To my husband on Valentine’s Day…

When you say your marriage vows, there are a few things you promise:

For better or for worse

For richer or for poorer

In sickness and in health

I always imagined the last one was for when you or your spouse got cancer, right? You or your spouse gets really ill some disease when you’re in your sixties, and the healthy spouse takes care of the one with cancer or whatever.

The love of my husband helped me learn (again) that I was wrong about that assumption.

I have mentioned this before, but my family is very independent. Growing up, I cannot recall calling many neighbors, family or paid professionals for help. If the water heater was broken, we fixed it. If the roof needed to be redone, we did it ourselves.

While that has lead me to be very good at taking care of myself, it has also lead to me not calling out for help when I should.

The last year has felt like one big cluster fuck of sickness. A few months of depression and anxiety. A few months of neck and back issues. And now – celiac disease, which is for the rest of our lives.

In the last two weeks, I’ve gotten sick twice from accidentally eating gluten. Two weeks ago I accidentally had almonds processed with wheat, and it took me down for two days. Then, today, I ate something with a small bit of gluten and I got a migraine.

When I get sick, the first thing I want to do is run away from everyone. I want to curl up in my bed and make sure I am not a burden.

But marriage vows don’t work like that. My husband doesn’t work like that.

Sometimes I feel ridiculous for having so many health issues. Through it all, Del has been there. When I was sick two weeks ago, I laid in bed while Del camped out next to me. When I got sick today, Del stayed next to me until I woke up.

Without Del, I’m sure that my family and friends would have helped me through being ill. But honestly, having a husband who takes care of me when I’m sick has been one of the best blessings of my life.

When I was a little girl, I use to think that being married meant you just got to be happy all the time.

Now that I’m older, I think marriage is really about echoing the love of Christ into your marriage in all that you do.

If I were sick and Christ lived on earth, what would He do? Well, hopefully He’d just heal me. But short of that, I think He would do exactly what my husband is doing. He would let me rest until I got better, but while I am down He would never leave my side.

Don’t get me wrong, taking care of a sick spouse is not easy. Some days Del is tired, and some days he is frustrated. But more than anything, he is kind and patient.

For some people, Valentine’s Day is about chocolate and roses. I don’t think there is anything wrong with those gifts. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate?

But this year, our Valentine’s Day was my husband showing me that he lives out our marriage vows every single day. I’ll take that over chocolate and roses any day of the year.


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