My husband is home sick. He’s gloriously pathetic: a cold-turned-bronchitis walloped him at midday yesterday, leaving him with a hacking cough and bleary eyes. The medicine the doc-in-the-box prescribed has knocked him back on his bum, and a good thing, too, because it is letting him sleep despite the cough (not so me, however, who woke up multiple times to the dry agonizing cough of the sleeping lump next to me.)
I feel so badly for him, and a bit guilty for his illness. Perhaps his cold wouldn’t have worsened had I not dragged him all over the country to see my family for Thanksgiving?
All I want to do is stay home, making chicken soup from scratch and reminding him to take his medicine.
I am no Florence Nightingale; I find his hacking cough monstrously icky and don’t want to snuggle with his germy face. But still I find myself fretting over him, wondering if I put enough honey in his hot water, if he needs another pillow, if I got him sick.
I realized, this morning, that this is one of the reasons you get married. Or at least one of the reasons I got married. The good times are, of course, good. They keep things exciting and moving forward and laughing. But the good times also serve as a reminder, during the bad times, of why you’re so danged committed, of why you promised to be with this person forever in the first place (it’s an absurd promise, if you think about it).
But when we’re sick, it is a tremendous relief to let someone else worry about the essential day-to-day stuff when you’re dealing with something sucky, from bronchitis or a bad day at work or the death of a loved one.
I owe my husband lots of chicken noodle soup and orange juice because my grandfather died suddenly last month. He’s been keeping me going as we took the 8-hour drive up for the memorial service and then back one weekend, and again as we repeated the trip for Thanksgiving so Grandma wouldn’t be alone. He’s kept me fed, dressed, and showered, and even got me to giggle a little, on the days when I want to do nothing but crumple to the floor and cry (there have been many of those days). He was there for the days–and probably more to come–when I was soul-sick; I’ll be there for him for the days that he’s just regular-sick. Not only is it part of the promise I made in front of 150 people, it’s the reason I made that promise. Because I got married for the sick days just as much as the whole ones.