I am sick today. Sick, sick, sick. (I’m trying to think of a catchy metaphor to emphasize just how sick I am. ‘Sick as a dog’ just isn’t working for me. ‘Sicker than a mad cow?’ Hmm… has potential.) I got whalloped by one of those stomach bugs that my body takes very, very seriously. I’m sure I threw up ten times last night. And I am not a polite, lady-like vomiter. Oh no – none of that for me! My wretching is violent and horrible and frightening for small children. Sometimes I swear my stomach will turn itself inside out, do a flip flop out my throat and into the toilet. Last night I’m sure I saw the shadow of death pass over me.
(Okay – if this is turning you off, feel free to visit someone else’s blog. ‘Cause it gets worse from here.) Perhaps the violent wretching contributes to the fact that I frequently pass out when I vomit. I think it cuts off the oxygen to my brain or something. Or else my brain says to my body parts “Okay folks, shut ‘er down, this one looks like the death of us. Might as well make ourselves comfortable on the floor.” It’s pretty horrible. You don’t even want to imagine what it’s like to wake up on the floor in a pool of your own vomit. And last night it was even worse, because it was coming out both ends. (Am I going too far here? I SAID you could leave.)
Because he’s used to me passing out, Marcel is usually right there beside me, trying to catch me when I fall. Let me tell you, there are few sounds more comforting when you’re huddled over a toilet, than the rapid footsteps of the one you love.
I’m not sure Marcel knew what he was getting into when he said “in sickness and in health.” When you’re standing up there at the alter, ready to say “I do”, you do not immediately picture your beloved lying in a pool of vomit. Nor do you imagine yourself cleaning her off and shuffling her back to bed.
And yet he shows up in the bathroom every time, and with a look of resolve on his face, puts his hand on my shoulder while I wretch. I don’t care what anyone else says, but THAT’S how you define love. I can do without the flowers or chocolates or fancy dinners out, as long as I have that hand on my shoulder for as long as we both shall live.