Life stories: The woman who could do it all

Last updated 09:22 18/09/2012
Glenys Kerr
SO MISSED: Glenys Kerr

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I lost my wife Glenys Kerr to breast cancer a year ago. We had been together 12 years and married for seven; she was only 38.

Glenys had empathy for everyone. She would go out of her way to volunteer to help anyone that needed it.

She had such big plans for life: travel through europe, building a new house, two kids.

I met her in 2000. Initially, she hated me. She was 26 and a good looking woman. I liked her.

Glenys was the quintessential country girl. She went to school and achieved but qualifications meant little.

She was a good typist, so went and worked for the Hawera District Court as a team leader. Her best friends all left Taranaki, so she moved to Wellington.

She ended up in the Lower Hutt courthouse as a stenographer and from there she moved to Crown Law as a typist. This is where I came on the scene.

She had already bought her first property and I had just broken up with someone and then was made redundant.

I met her, we had four dates, and then she decided that we should move in together. I couldn't believe my luck.

Three years later we were married and then we made plans (the kids could wait a few years, but travel and a house were on the list).

We did some travel but not Europe: Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia and the South Island.
The day of her funeral we were actually meant to be in Barcelona as part of a cruise around the Mediterranean.

When she got sick, she was more upset about ruining the holiday.

After Crown Law she moved to a private firm and was a partner's PA -  it was her perfect job. She was such a good organiser and was one of those people that could handle a top lawyer. She wouldn't take his bollocks. 

In the end she was in charge of four lawyers. She also ran our household. I was an equal partner, but I mowed the lawns and she paid the bills.

That was until a year before she died. She suddenly got weak, really tired, and I took over. Glenys hated that. I became her nurse, but that was our life. I'd do it again for her.

It all came crashing down. She struggled for more than five years to beat it, but she couldn't. There were so many hospital visits and five rounds of chemo.

On our last visit she was so sick she couldn't walk. I drove her to the top of Mt Victoria, then out to Paraparaumu beach for fish and chips; that was our last weekend.

We went to the hospital on Monday morning for a checkup and she fell into a coma. Two days later I was advised to turn off her oxygen. I did but I wish they hadn't asked me to do that. She died in my arms in Wellington hospital; I died that day too.

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She was so young. I hate that someone like her died and I live. God, I miss her.

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