"In sickness and in health" doesn't cover the reality of that vow. It doesn't speak to catheters and enemas and cleaning your loved one and advocating with health professionals for appropriate care and comfort and an endless stream of appointments and tests and reports.
"For better or for worse" doesn't mention sleeping for a week in a reclining chair in the living room beside your husband's hospice-at-home hospital bed so you can hold his hand, listen for his breathing, and ease his passage from your life.
|They promised and they danced and they laughed and they loved.|
Diva Moe has lost her husband after seven years of living with cancer, and in the journey to this new reality she has demonstrated what it means to love. To love as a choice and an action, not just in flowering script and happy moments. Technically he was her husband (for the second time) of 15 months, but in reality he was her husband for 28 years.
I know there were times Moe felt unqualified for the tasks before her. She had no health care training. She had her own grief and guilt and joy and fear to navigate and the journeys of their five children and son-in-law to travel alongside.
But unqualified has that other meaning, in this case the more appropriate meaning. Moe has loved without ceasing. She has loved without reservation or condition. She has loved through terror and exhaustion and beyond herself. Moe has modelled unqualified love to her children and her friends. She has honoured her vows in ways she couldn't have imagined even on their second wedding day when her husband was already ill and 'in sickness and in health until death parts us' was in the clouds that rained on their joy.
I am amazed by her, and by this steadfastness of her love. I am blessed to have borne witness to it, and I am blessed to have received it myself. May we all be so unqualified in our loving.