But life gets in the way of good intentions sometimes. So does illness and taking care of someone who isn’t up to snuff. And when that someone is your spouse, priorities change instantly. There isn’t time to write a blog, and, besides, who cares!
Hubby surprised us both by his sudden transition from healthy, active and energized to cancer patient within a two week period. I am happy to report that he is recuperating at home and doing incredibly well after a complex, eight-hour-long surgery mid-month, but our journey during August—to stick with the traveling metaphor—was on dirt roads, through potholes, and over one-lane bridges.
Visits to the hospital can take up the entire day; chauffeuring a patient to and from health appointments after his hospital discharge pulls time off the clock like a magnet sucking up nails. Offering assistance and comfort without being cloying is a challenge, not to mention taking care of all the household stuff that heretofore was shared.
It takes something like this to realize what good health and good fortune we’ve had all these years (almost fifty-one of them), married to each other. It's as if we are viewing our collective life with new perspective. Neither one of us is angry or outraged at this turn of events. Que sera, sera. We will manage what comes. Yes—there is need for additional treatment after surgery, but for now we are not looking ahead. And every day Hubby feels better.
A friend of ours who is currently caring for his wife during a difficult health ordeal recently wrote that he has never been more in love with her, that he feels as close to her emotionally as he did when they first were married. I loved reading his words because I understood immediately what he meant. I won’t pretend that sometimes I don’t miss my social freedoms or don’t feel cranky about horizons closing in, but Hubby and I are sharing a new kind of intimacy that feels both important and intense. The reality of this life-changing game is raw and physical, but being available to care for, comfort, cajole, and chauffeur feels, oddly enough, something like a privilege.