Today is a special day here. It is our 35th anniversary. As I reflect upon that fact I can't help but think of all that means and all that we have been through as a couple. We've certainly been through a lot of things in that time and it hasn't always been easy. I've even had times I found myself wondering "why" we were still hanging in there. Nothing speaks louder to that than an incident that happened at the hospital just before I came home.
They were busy making preparations for me to be discharged from the hospital. Because of my condition included in those plans were some pretty ugly care issues that needed to be addressed for me to be discharged (my newly acquired ostomy AND two pretty ugly open wounds). There were an assortment of difficult issues affecting my ability to do these things myself but there had to be a responsible adult willing to take on that care if I was to go home.
I didn't even think twice about volunteering Dave for the ugly duty. I think the professionals thought I was nuts but my husband had no qualms and willingly stepped forward to take on the responsibilities.
I remember on that last days as the wound nurse and her student scurried around my bed helping, which was more like scrutinizing, Dave in these new duties, the student said to him, "This sure isn't anything you signed on for." I know she didn't mean anything by it. It was just a reflection of the difficulty of the tasks being asked of him. I had signed Dave up for some pretty tough duty.
Without hesitation Dave responded to her comment, "Sure I did. In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad" You bet I did." He went back to cleaning out the gaping hole in my abdomen as competently as if he was himself a professional.
No one really said anything after his response. Tears rolled silently down my cheeks and my chest swelled with pride for this gentle man I married all those years ago.
It doesn't really matter what comes next. With a commitment like that I'm sure we'll figure out how to get through it. In the meantime we're celebrating the fact we still have each other and hoping for another 35 down the road.