I've ignored him often enough here to warrant questions from concerned readers if everything is okay. Let me assure you it is. Very much. He's still the funniest, most intelligent man in my life.
But this time around, I am touched beyond description by his thoughtfulness. I'll be honest, readers. It's not been an easy three months. We've been through some troubles and things have been very difficult for the both of us. More for him than me because he has the added sorrow of seeing the kids once 45 days or so. I don't think I could stay away from the kids for that long. He's braver than me.
Ours has been mostly a marriage that hasn't taken much effort. To love, have fun, to value and to cherish has come so stunningly easy to us that effort is new, awkward and strange, like a girl's first time in high heels. This time around, we've had to make efforts, let go, change perceptions, up trust levels and generally reshuffle our bag of tricks to find the chemistry that is entirely ours. We've had to forgive (more him than me) and we've had to forget, we've had to appreciate what it means to be friends, be married to each other (I still don't know what marriage actually means or should entail, by the way), be parents and, mostly, be together.
And even though, things aren't ideal circumstance-wise, I realised this week, how little is needed to be happy. I could have all the money in the world, own a fancy house, buy a fancy car, go on that Facebooky vacation. But that will pass and then I soon will want more things that I can talk about and tick off my list; more things that will make my parents happy and convinced that I am indeed "settled". And I don't know if those things will actually make my heart glad. I am a strange soul; sometimes shiny things bought with money make me ridiculously happy; other times a verse written exquisitely is all that is necessary to keep me deliriously joyful for a week, sometimes a month, a whole lifetime even.
And these past few days have been like that. I rarely ever fall ill. But this week, I've been ill with a bad bug that's taken a lot out of me. And the husband, bless his generous naive soul, has called a least twice a day, texted me often and has unfailingly asked about my illness. I know it sounds strange, but that's made me feel super special and loved. It's made me feel cared for, cherished and to hear the honesty, the gentleness in his voice as he asks after me has nearly been my undoing. Again, I must reiterate here that it's not something new, rare or terrific that he's doing. I know it's what caring husbands do. It's just that the tenderness and concern has come after a rocky few months, both as a couple and for me, personally. And it's meant a lot more to me. In fact, it's meant so much that I don't think I'll ever again take that kind of love for granted any more.
I mean a flu, however bad, isn't killing, right? So there's no need for him to be this concerned, but he is! And it feels special. Especially because I have very little patience with fussy ill people. Maybe because I am not fussy at all. I'll take a day off, sleep, and then suck it up, pop a couple of Panadols and move on with life, cheerful like. If I ever fall ill, that is. So for me to be at the receiving end of being fussed at and cosseted is like a lesson in how to treat ill people. My mission the rest of the year is going to be to find patience to deal with even the smallest illness with the greatest empathy. And I have the husband to thank for it.