I’ve loved the same man for twenty-five years. We “met” in the nursery at the Sandstone Evangelical Free Church. Since he is two years older and went to a different school, we didn’t really interact much growing up. When I was 23, Larry and I met up at a party. We started seeing each other, and were married a year and a half later.
My husband is an honest, hard-working, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of man. He doesn’t put on airs, doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not, and you can count on him to help any time he can.
Even though Larry is all these wonderful things, I tend to get picky. In my selfishness, I overlook some of these solid qualities and get resentful that he isn’t this or that. For example, I am a person who thrives on encouragement and physical affection. I want him to come in from work, sweep me into his arms and proclaim that he’s missed me and been thinking of me all day. Y’all. He’s a dude. That alone should tell me that there’s a high probability that he’s not thinking on that wavelength in the middle of a busy day. More likely, he’s trying to grab a quick bite so that he can get back to whatever it was he was doing on the farm.
We have had conversations for years about love languages and speaking my language and things like that. In those conversations, I’m sure I’ve been more concerned about him learning to speak my language than about me learning to hear his.
Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I have seen him pay attention more obviously than ever before. He has been willing to go to appointments (he HATES leaving home, going to cities, and being in medical facilities of any sort) and yet, he’s there every time I need him. He has made sure not to worry me about the added financial burden my cancer brings, though I can see it weighs on him. He sees that I get rest and that I don’t feel like an inconvenience. But maybe the biggest indicator of his concern is the blender.
In our first oncology meeting, the nurse walked us through the chemo process and what to expect. She mentioned that eating would likely be an issue and, in passing, said that maybe protein shakes would be a good idea. We spent 3 hours in that appointment learning more than we ever wanted to know. It pretty much fried our brains, so we went to lunch at a place of my choosing. Just the fact that he was willing to try a Japanese restaurant was amazing in itself, and a sacrifice. Larry is a buffet man, through and through.
Walmart came next, to grab a few things before heading home. Larry headed for the kitchenware section and straight to the blenders. Odd. He started comparing smoothie blenders and when I asked him why, he said “Well, that nurse said protein shakes would be a good idea, so I figured we better get a blender. Which one do you think would be best?”
Now, my husband is not one to spend money on such things. The fact that he spent $90 on a blender that I might need screamed loudly to me of his love and devotion. I saw then that he wanted to help–wanted to fix anything he could–even at personal cost. It humbled me. Like so many other aspects of this journey, it reminded me that things are not always what they seem or what I expect.
I am now the owner of an awesome Ninja blender with several different settings and some technology that is probably smarter than I am. I use it frequently and enjoy it. My favorite function, though, is that it shows me loudly and clearly that I am cherished by the one that I love most.