To celebrate my husband's birthday, I thought I'd tell you about the morning that trying to set my foot on fire also did the same for my marriage. This guy is committed to the "just do it" mentality as if he were a spokesperson for Nike.
I had spent the first 30 some odd years of my life avoiding hospitals. And besides random emergencies in the ER like holding a nail gun the wrong way (this actually happened) or elephants sitting on my chest (this did not), I was thinking I'd done pretty well. However, I turned 40 and my body went, voila! ... I spent more time there that year than anticipated. I now have a couple of nurse friends on speed dial.
Okay. I am remembering a particular day that just took the cake ... the day in which I tried to ignite my foot. I had just had two major surgeries, two minor surgeries, and spent several weeks waking up every couple of hours to have my vitals checked. WHY hospitals encourage people to get some rest when that is their modus operandi I will NEVER know. I think they mean, “Rest up, we'll be in again in a few minutes to use you as a pin cushion and check your orifices for loose change.” (yes, you just read a Princess Bride double-reference)
I had just recently recovered from a bed-ridden month, which I will not even begin to describe in detail. In short, I'll simply say that a kidney stone decided to go against the quick-but-horrid excruciating pain it typically causes and simply kill me instead. Fortunately, it was thwarted. That's the short version. What I'm getting at here is that over that particular year, I spent three months in recovery from something and that last time was so liberating I nearly lost my mind with joy.
Until that morning.
My husband, who was getting ready to go to the airport, was in the shower as I decided to whip up a nice, greasy, southern breakfast for him. This man REALLY deserved more than that after that year, but it was just a little something I wanted to do. Southern Grease is underrated; it's healthy, right? Anyway, remind me to use the microwave next time...because...
Sigh. On the way back to the stove from placing the bacon on our plates, I slipped on the kitchen floor just a bit and the entire pan full of hot grease sloshed out onto my left foot. The whole pan. Onto the one bare foot.
And there was screaming.
Lots of it.
David knows I am accident prone and has wisely decided to only be concerned if I yell twice. He must have realized by the increasing passion of my yawps that this was not just my normal ow-I-hurt-myself yell (which happens often) and he came running into the kitchen straight out of the shower and completely naked. And I'm pretty sure I saw some ... soap.
I was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor barely breathing, staring at my foot, and screaming incoherently, when I finally belted out something about "water." It was somewhat helenkellerish.
I am going to jump to later in the day, foot healing with aloe and bandages, working at my computer trying to ignore the sting. I believe I was typing an email or something when I saw the sun hit my engagement ring and send a slew of tiny rainbows all over the room. I moved my hand so they threw themselves around the books, the scripts, the piano, the guitar, the coffee bar, the chess board, the breakfast table, the hiking shoes ... and the melted ice bag David crushed up for me that morning.
"Do you think I’d withdraw my holy promise? or take back words I’d already spoken?"
from Psalm 89:34-47
Those little rainbows from the sun lit on everything we are as a couple. And I chuckled ... I mean, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of these things on days other than anniversaries and special occasions ... and believe me, I had been reminded a lot that year ... but I laughed with a bit of joy because, well ... because my husband keeps his promises. I mean, this man bolted from what he was doing and poured glass after glass of water on my foot until I was sitting in a huge puddle with wet jammies, staring up at him, lips quivering, and tears in my eyes.
And he was completely starkers. Gotta love that.
Picture not included.
It is not easy to sprint to your loved one's side when it is inconvenient or when loving that person gets really, really difficult. I hope that you don't have to lose the skin off of your foot to find that out, but ... I promise it will be well worth it if in those moments you follow my devoted and fervid companion's lead, take a deep, deep breath and ... just do it. Jesus sure did .. and many of us do know about the times he was surrounded by jerks.
Maybe your life is filled with all kinds of pyromania ... moments when you unintentionally almost "burn down" something or that someone who means something to you. My prayer for you is that the prisms of promise keep you running to each other's side ... even if it was your own dang fault. That kind of mutual commitment will always keep you on the right track.
Happy birthday, David. And thank you ... for everything.