"Can you give me your foot, Elsie?" Devin quietly asked.
Embarrassed, I shook my head back and forth. I couldn't even lift my foot. I was useless. Completely and utterly useless.
Gently, Devin took my sock-covered foot into his large hands and placed it slowly into my well-worn sneaker. He had undone the laces so my foot would slide in with ease. Although his head was bent as he tied my shoe, I saw a smile spreading across his face as gently he did the same with my other foot.
A flash of shame, anger and guilt went through me. How could he be smiling right now? I was in pain, complete and absolute pain. My incisions were burning, the muscles in my stomach hurt from throwing up all night, a Migraine from Hell had developed and I had zero medication left inside me. Yet, looking down, I could still see the corners of his mouth lifting upwards in a grin.
"Why are you smiling?" I snapped at him.
He looked up at me with love and patience and said, "This is what it's all about. Marriage and being there for each other in our time of need. I love being here for you when you need me the most and you allowing me be the one to help you and being there for you. I just love it."
"I hate it." I replied honestly. He already helped me get dressed, watched me throw up, watched as I struggled to brush my own teeth. It was embarrassing and humiliating to have him see me so weak and helpless and I told him as much.
"You need to let go of some of that pride and let me take care of you. You just had a partial hysterectomy, let me help you. It's what I'm here for and I enjoy doing it. Stop being so difficult and let's get you home."
Off we went for the long ride home, his hand on my leg the entire time while he maneuvered the car as gently as he could around the corners. He assisted me into the house where I was greeted with flowers and cards and a banner from my daughter then he carefully helped me into bed. He brought me ice chips, medication, set up a bedside tray and cared for me the rest of the day and everyday since, along with my daughter and I've let them...mostly...
Devin was right about my pride and willfulness. It was something my sponsor and I discussed during my fifth step. Something I developed at a young age but called it by different names - independence, strong willed, determined - just to name a few, and it served me well while I was a widow and when I co-existed with my daughter's sperm provider; I was still alone, independent.
I was in "control" and it worked well for me then and at times it still does and still can, however, I haven't been listening to my husband when he said he wants to be the one to take care of me, provide for me, be my rock. Instead, I was focused on being in control and allowing my pride to get in the way. I thought if he saw me weak - even in circumstances I couldn't help i.e. Migraines or even a partial hysterectomy - I'd somehow lose that strong woman quality he fell in love with and then he'd lose respect for me or perhaps I'd lose him forever.
I was wrong.
If only I'd been listening to Devin the last year and a half when he told me he didn't resent me for my Migraines or when he explained he wanted to be my hero. It took me being completely reliant upon him to see it's what he wanted and what I appreciated all along.
I will slowly but surely getting back into the groove of things. It's been less than a week since my surgery so please bear with me as I get caught up on my blog and with yours.
Be well everyone!