Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love... and Sacrifice

Something I don't really talk about over here on this, my eldest of blog-children, is my health. That is something I do here.

But for today, I felt the need to share something wildly profound and surprisingly simple at the same time: love poured out through sacrifice.

It all started yesterday around 3:00. I got a text from my hubby saying that he would be late getting off work and I would have to pick up our girls from school. I had already felt the pangs of a migraine coming on, and so I popped one of my [useless] migraine meds from one of my many doctors.

You see, I have Lyme Disease. And while that sounds simple enough, it's really not. Simple. At. All. If you are interested in more on my Lyme, please feel free to check it out at One of the things that I deal with on a weekly basis with Lyme is the dreaded headache, and some days, it's a full-blown migraine. Yesterday was no exception.

By the time I got to the school and walked over to find my eldest, the sounds of the excited kids running around, glad to be free from the four walls of elementary education for the day, was overwhelming. With each shriek came another nail, pounding into my poor head.

Fast forward to the evening. I could barely move. I sat on my massage chair, got a little massage from a few different family members, and then mustered up the strength to get up the stairs and into bed. At 5:30. With head throbbing as the seeming ice picks stabbed just above my temples and my forehead nearly bursting, I laid there, nearly crying, but not wanting to for fear of making things worse. This is what I can only imagine someone dying could feel like.

Later that night, after putting our three beautiful girls to bed, my husband came into the room and I asked him to rub something–anything–just to feel something on my body that wasn't this migraine. He grabbed some lotion and began rubbing my feet. He gently pulled out my feet, one at a time, from under the three blankets (one being electric and on high) and the sheet, and began to love me through serving.

Immediately I was swept up and taken back in time to April 2008 when my amazing grandfather was dying from cancer. I would go to his home and sit at his feet, taking off his socks and rubbing his diabetes-stricken feet. He seemed to escape to a magical land where he wasn't in any pain–or at least very little pain–during those times. I never fully appreciated the value of a good foot massage until last night when I was on the receiving end during one of the most wicked and pain-filled experiences I have had to date.

I imagined April 21st, the day before he died, when he was in his bed, never to move himself out of it again, and I was rubbing his feet. Not that he would walk again... But it didn't matter. He is my grandpa and I wanted to serve him in any way I could. This was one thing I always knew gave him pleasure; especially now that he was in such a state. Cancer is such a rancid disease.

Last night I imagined my grandpa looking down from the great cloud of witnesses on my very situation, with a knowing smile on his perfected face. Cancer had eaten away at part of his lip and he had to have it surgically nipped and tucked. He also dealt with facial paralysis from contracting polio as a young boy. But now... Now he is perfect. Now he has no pain–no need for a foot massage. But I would give anything to sit at his feet one more time and feel the years of hard work soften just a bit more as the moisture soaks in and the tension drifts away. I think he was right there with me last night, knowing just how much of a servant my husband is to me; and remembered what I was to him.

Grandpa usually got Nick's name wrong for many years... "How's Rick... I mean Nick?" (Giggle, giggle, smile) etc. But he knew one thing about him: my husband is an amazing man. And Grandpa saw it. He knew it and shared that fact with me on many occasions. I always agreed. And now I see, even more, the degree to which my husband loves me.

There are many days that I can't do much of anything around here, because of my Lyme. I have lost all usefulness of my arms and legs, as they have zero stamina. No more pleasure walks, gardening, running around, playing with the girls outside, cooking, stirring, mixing, cleaning... Most days I sit... And stare... At a computer screen or a television. Some days I read when I can focus long enough. And my husband comes home from his 45+ hr/week job, cooks, cleans, cares for the kids, and then, when he's all spent, he reaches down deeper to care for me.

I am more than blessed. And last night I got to see just how important serving someone is. Even if you don't know why, or don't think it's that important... One day you may be the one on the receiving end, and you will also see.
This is a rose I had planted in 2009 in honor of Grandpa. It bloomed on his birthday that year.

Peace, Love, and Cider Mugs...