It's been a difficult few weeks and only now are we beginning to get some answers to the pain and weight loss I've experienced. Yet as difficult as it's been, I've discovered that there are far worse things. As a friend shared the other day about the disintegration of her marriage, I realised once again how blessed I am to have had someone support me through this time of illness. I honestly don't know how I could have done it without him.
For four hours he sat beside me in the Emergency Department despite not having had the chance to eat his own dinner. He refused to go home even though I told him I'd be fine. (I lied.)
He drove for over four hours without stopping and missed a conference because he didn't want to leave me alone over night (even though Son#5 was home at the time).
He regularly rang and texted just to see how I was going because he was concerned.
He didn't laugh when I tried different diets in an attempt to see if anything made a difference to the pain. And he voluntarily went and got my prescriptions filled.
He stood by helplessly as I writhed in agony and begged him to help me and it was obvious that it hurt him as much as it did me that nothing could help me.
And he was my support person at the hospital when I had an endoscopy despite hating the sight and smell of hospitals and - without me asking - took the afternoon off work so that I didn't have to be alone when I was allowed home.
To have gone through this without his support is unimaginable.
My marriage isn't perfect (I'm not perfect) but it is a source of strength and comfort especially during the difficult times. Yes, there have been ups and downs. And if I'm truthful, even times when I was tempted to throw in the towel. But when you work through it you realise that it's truly a wondrous thing that two humans with multiple faults can create something so precious - nothing short of a treasure.
I can remember as a new bride reading that marriage can be heaven on earth or h*ll on earth but for most of us, it falls somewhere between the two (and can move up and down the scale depending on life events, hormones, etc). For those of us blessed with husbands who are neither violent nor abusive, neglectful nor unfaithful, we may have little idea of the torment that some women endure.
I'm not judging my friend because I have no understanding of what she has suffered but I do want to weep. For her, because she hasn't experienced the joy and comfort of a happy and stable marriage; for her marriage, because there is just something heartbreaking about the misuse of an institution that should comfort, encourage, support, unite, and bring joy to those who belong to it; and for marriages in general because I am convinced that God also weeps when He sees how we have messed up His original and perfect plan.