It’s likely that when you got married, you chose the 1st Corinthians verse, “Love is Patient, Love is Kind.” Michael and I did too, though neither of us is especially religious. But I like the verse and I like the message:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
On the day of your wedding, it’s not something you linger on, it’s just a part of the whole day, but when you are at other peoples’ weddings, sitting there enjoying the moment: the flowers, the music, the smiles and the tears. Then you hear the verse, you hold your loved one’s hand, and you remember your own wedding.
It’s the connection in the moment that I always find so lovely.
But while Wendy was very sick, it became a mantra for me. It was my touchstone. When I had to hold her down for her blood draws. When I had to battle blood sugars and measure medications and get up multiple times throughout the night. When I had to measure every milliliter that went into her body and every milliliter that went out. When I had to check her blood pressure, call the doctor, make adjustments to her medications.
When I had to quit my job.
When I worried. When I couldn’t sleep.
When I missed Michael because he was two states away working so we could survive.
I would say this verse.
And I realized at some point, after maybe saying it a thousand times in my head, that the day of my wedding was wonderful, but it wasn’t my life. It was just a day, a wonderful day. The life I had, with a great husband, a wonderful family, and a sick but special little girl, that was my life. And I had a lot of love around me, in all those forms: patience, kindness, grace, hopefulness, perseverance. It wasn’t just a reminder to keep myself in check, to keep myself calm, but also a reminder of all the things I had in my life.
This Valentine’s Day, Michael got me a candy heart, some flowers, and a very nice card. However, he also got up every hour with me overnight that night because Wendy’s sugars were off the charts. We adjusted, we monitored, we adjusted again. We worried that her pump wasn’t working well, so we went downstairs and got a syringe and gave insulin by that route. Her sugars just hit an acceptable level just as the alarm clock went off at 6 am.
I found myself saying the verse again to myself, as a reminder, over my morning coffee.
Love is patient. Love is Kind…. Love never fails.