Oh Love! I love love! Love love love! But I’m talking about real love. Not, buy me flowers and chocolates love. Not sex on the kitchen table love. Not, let’s pretend Valentines day doesn’t exist love. But true love. Fearless love. The kind of love that knows all, sees all, and keeps on lovin’. More specifically, I’m talking about puking out my nose and peeing out my ass love.
That’s the stuff!
It was only last month I thought I was dying. Not really, but sort of. My stomach hurt. Then it REALLY hurt. And I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. And, being the pain-in-the-ass that I am (those are Steven’s words, not mine), I thought I could just wait it out. Take some Pepto and go on with my life. I’ve found that, medically, if you ignore whatever it is long enough, it will go away… or become tremendously worse. That’s the chance you take when following the advice of not-a-doctor, and this time I was definitely paying the price.
Right before heading off to bed, Steven found me in the bathroom crying in pain. That’s when my body decided to have a double liquidation sale…which is not fun. It was horrible. Painful. Smelly. Embarrassing. We’ve been married a long time, and he’s seen me in some pretty gross situations. This though…this was too much. The tears, the snot, the sounds, the fury. When I finally came to my senses and saw him just standing there in the doorway, pale and frightened, I screamed, “NO! Get out!”
I didn’t have to tell him twice.
12 years ago, we went through pre-marriage marriage counseling. It was the last thing I wanted to deal with and seemed so unnecessary. We had already been together 7 years and had lived together for 1 year. If anything, we should have went through”moving in together” counseling. At this point, we knew each other. We loved each other. Most importantly, we liked and respected each other. Marriage was gonna be a breeze. In fact, our pastor even said to us, “I’m not worried at all about you two”, but we still had to do the counseling.
Confession time. I don’t remember half of what Pastor Mike said. He said the part about not being worried about us. He did state his disapproval of us living together before we were married. And then…I got nothing. EXCEPT for when he talked about love. He spoke about stages of love. Young love and married love and growing old together love. It was sort of romantic and sweet. Then we talked about the vow In sickness and in health.
Pastor Mike asked me, “If something should happen to Steven and he’s incapable of taking care of himself, will you love him enough to take care of him?” I nodded vigorously.
“Do you think you could love him when you have to feed him every day or change his bandages or wipe his behind?”
Steven and I both kind of laughed, and Pastor Mike smiled. “You laugh cause when you’re young, it’s funny to think that that could ever happen. But it could happen. It could happen tomorrow. Or it might not happen until you’re both old and grey. But that’s the commitment you’re making.” It was something to think about, but not really cause we were in our 20’s and sexy as hell. We didn’t get sick. We were invincible. We were in the passionate, we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into phase. And that was okay.
Obviously, this was the last thing I was thinking about while throwing up bile into our elegant claw-foot tub. When the convulsions stopped and I gained control of my functions once again, I told my husband to take me to the hospital. He held my arm on the way to the car. He told me to stop apologizing. He made jokes about how revolting I was, and they actually made me laugh. After 5 hours of being in the ER, they finally admitted me. Steven stayed awake all night long, catching cat-naps on the uncomfortable chair next to my bed. When he finally left about 4am to get a couple hours of sleep before heading off to work, that’s when I thought about love. In sickness and in health love. And I never loved anyone else as much as I loved that man right then.
Eventually, after more sickies and tests and another trip to the ER, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They believe I might have caught the stomach flu while having all the IBS BS coming at me. That’s why it was so horrible. I’m on meds now. I’m fine. My bowel seems less irritable, but she is a resentful bitch.
My heart though, my heart is full. The other day my husband said…well, I’m not going to tell you what he said cause it’s personal. But, after he said it I thought, “How can he say that after seeing me so disgusting?” The answer is… cause we’re in a new phase of love. It’s a deeper love. A committed love. I like to think of it as a Selective Memory love. And it’s awesome.
Happy V-day to all you sickos out there!