I never really thought much about the vow “In Sickness and Health” till 2017. I certainly have now. For the first time in our lives together we had to cancel travel for illness, my illness. I contracted pneumonia in January and was convalescent for all of February and half of March.I felt like a burden to you, and to myself for those six long weeks. I began to believe that I was going to remain sick, and my hopelessness began to even creep over the stability of you and me. I began to wonder if you could endure another day, another surprise doctor visit, or another night of my fever. I began to ponder my mortality, my career choices, and whether or not I was going to become invalid. I am still battling with residual effects of illness and the paranoia that it could return. I still freak out every time I cough or have a body ache. However, I have discovered that the S&H vow is one you plan to keep.
While I was in a fog of life, you worked as hard as you ever have. You kept the lights on, the food stocked and nursed me from near and far. You showed me a side of you that was so much tougher than what I had already witnessed, and although you have always been strong, this was a part of your makeup that I did not know. I am typically the guy who keeps the truck on the road and the train on the trestle. I simply could not do it for most of this year. It had to be you. It was not the easiest thing for you, and you are tired, ready to see something new. I hope this is happening. As you read this, we are likely awaiting a flight from London to Rome. The familiar FCO airport awaits, and a new Italy road trip will begin. We celebrate today with a grand tasting of pizza from one of the greatest pizza makers in Italy (which means best in the world). But this is not what this day is about, not this year.
This day, April 30, 2017, we will celebrate vows that seem almost cliche but are distinctly poignant. It is no accident that we are here at year eight. We talk to one another, assess, coach, and postulate about what we have seen, what we want to see, and who we want to become. We are not bound by age, demographics, race, religion, or place of origin when determining our goals for life. The universe did not weave us from the same cloth as many, and we have long known this. We fit few accepted norms of behavior, and we place few (if any) limits upon ourselves for the choices we are free to make. However, all of this could come to a grinding halt if our health fails us. This illness is now part of our collective experience. We saw the Housewrighter travel and discovery engine come to a very abrupt stop. However, you know what this did for me?
This malady made me love you more than I knew I was capable of loving anything. It gave me the realization that while I took that vow eight years ago, I now know that it is real. Yes, I know I “should have known” it was true then, but let’s face it, I am human, and I haven’t exactly had the best luck in relationships (till I met you). I mean, if you can love me through the shitshow of early 2017, let’s keep this caravan moving. We have no idea what kind of time either of us has on this earth. We don’t, and that is the card we are all dealt. What we can do, and what we choose to do, is never let a day go by that we do not seek to better ourselves, ennoble our love, and tell each other I love you, and that we are not going anywhere, in sickness and health.
I heard a classic song the other day, and I sang it out loud in my car as I drove down to my photo class. I belted it out vociferously and pictured your beautiful face and sweet demeanor as I crooned. “My love, just thinking about you baby just blows my mind….all the time.”
Happy Anniversary Juliet!
I love you.