey and Penny Brownell put on their party hats. On Saturday Colleen English, John Bujosa, Cindy Marcella, Cathy Riorden (50!), Kelly Moore, LauraLee Johnson, Laurel Rollins, Daniel Schelske and Dottie Pichard take another trip around the sun. Combining a little luck o’ the Irish with their birthday celebration on March 17 are Pat Castelian, Cody Peugh, Keith Hutcheson, Patty Conkle, Trish Ortega, Terry Corey, Carrie Nicholson, Mike Gump and Nichelle Price. On Monday my Birthday Club buddy Jack Pierce, along with Chris Englebrecht, Dawn Johnston, Lisa Jirkins, Julie Bjornson and Bret Merry blow out the candles on their cake. Tuesday Lance Bridges, Taryn Nichols, Kris Storey, Megan Merry, Troy Jones, Judey Brown, Patsy Andres, Janet Batchelder and Taryn Moliter take another trip around the sun.

•••

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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