As many of you who know me in real life are aware, my mother had surgery in September. She leads an active lifestyle and her hip was slowing her down to a crawl, so she chose to have hip replacement surgery. After about a month of physical rehabilitation, she was once again back home with my dad ready to take on the world. When I saw them in December, she was rarely walking with her cane and itching to get back to fighting form.
In fact, there’s really only one noticeable temporary change to the way she lives. She cannot yet bend over to put on her socks and shoes. My father does it for her. They’ve got the process down so that it’s so automatic, I almost missed it. But as I watched my father lacing up her sneakers, I got a little emotional (you know, if I admitted to having emotions).
My parents have been married forty-seven years. When you think about it, I haven’t been on the front lines to see most of those years. I have no doubt that they would chuckle at me and point to a million different instances that better exemplified their partnership to them. But to me, I’ll always think of that simple act of caring when I think about their marriage, or any partnership, really.
As much as I crave “alone,” it reminded me that it might not be terrible to have those moments with someone– though I realize that many of us might not be so lucky as to be with anyone for seven years, let alone forty-seven. It reminded me that despite the torture of trying to make room for someone in your life, the reward is them being there.
It might be true that my Grinch heart grew three sizes that day… you know, if I admitted to having one– which I don’t.