Sometimes in life, we are reminded of things, or people. Sometimes those reminders come quickly, and scary, like almost losing someone you love. Then, there are other reminders that come quietly, softly, and if left unnoticed, will sadly drift away in the wind, as if they never existed.
That was my kind of reminder last night.
He didn't know. My husband, that is. He knew I was sick that morning, but he didn't really know. He kissed us all goodbye and left for work. Within minutes I was running in and out of the bathroom, feeling sicker and sicker. By the time the kids were eating breakfast, I had thrown up a handful of times, nearly fainted, and wanted to die. But he didn't know. When lunch came around, I was literally making a mental note to give Emma the phone in case she needed medical help for me. I had practically made a bed in the bathroom, the kids had watched television all-morning-long, and two boxes of cereal had been poured out completely onto the carpet. And yes, they were eating it. But he didn't know. When it was time for the baby to go down for her nap, I had actually contemplated not putting her down, because I couldn't make it up the stairs. But I managed it. When I came back down I found a place on the floor, in the corner near the couch, where the kids couldn't see me, and I laid there and cried. A lot. It was the worst pain I had ever felt. I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it. So I said a prayer. I begged that God would help me make it through so I could take care of my kids. And I prayed that He would send me someone. After a few minutes, I found my way to the bean bag and fell on it.
As my kids stood there and stared at me, at the one person who was supposed to be taking care of them, I wondered what other sick women do when they felt this way. I assume they suck it up and get their children dressed, feed them something not spilled out all over the floor, and do their duties. I wondered if this 24 hour sickness was going to lead them my sweet children to cheating on tests, lying, or becoming serial murderers. Had I told them I loved them that morning, had I given them their veggies? Did I even get them dressed? I suddenly felt like the world's worst mother. And I felt completely alone. It was in that moment that I honestly didn't think I could make it another minute.
Then, something happened. The front door opened, and there, standing in the doorway, was my husband. As he came in and set his stuff down, all I felt was relief, and love. He had left work to take care of me. And as he came into view, I sobbed.
He drew me a bath, full of eucalyptus oil and medicine, and took the kids out for some fresh air. As I laid in that tub, I thought about him. About how dedicated he was to his job, and that it must've taken something strong to tell him to come home. As I listened to him gathering little jackets and little tennis shoes, using his silly voice to make them laugh, I was reminded of something. Friends don't always come in wrapped-up perfect packages like we think. It's not always your bestie from high school whose number shows up on your speed dial, or the girl who you share parenting stories with, or that best friend who brings you cookies when it's your birthday. It comes in the shape of something else. Someone else. My husband. He didn't know I was going through this, but Someone up above did.
As he sang me to sleep last night, I wanted so badly to tell him about my prayer. To thank him and tell him what he meant to me. That he saved me. That there is no one else I love more. That he was my friend. But, he had kids to take care of, cereal to clean up, and a house to restore.
Maybe I'll tell him tonight.
I love you, Dan.