And the thought that keeps running through my mind this 22nd Anniversary is the vow that we made before God and man to love each other in sickness and in health. There’s a natural assumption that the “in sickness” will come later in life with the exception of general minor sickness along the way.
I don’t consider myself to be a “sickly” person by any means but when I do have physical issues they seem to come in massive waves. Surgeries that go longer and end up causing complications requiring more surgery, fluke accidents, emergency surgery, etc. It seems I’m on a ten year cycle at this point of major health stuff going all wonky.
And bless my man’s heart. When we found out I had major endometriosis and would not be able to have biological children he never once said a negative word to me. He didn’t walk from the marriage or hold it over my head. Instead he loved me and cared for me tenderly.
When I had a serious intestinal blockage and had to have emergency surgery he held the puke bucket for me and didn’t tell me to be quiet when I was dry heaving louder than a burly man lifting 900 lbs. We laugh about it now – he was wheeling me down a corridor of glass walls with crowds walking both directions and I’m being so loud and it’s just so disgusting. He never tried to hide me in a corner or pass me off to a nurse. He just took it all in stride.
Or the time I had a gall bladder attack at 2am and had to go to the ER. I refused to let Randy call anyone from church to keep Mitchell who was a toddler at the time because I was afraid of coming back home from the ER and them saying “Oh, she just needed to pass gas. She’s fine.” No way – we’re not having that kind of news spread around the church prayer line. So Randy watched Mitchell climb in the back seat of the van in his pj’s for hours while I was in the ER getting checked out and eventually checked in for surgery. I realize how selfish that was now but at the time I couldn’t get past it.
And then there’s been these last three months as I have recovered from a leg injury requiring surgery and a very long recovery. There were nights when we first got home that I was so struck with fear that I felt like I was going to die. Classic panic attack is what it was I guess. Randy, who was sleeping on a pallet on the floor, would sit in a chair and watch me breathe because I felt more secure if he was watching me. WEIRD, I know! I genuinely thank God this only happened a few times and hasn’t returned since. A horrible feeling. Randy knew I was struggling so as exhausted and worn to a frazzle as he was, he sat and watched me sleep, knowing I was fine.
This is what love in sickness looks like for us. I’ve not had the opportunity to care for Randy in such a way at this point in our 22 years of marriage and I thank God for that. But I do pray that God will give me the strength to love Randy in sickness as well as he has loved me. The day will come and I want to be there for him as he has for me.
In the meantime I love my man in health. Oh how I love him.
Happy Anniversary my love. Thank you for taking your vows seriously.