I should be at a party, but my husband is sick.
The host suggested I leave him home and go without him.
Can’t do it.
I’m not even doing him any good by being here at home with him. What he has will pass of its own volition in its own good time. I’m not fussing over him, or holding his hand, or whispering sweet encouragements into his ear.
I’m at the other end of the house watching television.
But I’m available.
If his condition worsens or gets scary, I’m here. If he needs to find a thermometer, or open a jar of pills, or microwave a can of Progresso, I’m around. He’s not alone, and he knows he never will be.
It stinks, of course, that we’re missing this party. As much of an introvert as I am, this is one group of people I’m always excited to see. These are friends we’ve known for more than twenty years. Our kids grew up together; we lost our parents together; we helped each other as we lost and found different jobs, survived all sorts of illness, and laughed more loudly and freely together than we could ever remember.
I’ve always told these people that my biological siblings are relatives, but they’re family– by the grace of God and the power of love.
But there’s someone I love even more than I love my friends… and I sure hope he recovers quickly.