My husband and I were in our twenties when we got married . . . idealistic enough to believe the “in sickness and in health” part of our marriage vows, but young enough to think that the “in health” part would reign for decades to come and the “in sickness” part wouldn’t arrive (if ever) until some distant, hazy, far-off future when we would be mature enough to handle it.
Fast forward thirteen years, three birth children and one baby in Korea waiting to join our family. One New Year’s Day I woke up with a brain tumor. OK, the tumor had been there many years, I was told, but—all in a day—we found out about it. Two days later, it was removed. Just like that, the sickness part of our marriage vows had come to pass. What did my husband do? Did he run away? Did he say, “I can’t handle this?” Did he go out and get drunk? No, he came to the ICU, sat down by my bed and literally stayed there most of the next eight days, except when he went home to take a shower and check on the kids, who were being cared for by my parents. What did I do? Only what I was capable of at the time. Worry about my baby on the other side of the world. Try desperately to hold a spoon. Suffer. Pray. And give thanks for my husband, who constantly sacrificed his time at work (and he loves to work!) to be with me in the hospital . . . Two months later, I was getting much better. Three weeks after that, our son made the long trip from South Korea to come home to us. Suffering and joy. Together they have made our life together unbreakable. What do I believe in? Marriage. It is the bond that holds my life and family together.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.