The Central Texas community came together Sunday to support a man who recently lost his wife to cancer.
Bob Coleman would do anything for his wife, Lydia. When she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and stage 3 kidney cancer, he decided to quit his job and take care of her 24/7.
Without the weekly income and with hospital bills piling up, a BBQ fundraiser was held on Jan. 27. Unfortunately, no one knew she wouldn't be present to say thank you.
Lydia passed away a week before the fundraiser.
It started when Lydia called her husband saying she was lost and couldn't find her way home, she was by a gas station that she frequents. When he picked her up he assumed it was time to see a doctor.
Lydia also started losing sight in her left eye.
"She could see straight in front of her, but if you were on her left side she didn't know you were there," Coleman said.
Coleman would work almost 12-hour days and he realized it was time wasted when he could be with his wife. Thinking care giving would be easy, he would soon be tasked with many new challenges.
Lydia passed away on Friday Jan. 18. A day that Coleman didn't expect to come so soon.
"She passed at home in our bed with me on one side and Diane on the other side." Coleman said. "The two dogs knew what was going on they laid across her legs."
The Central Texas Community showed their support at the fundraiser, a silent auction and raffle prizes were also there for people to take part in.
"There's only maybe 15 people who ever met her, but so many people are here to help," Coleman said.
Coleman is more than thankful by how many have donated and is shocked to see the amount of support flood in from strangers.
"This really is the heart of Texas, I have never seen so many people with open arms and open hearts," Coleman said
Now, Coleman is left with the memories he had made with her the past 39 years. It's hard to pinpoint what he loves most about her but most that knew her said they will never forget her laugh. It was a giggle that couldn't stop.
"My arms don't stretch far enough for how much I love her." Coleman said. If he has learned anything since Lydia's diagnosis in Aug. 2018 is that you need to cherish every moment. Leaving one piece of advice for the rest of the community.
"Go home and hug your loved ones," Coleman said. "Life is much shorter than you'll ever ever think and we're only here for a short time."
If you would like donate to help Coleman you can by emailing Tolea Smith at email@example.com.
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