Wow, just wow. I’m watching a Christmas episode of West Wing from season 5. Part of the plot included a story about assisted suicide and its legality. There’s a scene where President Bartlett, who at this point has MS and Abby (his wife) are sitting at the dining room table talking about his creating a panel on assisted suicide. She asks him, “Your position has change?” He says, “uh uh no syringe in the nightstand. It’ll get ugly and that’s that. You gonna be there?” She says, “yeah” and gets up and kisses his forehead.
If Chuck hadn’t been across the room I’d have wept big ugly wet hulkin’ tears. I’m an ugly crier. But that conversation just overwhelmed me. It’s been 14 months and 3 days since I walked into the ER and there’s been plenty of ugly. 14 months of surgery, sickness, hospitals, more surgery, radiation treatments, doctors, doctors and more doctors, more surgery and more time in the hospital. I’m tired, very tired and I’m quite sure he’s even more tired. I told my homecare nurse that it’s been more “for worse” than “for better” over the last 14 months. I can only imagine what it’s been like for him. There have been many many lost hours at work, a lot of lost pay, and a lot of giving up things he’d like to do, and even more time spent taking care of me. He’s been selfless, kind, patient, even-tempered, supportive and by my side every moment of every day.
You don’t realize when you’re 24 and starry-eyed in love the road that lies ahead. You don’t realize that sickness and sorrow and financial worries and eventually death await and yet you pledge in sickness and in health and for better or worse anyway. It’s 2 amazingly strong people who manage to honor these vows for all the days of their lives. I look across the room at the man I met 20 + years ago. The man who was the boy on the other side of the door on that fateful night, the man who is my soul mate, best friend and partner on this journey and I’m humbled. Humbled and grateful and so in love; I love his kind face and strong arms and gentle nature and the brave face he’s worn for the last 14 months.
Tonight I’m so in love and so humbled and so grateful and, and, and … I thank God for Chuck every night as I go to sleep.