I had plans for today. I was going to apply for a couple jobs that were posted yesterday, work on a writing project, mow the lawn, and try to tackle a counter full of dirty dishes. My whole day was laid out in front of me with a handy-dandy to-do list.
The only thing I had accomplished was glaring at the dirty dishes when the phone rang. It was Big Guy.
“Someone at work got nervous (he’s been experiencing some shortness of breath for the past week) and called the ambulance. They think I had a mild heart attack.”
It turns out that his heart has been an atrial fibrillation (but yay–no heart attack!), so he’ll be in the hospital for a few days while they run some tests and try to get that under control. My to-do list has been replaced by insurance cards and hospital instructions.
I have been struck by how distilled life becomes during emergencies and crises.
Big Guy and I haven’t been connecting much lately. I was gone much of last week. This week, he has been grouchy and difficult to be around (due to the discomfort of the symptoms he was experiencing). I’ve been feeling neglected and taken for granted. I want my 15 minutes of face time with him every day. I want him to tell me about at least one feeling he had during the day. I want him to listen to me babble about whatever is on my mind. Wah, wah, wah. Poor me.
My prayers have been for us to feel reconnected. I was hoping that God would answer those prayers through something fun, but He had something different in mind.
After he called, I went into hyperdrive. All I could focus on was getting to the hospital and touching him to confirm that he was alive. His grouchiness and my feelings of neglect simply evaporated. Only one thing mattered, and that was that he was alive.
My daughter and I got to the hospital. I walked into his curtained-off space in the ER to see him joking around with the nurses and texting his boss. I was so relieved–and the instant I had my arms around him, I cried all over him. He was alive, and he was himself.
God had reminded me that real, deep connection isn’t the sharing of feelings or lack of grouchiness and irritation. It isn’t any of the things I mean when I say I want to feel connected. In an emergency, all that stuff falls away. While those things I want do help me feel connected, they aren’t themselves the actual connection.
The connection is there, whether I am feeling it or not. It just is. This one-flesh-ness we call marriage goes deep into our bones.
After my husband was settled into his hospital room, I sat down in the chair next to his bed. I propped my bare feet up on his bed. I wanted my skin to be touching his to restore our connection.
As he was talking with the nurse, his hand reached out and wrapped itself around my foot. He wasn’t aware of what he was doing, but something deep inside him wanted to connect to me just as much as I wanted it.
So here I’ve sat for the last couple hours, with my foot contentedly wrapped in my husband’s hand. My heart is glad indeed.