The pair spent their lives in love after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend when they were only eight years old.
But several weeks ago, Mr Toczko suffered a broken hip in a fall and was left bed-bound. A local hospice delivered a special bed to his home, which staff pushed up next to his beloved wife’s bed.
As Mr Toczko’s condition quickly declined, Mrs Toczko’s own health took a turn for the worse. The couple had always said they wished to die ‘in their own bed, holding hands, in each other’s arms’.
“She kept asking us, ‘What is today, what is today?’ We said it was June. She said it’s June 29th, and June 29th is their 75th wedding anniversary,” said Toczko-Cushman.
The family went along with it, buying balloons and flowers to celebrate, in bed.
“And we said happy anniversary, and my mother was thrilled to death because it was their anniversary and she knew that he was going and that they had made it to 75 years,” said Toczko-Cushman.
The couple’s daughter, Aimee Toczko-Cushman, described the moment she told her mother she had lost her husband, who kept a photo of Mrs Toczko at her Holy Communion in his wallet.
‘I told my mother he was gone,’. ‘She hugged him and she said, “See this is what you wanted. You died in my arms and I love you. I love you, wait for me, I’ll be there soon”.
You do well to be cagey when unlacing a language’s insouciant linguistic genius, for you may find its dark underside, its cabinet of Doctor Caligari, its closet of Caligula. But sometimes these dark undersides are callipygian: light and lithe on the tongue, prettily curved for the eyes, exquisite for lexical carousing. So fine, in fact, that they may slip into a party purely by pulchritude and do a star turn on a stage not their own.
Consider this line from The Wizard of Oz: “You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!” So expressive, so sound-symbolic. But therein is an obscurity: caliginous. What is this abecedarian coelacanth or architeuthis dux doing scaling de profundis into the mechanical racket as a sesquipedalian expletive? What, in fact, would caliginous junk be?
I’m rather inclined to think it’s what one finds in a Jawa sandcrawler or perhaps the corners…
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I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I got out of jail. I barely got any sleep the night before. I just sat in my bunk and imagined what I was going to do with my freedom. While everyone else was sleeping during the night I packed all my stuff out, cleaned out my locker, took a shower, and rolled up my bunk. When six am came along I grabbed my stuff, went down to the nurse to grab my meds, signed the paperwork and walked out the door. The CO that handled the meds gave me a stern warning.
“I’m going to tell you the same thing that I tell all the guys I like: if I see you back in here I will stick my boot up your ass,” he said. I wanted to make a remark about how oddly specific that warning was, but realizing I…
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*taps mic and finds it utterly dead*
*blows into it, says “Testing, 1, 2, 3…” and hopes that mic magically works*
*catches foot in wire, nearly falls down, and realises mic was never plugged in*
*plugs in mic, switches on, and continues as though nothing happened*
SO…last week we had a look at metamorphosis from the ugly caterpillar to the beautiful butterfly, and the realisation that the metamorphosis is always, always one involving our thought patterns and what we’re prepared to accept as truth about ourselves, and what matters to us, rather than externals.
NEXT WEEK we look at how to further that cause, and support this glorious new movement for acceptance of all bodies, because it’s the people who inhabit the bodies, who truly count.
Don’t miss it!