What Love Means

January 12, 2000

All of you who love someone, raise your hand.

Now, keep your hand up if that person has ever been really sick. Sick enough that you consider calling 9-1-1 and asking for an ambulance. Scary stuff.

Robert Fulgum once said that one sign you are an adult is when you have to clean the goop out of the sink plug after doing the dishes. When you where a child your mother did that for you. As an adult you are on your own. I'd like to add caring for your spouse when they are really sick to his list.

You have no one to turn to for help. Your helpmate is the one who is sick. You discover that your ability to think coherently goes right out the window. This is one of those "things" that you normally decide together. Only now you can't.

She's sick. She needs me. I need her. Oh, how insignificant does the world and its problems seem now, when my heart is aching for her to be well. I can't do anything for her, really. I fetch water and supplies as they are needed, I wash clothes and sheets, and fix meals. Things that seem small to me, but are huge and loving to her.

I want her to be well again. I want her to laugh and play and walk soft and touch the moon with me once again.

Love isn't what happens before the wedding ceremony. It isn't what happens when things are good, and life is calm. Love is what happens when that other person needs you to be tender and caring no matter what. Love is truly putting them first - ahead of work, obligations, even yourself.

I love my wife more than ever before. She trusts me enough to allow me to help her get clean, and to hold her when it is really tough. I am honored to be her husband.

Go home and kiss your loved ones. Be thankful that you have them. Tell them how you feel.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.