This morning I read an article I normally wouldn’t have read. It was titled, “One Last Ride.” The reason I wouldn’t normally have read it was because the lone comment under the article read, “Tears…”
I don’t like tears.
I cry easily without reading sappy articles, watching the Notebook or any Hallmark Christmas movie. The ending doesn’t have to be depressing for me to cry; I cry for reasons unknown to my family or myself. I just cry. It’s my default and to my disdain.
I don’t like crying.
But for whatever reason, I opened, “One Last Ride.” It was a story about an elderly couple who tragically died after celebrating Thanksgiving with their family. Mr. Soper had picked his wife from the assisted living facility where she lived because she had suffered from Alzheimer’s. At this point, I’m really shocked I didn’t stop reading. I lost my grandma to Alzheimer’s. Between that and my failing memory, I fear and avoid reading about Alzheimer’s at all costs.
But for some reason, I kept reading. The part that really wrecked me was the exchange between the couple at dinner:
“…Mrs. Soper looked over at her husband and said, “I miss you.” He looked back and replied, “I miss you, too.” Their daughter shared of the Soper’s, “He always thought of her” … “And she always thought of him. He had diabetes so he didn’t eat as much at Thanksgiving,
but she was still putting food on his plate, taking care of him.”
And that’s when I lost it.
I used to take care of my husband but once we had kids, I figured subconsciously that he could take care of himself, but the kids couldn’t. But even when our kids got to the age where they were more self-sufficient, I still doted over them. I suppose taking care of them gave me purpose. So much purpose, that in hindsight, I think it became my identity. Taking care of, pouring into, teaching, and hovering over them became a reflection of me. Their success was my success. Their failures, struggles, and hurts were ones I felt and thought I needed to solve. And in the midst of that dysfunction, I stopped taking care of my husband.
And I bet he’s missed me.
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Soper. Not for making me cry at least seven times today, but thank you for making me pause. Thank you for reminding me it’s never too late to start taking care of my husband again. Thank you for helping me stop taking him, our time together, or our love for granted.
I have to go. I’m teaching 800 women about Jesus tonight and normally, Chris would make himself dinner when he got home. But I’m making a pot pie for him before I leave. Yes, he could make it himself (and it would taste better), but thanks to the Soper’s, I’m thankful for an opportunity to take care of him, even if it’s just by,
putting food on his plate.