Monday night, I went to bed early, feeling a little icky. I woke up sometime around 3 a.m. in excruciating pain and spent the next twelve hours feeling like the result of some unholy union between Linda Blair’s character from The Exorcist and John Hurt’s character from Alien.
I mention this not because I want to talk about sickness, but because I want to talk about love.
No matter what Madison Avenue tries to tell you, love is not a box of chocolates wrapped in red foil, a diamond ring, or any other shiny object. Shiny objects are pretty, but they are also incredibly distracting, and they tend to pull our attention away from what they’re supposed to represent.
Love isn’t flowers or candy or cliches. Love is taking care of someone who is so disgustingly ill that she could pass for something out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel, escorting her back to bed when she’s too weak to walk on her own, pulling her close to quiet her chills, and whispering, “You are loved” until she stops sobbing and falls into a fitful sleep. Love is a cup of ice chips and a warm blanket and a thousand other little kindnesses that make the rough, scary times just a little more bearable.
Tonight’s Folk Thursday offering was Ron’s only request for our wedding. All the other music was either ’60s folk revival (“Since You’ve Asked,” “There Is Love”) or Broadway (“Love Changes Everything”).
Somehow it all fit together and worked, as our lives have done for the better end of 15 years.
I love you, Ron. Thank you for taking care of me … in sickness and in health.