Patrick and Michelle Robichaud on the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Patrick Robichaud

Michelle Robichaud and her husband, Patrick, ended every phone conversation by saying, “I love you.” They said the same thing every night before falling asleep and every day before leaving for work.

And on March 23, in the moments before Michelle Robichaud died at age 44, her husband said to her for the last time, “I love you.”

“I kissed her and told her we would be OK,” he said Friday, recalling the moment she passed. “Every day is a gift. Tomorrow isn’t promised. We both believed that.”

Mrs. Robichaud and her husband were married in October 2014 and lived in Sanford. She was the mother of two daughters, Jordan Allen, 21; and Desiree Robichaud, 17, as well as to his daughter, Amanda Robichaud, 27.

Patrick Robichaud’s voice softened Friday as he described his wife and the life they shared together. In pictures posted on Facebook, Mrs. Robichaud has blue, sparkly eyes and a big smile.

“I’ll miss her smile,” her husband said, breaking down in tears. “She was the epitome of a best friend. She was my other half. I’m a better man today because of the last seven years with her.”

Mrs. Robichaud was a waitress and bartender at the Bear’s Den in Dover-Foxcroft from 1999 to 2013. She also waitressed at the Olive Garden in Biddeford and Shain’s of Maine in Sanford. There, she made the popular whoopie pies, and cookie dough and brownies for ice cream recipes.

Her husband remembered meeting her 20 years ago at the Bear’s Den, where he was a frequent patron.

“She was one of those people who remembered everyone,” he said. “She used to be able to take bar orders on a night where there was 200 people in the place and get them all right. When she waitressed, she didn’t write anything down. It’s a great trait for that field, but not so much for me as her husband. She never forgot anything,” he said, chuckling.

Mrs. Robichaud was a single mother of two daughters until her husband entered the picture seven years ago. He said she worked two to three jobs to provide for them, and always showed up for the important moments in their lives. He noted trips to Niagara Falls, Story Land and Disney World.

“She exceeded the definition of being a parent,” her husband said. “She made sure the girls had as much experiences as she could afford to do. The girls went to her for everything.”

Patrick Robichaud reflected on their life together, recalling rides on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and trips to Las Vegas.

“It’s like we’ve known each other our whole lives,” he said. “We talked about everything.”

Life came to a screeching halt in September when Mrs. Robichaud was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer.

“Initially, we were both absolutely devastated,” her husband said. “It was like driving on the highway at night with the lights off.”

She underwent a CT scan, surgery, chemotherapy, and bone marrow extraction. Patrick said her main concern was for her girls. She fought with courage, strength and grace until she couldn’t fight anymore, he said.

“It was heart-wrenching to watch Michelle go through that, and to see her girls go through that,” he said. “It’s an experience that no one should have to be a witness to.”

A celebration of her life will be held at noon April 6 at Above & Beyond Catering at the Town Club in Sanford. Another service is planned for 1 p.m. April 7 at the American Legion in Dover-Foxcroft.

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