Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hell of a Guy

I have been pooped on, peed on, phlegmed on, and puked on.  The last years have tested me, they have tested my marriage.  Uncontrolled bodily fluids will do that.

It’s not my fault, it’s not Marty’s fault.  In point of fact she is a bit embarrassed about the whole thing.  There is nothing anyone anywhere can do about it and no one need be embarrassed, it’s part of life and all of us get to live it at some time in or life.

Before the strokes came I had no idea I would be capable of doing some of the things I’m now doing, it wasn’t, it isn’t in my DNA.  What chronic illness does, what strokes do is demand you adapt, they demand you do things you normally would run from, the illnesses demand you be someone you didn’t think you could be.

That’s the disease and that’s the real strength of marriage.  All of the crap, all of the distasteful stuff you end up learning is part of the contract, the commitment, the promise you make to someone else. 
I’m not sure I would have committed to so much if I had known so much would be asked.  I’m one hell of a husband to accept all of this, to embrace and endure the burden that is caring for a stroke patient; I am clearly a hell of a guy.

Yep….but this hell of a guy does this for a woman, a woman I fell in love with some 35+ years ago.  She’s a woman who changed her name for me, she’s a woman who stood beside me when I was unemployed and she was our sole support.  She did nothing but exude confidence in me when I was at my lowest.  

I married a woman who was smarter than me but often let me think I was smarter than I am.  She moved across the state for me, from Lubbock to Paris to Muenster to Hillsboro and Waco.  She didn’t do it without thought or complaint, but she did it because she loved me and she had promised to love and honor even during the hard times.

This woman I so selflessly sacrifice for is the woman who changed her body so we could have heirs, wonderful children; she is the woman who sacrificed herself and her career to help care for these children, the woman who would let our children eat her desert so I wouldn’t have to share. 
Yep, I’m a hell of a guy.

Marty has continued to teach this “hell of a guy”, she has continued to guide this “hell of a guy”, even in her worst of times.  She has shown me I can live up to my commitments, she has shown me I can love without condition or regret and give without resentment, she has shown me I can do what I never thought I could.  She leads me to be a better man every day.

Humans are capable of amazing things and we somehow, despite our best efforts, manage to change into what is needed.  Look around, look and in the mirror and you will find there are many out there who watch over and care for those who can’t do for themselves.  Every day people, husbands like me, wives like Marty, mothers and fathers who get poop, puke and pee on their hands, people who do very dirty jobs they didn’t choose and didn’t think they could do, but do them without thinking, without pause.  

As you get older, as your marriage or your relationship advances you simply do what you must, not because you are a hell of guy or woman, not because God only gives us what we can endure, not because we are angels.  

We do things because we love, it’s what we do when we commit, it’s what we do as decent members of humanity, it’s how we as humanity survive.  We adapt and become maybe a little better than we ever thought we could be.  

We simply do the most decent thing we have ever done.

Hell of a guy……hell of a wife.

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