Today is my twelfth wedding anniversary.
A dozen years ago, I stood in my brother's living room with our pastor and twenty of our closest friends and family members and vowed to love this man for the rest of my life. The service was brief and to the point, but like every other ceremony I've ever seen, there was the promise about cleaving to each other in sickness and in health.
In the grand scheme of things, that in sickness and health thing has been pretty easy-going. Sure, we've gotten the flu from time to time and while neither one of us is a "hair-holder," so to speak, we do make sure our spouse has everything he or she needs to get better. Although, if we were keeping score, my husband has definitely gotten the short end of the stick. Since we got married in 2000, I've been hospitalized at least three times. I've found lumps in my breasts, torn muscles, sprained joints and had reproductive issues that have left me bed-ridden, sometimes for weeks on end.
Overall, I consider myself pretty healthy, so really these times have been minimal, but when the words "in sickness and in health" are truly put to the test, I am so fortunate to know that my husband will be here through it all. And what a trooper he is. With me, it's never as simple as just being sick. I'm a control freak, so with sickness along comes mood swings, impatience, stubbornness and impertinence. I don't do "dependent" well, but like a God-sent miracle, my hubby puts up with all of it.
I'm getting better about it, though. He made homemade chili tonight for supper. Not once did I get off the couch to "help." In fact, I didn't even offer suggestions from the couch unless he asked for them. And it was delicious. Did it taste like mine? Not exactly, but that's okay. I let it go. I ate it and enjoyed it and spent my time being grateful for having someone to take care of me. He's taken such good care of me this week. He brought me doughnuts yesterday because he knew I was craving sweets. Today, he brought me an array of candy that he thought I might enjoy. He has waited on me hand and foot since I came home from the hospital Thursday.
Normally, I'm someone who wants privacy in the bathroom (I don't pee with the door open and don't want anyone else to do it either), but God bless him, he's stood right there with me, handing me whatever I may need and helping pull me up when I lacked the abdominal muscles to get up myself. He's helped me change dressing on my incisions and has rubbed lotion on my back and feet because they're so dry. He's made ten back-to-back trips to the kitchen & bathroom when I've asked for more ice water...then a bowl of soup...then a Coke...then more pain pills...then to take my bowl back to the kitchen...then the ice bag. He's lifted and held me in place while I adjust pillows and cushions in what I'm sure has been painstaking fashion for him. He's had sleepless nights because I've cried out in my sleep, waking him up from his. He's put up with my rants about crappy nursing staff and the pity parties where I begin feeling sorry for myself.
My husband and I have hit rock bottom and we've seen the view from the top. I know I take him for granted far more often than he deserves, but I don't know what I'd do without him. I'm so thankful for his unconditional love and his full understanding of what "in sickness and health" truly means. I pray that we never have anything more taxing than what we've dealt with so far, but I know if we do, he'll be there without question.
I love you, baby. Happy anniversary.