When you look at your significant other what or who do you see?
Our daily existence grinds, wears and changes who we think we are, what we think we see, and how our minds perceive ourselves and those around us. Life has a way of giving you little moments to reset a thought process, unwind a feeling or empower a minute. Yet many times our ego, or self involvement will not allow us to see, and therefore we fail to recognize a second in time where we could reset our thoughts, our direction.
Last night after finishing laundry and making lunch for my high schooler, my sorry butt finally hit the hay around 11:00pm. Taking a deep breath as I assume we all do when our tired bones hit the mattress my thoughts were about nothing more than settling into another episode of the Sopranos as I have taken up the series from season one. Clicking all the right buttons and waiting for the screen on my iPad to flicker alive my eyes gazed across the sheets to my wife. My tired heavy sad face casts upon her as she lay, peacefully sleeping, her face swollen, puffy, like she went ten rounds with a prize-fighter only to get stung by a swarm of bees on the way out of the ring. Insult to injury.
She was smiling.
That is right, the whole world is crashing down around her, Leukemia is making her its bitch and she is smiling in her sleep. Now I know she is in misery and there is no earthly explanation for this insane facial distortion. The hives, itching, redness ruling her every moment for the last two days has been nothing short of maddening. Round after round of Benadryl, two pills every four hours resulting in an inability to stay awake. Her days just melding one into another with no real relief on the horizon. Yet she smiles slightly.
Staring intently I wonder what she is thinking about in her dreams? Is it September and her doctors telling her she is cured once again? Is she hugging her children without fear of catching a common cold? Is she riding her giant draft horse, hair grown back long and flowing, blowing in the breeze? Is she relishing in proving me wrong, about something, anything? Is she sitting on a beach holding my hand drinking beer laughing the way she does when I do something stupid? Does she know something I dont know?
At the very moment my eyes locked on her face my heart was overcome with joy. Why? Because she is mine. She keeps apologizing to me for this blip in our lives and I tell her she needs not apologize, it is what it is and we will beat Leukemia. She wont beat it alone, we will beat it together. This woman, who is tougher than hell, meaner than a ferret when cornered and will drive me crazy in an argument with this uncanny ability to twist my words into a mess of spaghetti that even I can’t understand, is mine all mine. This thing called marriage inadvertently has highs and lows, struggles and triumphs. She has given me so much, teaching me to be a better man, a good father and showing me the importance of constantly giving to others.
She tells me she hates the way she looks. No hair, no muscle tone, and she keeps losing weight. All part of the process I say. The funny thing is, I dont see it. When she smiles, it warms me, when she hugs me my heart still beats fast, when she holds my hand and walks with me, I feel like if anyone even thinks about looking at her funny it is all over for them.
So as I look at her, while she lays there sleeping, I quietly thank her. Our marriage will not be an easy one, there is quite a road ahead for us to climb. I could sit here and complain about all the bad things that have happened in my life, cry about the hard times (and sometimes I do, because well you need to get things off your chest) that never seem to end from my narrowed perception. I look at her with all she is going through and there she lays, smiling. Life gave me a moment to recognize, I did and and it seems that even with this disease our life together is pretty damn great.
Maybe that is why she is smiling?
When I look at my significant other, what do I see?
I dont see Leukemia
I see Love…….