From time to time, a few lines of poetry or prose will flow from my husbands lips. But typically, there’s a catch. Never knowing what will come out of his mouth, I am continuously inclined to expect the unexpected. For those of you who know us personally, you know that my husband is typically a giant goofball. You can find him with his big size 15 foot in his mouth on any given day.
Yet, here he is, fully engulfed in the fight of his life with this cancer, and somehow, he still finds ways to make me laugh, when most days, all I really want to do is cry.
A nice jello dinner under the soft florescent lights may start out with, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways,” and end with a long period of silence while he counts the ways in his head without saying a word or kicks off his slippers to count his toes when he runs out of fingers.
This morning, I pretended to be asleep because I wasn’t quite ready to start the day. I could hear him snoring until the nurse came in and a quiet conversation unfolded. He asked her not to wake me up because he knew that I was tired. With heartfelt emotion, he went on to explain his feelings for me and what it means to him to have me with him on this journey.
Still with my back to them both, I laid there in tears thanking God for such a sweet man, who is in the fight of his life, but is worried about whether or not I get enough sleep.
For those who have traveled this road, you know that cancer is a full-time job for the care-giving partners involved. Honestly, with all of the metrics to record and vitals to monitor, romance rarely even enters my mind anymore. While every act is most assuredly a labor of love, I just don’t have time to think about anything but the next milestone and what it’s going to take to get there.
We’ve been married for four years now and in the beginning, he used to joke that the only thing that could make him love me more is if we had a child together. Of course, he got quite the chuckle at the look on my face at the thoughts of having a baby at this stage of our lives. Oddly enough though, this cancer battle has been sort of like expecting a baby together but without the sweet anticipation that goes without being said.
Think about it. We received shocking news. After receiving the news, there were many preparations to be made, many lifestyle changes to under take, and lastly, lots and lots of waiting for that part of the journey to be over so we can begin a new chapter of our lives.
Along the way, in spite of everything, this experience has actually brought us closer together. We can visibly see our love and appreciation for our partnership grow day after day. While I have absolutely no intention of giving him up when this journey is complete, the very thought of possibly having no choice is almost more than I can bear. But tiny moments like this morning’s conversation between my husband and the nurse have a way of overshadowing the scary parts that we have no control over.
That being said, I was reminded as that short conversation took place, that no matter what is going on around you, and for someone like my husband, no matter what is going on inside of you, it is important to be ever present in even the smallest of moments to count your blessings where you can. You may just have to kick of your slippers and use your toes when you run out of fingers.