Last week, I unplugged with my husband to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We planned a trip many months ago to the tropical paradise of Aruba. With my husband’s extensive business travel last year, we got the entire trip for free which made it even more exciting.
Monday morning, we finally boarded the plane headed south, thrilled with this amazing childless weeklong celebration. Halfway through the flight, my husband said he wasn’t feeling well. I handed him the travel sick bag from his seat pocket and sent him off to the tiny bathroom just a few rows in front of us.
Not even 60 seconds later, I watched this man I’ve adored for the past 16 years of my life, one of the strongest human beings I know, drop to the ground. I slammed my tray shut, throwing my belongings everywhere and ran to his side as he laid there unconscious. My mind, being one that goes to dark places fast, already had me convinced of the worst. My heart completely broke sitting beside my love on that floor while fellow passengers rushed to our aid.
As only God could arrange, my husband’s handsome graying head landed directly between the feet of an ER doctor and an ER nurse. I backed away so these medical professionals could properly assess the situation. They came to the conclusion the sinus medication he took that morning conflicted with his blood pressure pill which caused him to pass out.
He continued to struggle with consciousness and illness throughout the rest of the flight. I entered my anniversary trip in Aruba following my husband’s wheelchair being pushed by airport paramedics. They agreed with the assessment of our new friends from the plane, put us in a taxi, and sent us to our hotel.
We spent our first 2 vacation days looking across the room at each other from separate beds, both dizzy and sick. Finally, on the third day, I arranged for us to see a local doctor. She diagnosed my husband with bronchitis and me with stress from our flight incident. As soon as he had medication and a treatable condition, I instantly felt better.
This is marriage. Loving someone so much that you hurt when they are sick. Worrying in such an overwhelming way about your partner that you end up physically ill in the bed beside them.
Almost every night of the week we spent in that beautiful room, there was a wedding right outside our door. We watched from our balcony at least a few moments of each of the breathtaking ceremonies under a simple wooden altar. The one that stood out the most for me included a little girl standing by the bride’s side the entire time. I’m certain she was her daughter.
That gorgeous scene took me back 15 years to the day I stood by my daughter and married this incredible man, now coughing non-stop beside me. This man who became my husband and my daughter’s father on the same day. He has done an absolutely extraordinary job in both of these roles throughout our life together.
There have been many times over the years where I’ve tried hard to destroy what we’ve built. My examples growing up weren’t the best. My father had severe fidelity issues and my mom married several times throughout my childhood. I guess I thought if you weren’t getting along with someone, you separated, regardless of marital status.
But my husband fought for me every time. He taught me marriage is forever. He continues to show me how to love unconditionally every day.
Here is the truth about marriage: it is hard. There are ugly sick days, out of control fights, and times you just don’t think you can spend another full day with that human being.
Choose the one who you not only want to hang out on a tropical island with, but also would be your top pick to lay sick in bed next to in that same paradise. Marry the person who will fight for you when you have nothing left to give. And more than anything, love your partner unconditionally, in sickness and in health…
This selfless, unconditional love is what I’m most grateful for this Thanksgiving week.
I’m happy to report our vacation ended well with a full beach day and cabana time by the pool. The night in between those two glorious days we had an incredible dinner with our feet in the sand mere inches from the ocean.
I’ve decided to take a month off over the holidays (12/5-1/5) to hang out with my family. Thankfully, our children are finally starting to forgive us for leaving them home during our vacation. Please make sure we are connected on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can stay in touch during my month away from this online space.
Come back next week to meet my dear friend and her adorable daughter. She will be guest posting about her inspiring adoption journey.