Connection, Restored

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 My to-do list has been replaced by insurance cards and hospital instructions.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.


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24 Comments on “Connection, Restored”

  1. Sometimes, those connections come through heart wrenching. I am so glad that Big Guy is out of danger. My heart warms at the strength of your bond that this picture conveys. Tell Big Guy I am praying over him.

  2. Thank you for sharing that. I will never shake my head again at a wife that bursts into tears after seeing her husband is doing well. I used to wonder why they came in with dry eyes and then started to cry when everything’s okay. Now I get it. You’re such a blessing to your friends and readers!

  3. Your tag line “learning to dance with desire” is distinctly descriptive of moving forward. I will be using it as my prayer and a new personal goal.
    Your photo

  4. It’s so tough when things like this happen. I recently went through a trial. My husband had found out he has an enlarged heart (also called congestive heart failure). These are the times that we need prayer. I am praying that my husband’s heart will go down in size. My belief is in God’s promises. I will also pray for Big Guy. I pray that God will supernaturally touch your husband’s heart so that all the doctors and nurses and everyone around will know exactly Who healed his heart. Amen.

  5. Awwwww, tears slipping from my eyes. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing with us – glad to hear that Big Guy is doing alright. Praying for you both!!

  6. This is beside the point, but your feet are really pretty, and your husband has nice hands:) Praying for good medical help and good health!

  7. Last week my wife was in the hospital with an upper GI bleed. She had lost enough blood by the night before admitting that she became mentally disoriented and very weak with no equilibrium. It was scary for both of us. I know very much how you felt. All the dreams can change so quickly and in an instant, the plans just don’t matter. All that matter is JUST DON’T GO NOW. DEAR GOD, NOT NOW. PLEASE!

  8. Hands and feet…image is so powerful. Reminds me of John 13. A married couple connecting and ministering to each other is a good thing, in any circumstance.

  9. Life sucks so much out of us and we forget what is important. God asks many things of us but it is up to us to decide what is most important. Bless you and Big Guy

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