lucille-ball

8

Happy 75th Wedding Anniversary, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz // November 30, 1940

Lucy and Desi spoke once more in the final days before his death on December 2, 1986. As Lucie remembers, “I got on the phone with my mother and said, ‘He’s barely speaking. He didn’t eat any of the dinner we fixed. He hasn’t eaten in three days. I don’t even know if he’ll understand what you’re saying, but I’ll put the phone up to his ear.’ She said, ‘Oh, okay.’ She was always trying to be so brave. You could hear her voice cracking. I put the phone up to Dad’s ear in the bed. And he gave me a look that said, ‘Who is it?’ And I said, ‘It’s the redhead.’ He just listened, and I heard what she said. She just said the same thing over and and over again. It was muffled, but you could clearly make out it was the same thing over and over again.

“It was, ‘I love you. I love you. Desi, I love you.’ You could even hear the intonations of the voice change, how she meant each one, the interpretations. And I just sat there, trying not to show him I was listening, because I had to hold the phone. I couldn’t get out of the room. He couldn’t hold the phone. And he said, ‘I love you, too, honey.’ Really, my mother was the last person he talked to, because he died about forty-eight hours later.”

“Until I went back into my little diary,” concludes Lucie, “I never put it together that the date this happened was November 30 - the same date as their wedding anniversary.”