The following is a message posted to the Step Out to Stop Diabetes page of Felicia Cagle, a volunteer supporting the event. She has agreed to let us share her heartfelt and emotional story which reminds us all of why the mission of the ADA is so important to our friends and family.
I am walking in memory of my late husband Eric Shawn Cagle.
My husband, Eric Cagle died on August 18, 2014, just 12 days after his 38th birthday.
His death was very sudden and brought my life to a screeching halt. He died of complications from Type 2 diabetes. He was admitted to the hospital on June 25th, 2014. He had not been feeling well that entire week and he finally agreed to go to the hospital. We learned that he woud need a partial amputation of his leg so that his life could be spared. Initially, Eric resisted, but he agreed to the surgery because he wanted to live.
The surgery was scheduled the next day, it was imperative to remove the source of infection that was causing his body to shut down. This surgery was supposed to save his life. In theory, he was giving up a lot, but he would get to live. He never woke up from that surgery, not fully, anyway. The last time I interacted with my husband was a quick kiss and I love you before the surgery. I never heard him speak again, I don’t even know if he knew that I was there every day waiting for him to respond.
There is a song by a band we both loved called Death Cab For Cutie, and the song is called “What Sarah Said”, he used to tear up when he would hear it. I listened to it days after his death and I finally got it. I never knew prior to this how fitting the song would be to that time in my life. I never really got the answers I wanted as to why he was not waking up, just various opinions. He seemed to be improving consistently the whole time. The only thing I am sure of is that if he would have been propery educated and informed on how to manage his diabetes, I would not be writing this right now.
Eric’s nickname was The Lion, and he was just that. He wore his heart on his sleeve and spoke his mind. He was a wonderful man who was extremely passionate about life. Eric and I met in the fall of 2008 we fell in love immediately and I moved to the DFW area to be with him in early 2009. He was my perfect person, the one I thought I would never find. We had a lovely destination wedding in New Orleans in the fall of 2010. In the brief time he was in my life he filled it with love, respect and teaching. My husband was knowledgeable on many topics and he taught me well. He was a lover of the arts and he was a gifted poet. He loved a radio show called The Ticket and listened to it every day. He was a ride or die Rangers and Mav’s fan and he was a lover of all music but especially the Shoegazer genre. His favorite bands were Swervedriver, Ride, MBV. He loved God, his family and his friends. He hated injustice and taught me to be more open and kind.
Eric was, is and always will be the love of my life.
Eric and I were planning on starting a family in early 2015. We had discussed it many times in the previous years, but he wanted to bring children into a prepared and secure environment. He had this ridiculous face he would make when the idea of babies were brought up and he would say “no babies”. I know it made his mother a bit nervous when he said this, although she would giggle. We wanted to be in a good place in all aspects of our life before welcoming a child. Health was a top priority, Eric and I have been overweight a large part of our lives and during our relationship. We had lost weight together and gained it back together. We officially found out Eric was a Type 2 diabetic about three years ago and we worked on healing it holistically. However, we felt like we were on our own, with direction. We tried to put good habits in place, we ate plant based meals, we took supplements, we did cleanses. The downside is that we also ate poorly and we lived a sedentary lifestyle. I wish we had been able to get some guidance and put it all together.
I am walking to bring awareness to a disease that kills many people unnecessarily. I am riding to fight against a disease that robbed me of my happiness and left me a widow and childless, which is something I wanted more than anything. I ride for all the other people out there that might be able to make changes by hearing about my husband’s story.