(joyful mysteries: the writer today is anonymous. But I can tell you is a phenomenal human being. Giving, loving, and faithful. No matter what our plans, life sometimes takes us in directions we weren’t expecting- and that’s hard. But it’s also real. I’m so thankful she shared her real, right now. The real of the unknown- the real of shock- the real of what true love takes. And the kind of trust that can only be placed in God. Thank you so much friend for sharing your real.) 



I am dragging. Physically and emotionally drained, I unlock my door for the umpteenth time in 2 days. We’ve been going back and forth to and from the hospital.


My baby lunges for the floor the moment we cross the threshold. She has been cooped up in my arms or in her stroller or in her little carrier most of the past two days. She is restless, cranky, and confused. Her dad, who we just saw, didn’t come home with us again.


As my child beelines for anything she’s not supposed to touch, I let the pets out, feed them, try to think about dinner. How dinner is going to be different now. Maybe. And I get a little angry again. And then I feel guilty for being angry. And then I cry.


Yesterday, my husband had a painful bump on his back and called the doctor. He got an appointment before work, and headed out the door. “See you tonight,” we’d said. Baby and I went about our day. But then I got a text from him saying he had to have emergency surgery. It was a cyst and it had to be removed.


We dropped everything and went to meet him at the hospital, where things progressed quickly. Before we knew it, we were sitting in pre-op with a nurse going over his health history. It’s not pretty. He has more than a few health issues, which, individually don’t seem too extreme, but it’s like adding to a Jenga tower – when you look at the whole stack, suddenly you realize you have a pretty complicated person on your hands.


They did a blood draw and ran some tests pre-op to be better informed. He had the operation, and it went well. The surgeon called me and said it went well, but he’s keeping my husband overnight to run more blood tests. His blood sugar was high.


When I arrived this morning, the white board by his bed said “Diabetic diet.” He had a packet on his bed tray that read “Diabetic nutrition.” No one called me. No one gave me any warning. My husband was diagnosed with diabetes and I found out by putting the pieces together myself.


I was terrified. I imagined spending my daughter’s elementary and teenage years in the hospital as her father lost a limb or his eyesight. I imagined losing my husband before we were even old enough to retire. I imagined financial ruin due to multiple hospital bills. Panic is an appropriate word.


Then I was angry. Angry that he didn’t take care of himself better when I work very hard to be disciplined and educated about my own self care. Angry because I felt that he was blaming genetics for the reason why this is happening. Angry that there was nothing I could do to take it away, to make it stop.


And then guilt. How could I be angry with him? I enjoyed a practically perfect childhood while he quite literally survived long enough to become an adult, only to emerge ill-equipped for the life he found himself carrying out. How could I expect him to have amassed the same information that I did about health and fitness? He doesn’t expect me to understand all his areas of interest to the extent that he does. And still, he is much gentler with me than I am with him, in all things, generally.


Despite my initial shock at his diagnosis, it turns out that by making some changes and sticking with them, we will be able to manage his blood sugars and he will most likely not have to take medication once we get things under control.


I wipe my tears and scoop up the baby, who is inches away from the dog’s water dish. I plop her down into her playpen so I can make dinner. I practice, thinking of the carb-to-protein ratio that we will need to bear in mind. When I said “In sickness and in health,” I meant it. Let’s do this. I’ll do what I can to help him when he arrives home.


We sit down to dinner and I watch my little baby pick through her food, choosing what she will eat and when. She happily, awkwardly, shoves the food into her mouth with her fingers. She looks up at me and grins. It is the same grin her father gives me when he is perfectly happy.


Her dad will be OK. We are a team; that is something we do really well. Tonight she and I on our own together, and I give her extra hugs and kisses, and we do some special and fun things just the two of us. She goes to bed quickly, quietly, and easily, slipping into a heavy sleep after a long day.


“In sickness and in health.” When I think of that vow, I think of another we said at our daughter’s baptism as we were asked many questions about supporting her in her life in Christ: “I will, with God’s help.” After putting her to bed, I prayed extra hard for God’s help. We will get through this, together.


We will, with God’s help.