Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Three years ago, my world collapsed

Walt, 24 years was not EVEN long enough. Keep manning the pearly gates, sweetie; and give Grandpa and Opa a hand keeping an eye on Our Boy.

On August 25, 2004, I took a moment to let my online friends know what was going on. This is the post from the journal I was keeping back then ......

Mourning: why I'm not around right now
Last Sunday, my husband, my life partner of nearly 24 years died. Seeing it there in black and white just makes me cringe. I don't mean to bum anybody out and you can skip the rest and any entries in the future with Mourning in the subject header.

On Wednesday (8/18), Walt had flu-type symptoms, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills. I was concerned because he was on several medicines for his seizure disorder and there was one other time that I'd had to take him in to the ER because the blood levels of his meds were so low due to his not being able to keep his meds down.

Thursday, he seemed much better. The fever broke in the night and he was up, taking the bolt off the screen door auto-returns for the guys who were delivering the new fridge. I went back to work after the delivery and when I came home, he said, "don't feel so hot, don't want dinner, think I over-did it."

OK, Friday he was still asleep when I went to work. Not uncommon, as he works second shift and I work a standard 8 to 5. I called at lunch and couldn't raise him. I ran home, since he didn't answer the phone. He's groggy, unsteady on his feet - he fell twice in the bathroom and so I haul him off to the doc's. She thinks he's just missed too many of his meds, so she tells me to disburse the meds and be sure he eats and she'll see him on Monday.

So we go and get food, everything OK, no problem. He's still pretty wiped; so after supper, he heads off to bed early, but I make sure he takes his bedtime meds.

Saturday AM, he's really groggy when I rouse him for his morning meds, but Walt is NOT by ANY stretch of the imagination, a morning person.

But by lunch, he is still groggy and just won't rouse, so JC and I load him in the car and head off to the hospital. Busy ER on a nice weekend, so we wait and wait. They get him in a bed and the tests start - several blood tests, MRI for brain function, etc. Nada, zip and zilch.

After 12 hours in the ER under observation, with IV for re-hydration, they admit him. I go home. My mil calls at 2 am - another story - later.

Sunday am, Walt is brighter, awake and aware and getting himself back and forth to the bathroom. My mom and JC come by after church, get me something to eat and head off to change. Walt and I are talking and watching TV when he gives three or four deep shuddering breaths. I know something's wrong and I run for the nurse. They shove me in the hall and I hear them call a code blue.

I called my mom and JC and they rushed back just in time to be with me when the doctors told me that they couldn't bring him back. One of the deacons from the cathedral came just a few minutes later.

Tears, tears and more tears, paperwork and saying goodbye. I can't talk about it any more, but I'm sure there will be more later.

Waldemar Denton

Waldemar "Walt" Denton, 43, Topeka, died Sunday, Aug. 22, 2004 at Stormont Vail Regional Medical Center.

He was born November 10, 1960 in Babenhausen, Darmstadt, West Germany, son of James William Denton and Hildegard Petik Denton. He graduated from Manhattan (Kansas) High School in 1979 and attended Kansas State University and Washburn University, where he was a member and past president of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Fraternity. He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps. Walt was a member of Grace Episcopal Cathedral.

On September 10. 1983, he married Karla Hempstead-Denton and the couple moved to Topeka in 1984. Walt graduated from the Topeka Police Academy and was employed by the Kansas Highway Patrol, Troop K. Since 1985, he had served at various times as a police officer, a police sergeant, and security guard. Previously, he had been employed at Kansas State University, Meadowlark Hills Retirement Center and Washburn University. Walt was a talented amateur photographer, astronomer and a former Cub Scout Leader.

Survivors include his wife, son James Carl Denton (18), mother Hildegard Denton of Manhattan, KS and brother, Karl Heinz Denton of Portland, OR. He was preceded in death by his father and an unborn child.

Cremation is planned. Funeral services will be 10 am. Friday, August 27, 2004 at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka, KS. Internment will follow in the Cathedral Columbarium.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or Grace Cathedral. Penwell-Gabel Midtown Chapel is in charge of arrangements. On-line condolences may be made at

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