Our 17th anniversary started with a sponge bath. A very thorough sponge bath. Not a sexy role playing thing, it was a bath of necessity.
As I helped Tim wash away 2 days of hospital funk, scrubbed his hair, his scruff, I thought "So this is what they mean about sickness and health". I told him that thought.
We've been together a long time, almost half of our lives. We're weathered together, our skin, our souls. We've come through.
I had his ring on my necklace for two days, he gave it to me pre-op, a quick exchange before they took him up for an emergent appendectomy. It is a major minor surgery, usually quick if not painless. But still my heart hit my throat when I saw him on the gurney, spoke with the surgeon, watched them wheel him away, sat in the stuffy waiting room.
I signed onto the caring for others almost the same year we came together. I've been doing both for a very long time now. I can say when the two intersect, it may not be my strong point. It is one thing to care for a stranger for 45 minutes and then walk away. Quite another when it is someone you love, when that someone is your spouse.
He is on the mend. A bit of a surly and anxious patient but home and on the mend. He walks strighter by the half hour, things seem to be righting, the surgeon was pleased with the simplicity of a sometimes complex surgery. The boys welcomed him home, all shouts and questions, happy that their daddy only lost something inside his tummy.
We've postponed our leaving all with well wishes and little issue, folks sending healing thoughts and prayers, friends bringing funny gag gifts that even made the surgeon laugh.
(That's a ceramic Lassie. She has a new appendix for Tim in her mouth. Clever sweet friends)
Weathering another storm, this one quick and hard, waking to a New Year's Eve day hard, bright and hot. All clear.
I wish I could tell you about how Tim saved me this night 17 years ago but the details are a little compromising. He was there though...kissed me, bundled me up and took me home, let me use his toothbrush...the first of maybe what is a 1000 times now. We've not been apart since. Distance at times, struggle at times but the relationship? Right there.
That night when I used his toothbrush I was, ah, seeing things. I was in his bathroom brushing my teeth when I glanced into the mirror and there I was, about 89 years old; not Me young but Me old, so old. And that's when I knew. I was right where I was meant to be. A big thing to realize at 19 but unavoidable in a way.
I don't know if we'll make it to that vision in the mirror together, wizened old ones. But the last 2 days, the last 17 years actually, well, they are just proof that I would like to.
Happy anniversary, MCD. Glad you are okay.
Good night, 2011. Hello, 2012.
All the lighter for the loss of an appendix.