John got home at 5:00 last night, understandably tired and weakened...but very happy to be home! And his wife (that would be me) is equally happy to have him home! We've, of course, been inundated with unsolicited advice by people who genuinely love us, but who forget that the combination of Post-Polio and last spring's colon surgery make his situation somewhat unique. But we'll keep modifying his diet, hoping to find ways to minimize hospitalizations.
This latest separation reminded me of a conversation we had about nine years ago with the pastor who officiated at our wedding. That pastor's wife had died suddenly from a reaction to medication, leaving him with three adolescent children and one of the most broken hearts I've ever seen. As John and I expressed our sympathies, he steadied his voice and charged us: "Whatever you do, cherish every moment you have with each other!"
Indeed, the time I have with John goes breathtakingly quickly, reminding me of Goethe's Faust pleading, "Stay, beautiful moment!" (Not that I want to sell my soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for more time with John.) These past ten and a half years have sped by, leaving me increasingly aware that we won't be man and wife very long. Yes, we'll be in heaven together for eternity, and our relationship there will be perfect, but we won't be married. So I treasure this brief marriage relationship as a special gift from the Lord. Since it's fleeting (and each time he goes to the hospital, I remember how fleeting it really is!), I think of that widowed pastor's words with a renewed determination to apply them.
Whether married or single, each of us has at least one precious person to appreciate. We mustn't cling so tightly to those special people that we end up worshiping them in Christ's place, but neither should we forget what remarkable gifts they are. Time, if I may be trite, flies, and nothing we can do will restrain it. But we can hold our loved ones close for this beautiful moment, thanking the Lord for the relationships He gives us.