Thursday, February 10, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

Earlier this month my parents celebrated 41 years of marriage. You know that line in the wedding vows where you promise to love each other "in sickness and in health"? Well, I am seeing that vow lived out in their lives right now. My mom came home from the hospital on January 24th. She was home for a week, then went back into the hospital for eight days, and is now home again. She has had open heart surgery, pneumonia, two bacterial infections, a collapsed lung, and a stricture in her esophagus which prevents her from eating or drinking anything. She needs physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy. She needs her wound vacuum dressings changed every other day. She needs help with her peg tube feeding and even help getting herself to the restroom. She is tired and she is weak. But in all of this "sickness" I have seen my dad's steadfast love for my mom shine through. He logged countless hours at the hospital when she was admitted back in November. Even when there wasn't much for him to do or when she was just sleeping all day, he wanted to be there. Now that she is home, my dad is playing the role of full time nurse. He is putting his job on hold so he can care for her 24 hours a day. My mom's sister helps out quite a bit too, relieving my dad so he can run a few errands. And of course, I try to stop by when I can. Lately, though, illness and bad weather have prevented me from seeing her. But I know my dad is right there to cover her with a blanket, change out her iv medication, or just keep her company. He is her rock, and she has told me many times that she is so grateful for the wonderful care he provides for her. It's the same kind of loving protection that he gave me, and continues to give me.

I am so blessed.

PS-- The above photo of my parents was taken in 1970 soon after they got married. Actually, it is a painting of a photo that they had taken. My mom says the artist took some liberties with the brightness of Dad's purple shirt and tie. Cause I don't think in my entire life I've ever seen my dad wear a purple shirt/tie combo. :)


Joe and Talsie said...

I teared up at this a little bit! I know what you mean about seeing true devotion. I remember watching my grandfather care for my grandmother. Forget movies that talk about "true" love. True love is in the every day drudgery and the stick-by your side difficulties. I hope your mom continues to get better!

Maria Rose said...

What a beautiful post! How fortunate you are to have parents who are so very in love!

Shauna said...

You are so blessed to have parents that love each other so much! I will never forget seeing my grandad take care of my grandmother before she her medicines, adjusting her oxygen tank, helping her to the restroom and feeding her. I hope to find love like that someday. I was just about to write on your wall and ask about your mom when I read this...I'm so glad she's back home again!

Anonymous said...

puts things in perspective!!