In Sickness and In Health

How blithely we say those vows when we are young and healthy and starry-eyed in love!

bride and groom axchanging rings
My husband and I have been blessed with better than average health. I have my share of chronic older-woman issues but the only time I’ve ever been in the hospital was when my son was born. My husband has an incredible resistance. He’s been lying-down sick with a cold or the flu, at most, three times in the 38 years I’ve known him. And the last time he was in the hospital (before this time) was at age 5 to have his tonsils out.

We are also both fairly independent types. We are “folks who like to do for themselves” as my grandmother used to say.

All this has made it a bit tough for hubs this past two weeks, as he’s started the long journey of recovery from hip replacement surgery. He’s been a good patient so far, but it’s been tough having to rely on me to even fetch him a cup of tea or help him into the shower.

hubs with his walker

Hubs taking his first walk outside. He has to use the walker for another two weeks.

He keeps saying that I’m a saint. I’m not.

But I think he’s realizing for the first time just what that vow meant, 37 years ago.

I’ve known what it meant for 34 of those years, ever since our son’s birth. Hubs was there for me through 21 hours of labor, toward the end rubbing my back to ease the pain until his hands were literally raw. He never complained, never hesitated to do whatever I needed.

Somewhere during that time–through the haze of pain, fatigue and eventually the drugs I begged allowed them to give me once the little bugger decided to get serious about making an appearance–I realized on a much deeper level that this man was meant for me. That he was the finest, most reliable man on earth!

Now the roles are reversed. He has to rely on me to take care of him, and he thinks I’m a saint for doing it.

I’m not. I’m a spouse.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

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14 thoughts on “In Sickness and In Health

  1. Shannon Esposito

    So true! This is one of the things I appreciate most about my hubby. He takes such good care of me when I’m sick and when I was on 4 months of bed rest with our twins and even after my recent, near death “zombie apocalypse” that took me two months to recover from… he takes over all my jobs with the kids, pets, etc. & keeps me fed and alive. He’s a keeper! So glad your hubby is recovering. I think these kinds of life events give us a chance to really appreciate each other. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Reply
  2. Kitt Crescendo

    Hubby and I have been partners much longer than we’ve been married. We take turns being each other’s rocks. I think the thing that makes your post so lovely is that you recognize that love isn’t a noun, but a verb (and an active one at that). There’s a song by a country artist named Andy Griggs called “She Thinks She Needs Me” that sounds a lot like what you’re saying…and it’s beautiful because in the end, you both recognize the value of each other. So glad Susie sent me over to check this out.

    Reply
  3. Susie Lindau

    Hi Kassandra!
    I had to lean on my husband big time with the two surgeries I went through last summer. When you love someone, it isn’t a burden. It is what we do!
    I hope your hubby feels better soon! I’ve heard it can be very painful.
    Thanks for bringing it to the party!
    I fixed your link so people should stop by now…

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb Post author

      I figured you’d be able to relate, Susie! Thanks for fixing the link. I don’t know why the http, etc. doesn’t always show up when one cuts and pastes.

      Loved your blog party!

      Reply
  4. Jess Witkins

    Hi Kassandra! Thanks for sharing this story. It’s right up my wedding planning alley. My fiance and I have been together 7 years already, so of course the family is all like “about time already!” But we’re both really glad we took our time because we’ve been able to go through some cycles already and we came out stronger for it. Now I know that we’re partners, in this together. If I was wedding planning at 20 or 22, we’d be having a very different wedding than we are now (I’m 28). We’ve both had ups and downs with our careers, and we support one another in what’s ahead. I’m glad we waited and everything feels right now. Still nervous about writing those vows though! LOL I’m a writer, I take that stuff seriously!

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      I’m really glad to hear that your relationship is on such solid ground, Jess. You can go into marriage with a lot less doubt than some of us had in our youth. I can admit to those doubts now, since they turned out to be unfounded.

      A word of caution about writing your own vows. Make sure you OVER-practice saying them before the wedding day. My husband got so nervous, they went right out of his head and I had to prompt him. Meanwhile the priest was struggling to keep a straight face! 😀

      Reply

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