By October 2010, my husband and I had been married just over 18 years. I wouldn’t say the spark was gone but the honeymoon faze definitely was. We were busy with the grind of raising 2 teenagers, maintaining a house, and working every day, 6 days a week for him. We had our ups and downs, but all in all, we loved each other.
After 18 years we also took that love for granted; not intentionally, but it happens. Life happens. Our days were filled and busy with routine. Sometimes I felt like the hamster on the wheel. Going round and round but not going anywhere. Days turned into weeks turned into months, turned into years. Time truly goes by much too fast. But we had a good life. Filled with great family and friends, good jobs, good kids, and lots of love.
Different Types Of Love
Love is not equal. Jesus says to love everyone, But Jesus is referring to a Divine Love on a spiritual level. The love I’m referring to is the intense feeling of deep affection for a person. Actually I had never analyzed the fact that love wasn’t the same for every person in my life. I loved my husband, I loved my mom and I loved my sisters, all deeply and yet all differently. The birth of my children filled me with a brand new overwhelming feeling of unconditional love, and that gave me a greater and deeper love and appreciation for my mother.
A mother who was always patient, loving, and kind to everyone. Everyone who knew or meet my mom, loved her. If she had it, she didn’t mind loaning, sharing, or giving it to you. If she was capable of doing something for you, she did. It didn’t matter who you were or what it was. My mom also loved her grandchildren very much. She was at every baseball, football and basketball game. She was at every track meet, wrestling match and gymnastic competition.
My mom did everything with us (me, my sisters, and our families). Wherever we went, she went; vacation, party, shopping, out to eat, she was right there. One Sunday afternoon in October, after eating breakfast, reading the newspaper and taking a hot bath; my mom lay down and had a stroke. A very serious and damaging stroke that she never fully recovered from.
Love From a Mother’s Eyes
She was my best friend, my biggest fan, my confidant, my rock, my greatest supporter, my cheer squad, my voice of reason, my example of compassion, my idol, my role model, my encouragement, my ride or die, my shopping buddy, my inspiration, my admiration, my everything! And in one second, all of our lives changed.
The first few months were the hardest and most demanding. My family and I did 24 hour shifts at the rehab for over 3 months. If I wasn’t at work I was at the rehab facility. I left home around 6:30 am, worked until 4pm, and went directly to the rehab after work until 11pm Monday thru Friday.
Most nights everyone was asleep by the time I got home. The weekends were 9 OR 10am until 5 or 6pm. On Sundays I would take my husband and kids with me to stay with my mom. I was exhausted! I wasn’t getting enough rest.
My house was a mess. I didn’t have time to cook, clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, or take care of my family. My husband was doing the best he could to hold it down at home while I was taking care of my mom. Sometimes I didn’t see my kids for days.
Love Held The Family Together
The cell phones were our life lines. I was emotionally and physically drained. God knew that I would not have recovered if I had lost my mom that day. He gave me time to come to terms with what was going to happen. He gave me the time I needed, so that I would be okay.
God also gave me a Peace that surpassed all understanding. Caring for my mom was hard. But I wanted to be there for her, like she had always been there for me, until the day she was discharged to go home.
My Husband Is My Support
Up until this point I knew my husband loved me and I never gave it a second thought. But during this time, when I needed him the most. When I needed him to handle everything at home. When I needed and depended on him.
He was there. He didn’t complain. He didn’t argue about it. He didn’t ghost me. It was as if he didn’t give it a second thought.
He has always been understanding and supportive, but this was a time in my life when I didn’t know how I was going to get through it, and he was 100% there for me. Just being there, sitting in a chair for hours even, made all the difference in the world. Whether it was sitting across the room or right by my side, I was thankful he was there.
Thankful for him holding me when I could barely hold up myself, for rubbing my back when it was broken and aching, and especially thankful him loving me with the deepest depths of his heart. My husband isn’t a man of many words but his actions were echoing loudly how much he loved and cared for me. It was the Strength of God and the love of my husband that made it possible for me to carry on. My husband did all he could, and yet sometimes he did nothing at all, but the fact that he was there with me and for me, was enough.
Love With A Special Touch
I not only felt like, but I was actually working two full time jobs. One that was mentally draining and one that was physically draining. If you have ever had a loved one in a nursing facility/rehab, you know firsthand how horrible those places are. I would spend my entire time there feeding, changing, bathing and totally taking care of my mom, instead of just being able to sit, talk, and read to her.
By the time I would get home I was barely capable of taking a shower, brushing my teeth and getting my own self ready for bed. I would pass out in the bed, still carrying the day’s worries and problems with me; totally exhausted and stressed out, my husband would reach over and start rubbing my back. I don’t think this man realizes that he has magic hands.
Two strokes and everything would start to melt away. Sometimes by three strokes I would be snoring like the three stooges. This man’s back rubs and full body massages take me to another plane every time. The best I have ever had in my life. He kept his talent a secret for a while, but as soon as he slipped up and gave me my first full body massage, I immediately stopped paying for them from strangers. I was immediately hooked, and he knew it. It was and is my Achilles’ heel.
My Husband’s Love
I later learned he actually felt hopeless during this tragedy. He knew I was going through a horrible ordeal but didn’t know how to help me. He said he was going off my cues.
He was just trying to do what I wanted and to give me what he thought I needed.
He had no idea how much his patience, cooperation, and understanding meant to me. He allowed me to care for and fully focus on my mom without having to worry about things at home.
He may not have done everything perfectly or the way I would have, but the fact that he was handling what I needed him to handle and doing what needed to be done, was enough for me.
I had to learn to not sweat the small stuff. If it’s fixable, then we will fix it later. If it isn’t fixable then let’s learn from our mistakes and move on. There are more important things, and people, we needed to devote our energy to. When I thanked him for everything he had done for me and my mom, he said he was only doing what he had promised in our vows. Our vows…??? Our wedding vows?
Needless to say I was not expecting that. Wedding vows are repeated and never thought of again in many cases, but this man was telling me he took our vows to heart. Not only did he mean them, he intended to live and abide by them fully. I thought back to what we had proclaimed.
Wedding Vows Mean Something
To have and to hold, from this day forth… When marriages come under stress; we stop having and holding and start adding conditions and limitations. But when I was wounded, fragile, stressed and lost. He was my security, my stability, my reassurance and my strength.
For better and for worst. For richer and for poorer. In sickness and in health. When my better, richer and health of happiness, joy, perfection or normalness was looking more like the worst, poorer, and sickness replacement of travail, sorrow, difficulty and brokenness; he was right there
To love honor and cherish. To hold me dear, to show me affection, and to show me he valued me deeply; no matter what was going on. This man took the worst and most difficult time in my life and loved me through it.
It was during this time, that I really felt just how much my husband loved me.
It was during this time, I truly realized that he would do anything for me. It was during this time, that I developed an even greater love and appreciation for the partner God paired me with.
The perfect mate, suitable for my Soul. Thank you God for a man who has my back, is on my side, and who sits in the front row of my life.
And above all a man, my husband, who was there for me, not with words but with his heroic actions, when I needed him MOST! Thank you Earl Lester Dillon. Love you forever.
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