Saturday, June 10, 2006
June 8, 2006 - Anniversary Dinner
Today is our 26th wedding anniversary, so Claire and I go out to dinner at a local seafood restaurant. It’s been hard for me to free up this evening, because my calendar’s suddenly gotten rather full – but of course I manage to do it. June is always that way: surprisingly busy. Church programs are winding down for the summer, but there’s still a lot to fit in before the summer lull is upon us. This year, there’s the added factor of a lot of additional work that’s been postponed during my chemotherapy treatments. I’m having to watch myself, to be sure I don’t take on too much.
We sit across the restaurant table from each other, and take stock of where we’ve been. It’s been a wild ride, the past few months – and the next few months are shaping up to be crazy in a different way, as Claire’s sister Eva and her 13-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, will soon move in with us for the summer (they’ve been living in a “winter rental” near the beachfront amusements, and their lease will be up in a week or so, allowing their landlord to kick them out and rent the place for big-bucks weekly rates). Eva’s 19-year-old son, Cory, is already living with us. Our niece, Elizabeth, must have brain surgery in late June, to remove an arachnoid cyst that’s been putting pressure on her brain, causing her severe headaches and balance problems. It’s not an especially difficult operation, as brain surgery goes – but it is brain surgery, all the same, and there will be lots of concern for Elizabeth as she goes into the operating room and recovers afterwards.
Who would have thought that, as a family, we’d be facing so many medical challenges in such a short space of time? Yet that’s the way life is, sometimes. We take it as it comes.
I can see, glinting on Claire’s wrist, a watch I’ve just given her, as an anniversary gift. It’s as much of a bracelet as it is a watch – a jewelry item, a bit of a splurge. We don’t usually do much for each other by way of gifts at our anniversary, but I felt I needed to do something this year to say “thank you” for all the ways she’s been there for me throughout this ordeal.
Claire’s been a rock through it all. I don’t know how I could have done it without her. The watch is just a token, a reminder – for me as much as for her.
“For better for worse... in sickness and in health.” That’s marriage – and thank God for it!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10