Many of you will wonder why  I have made this my profile picture or put this in my blog. You will wonder if it is for sympathy? Is it for attention? The answer to any and most other questions will be answered by a thunderous NO! This picture is so much more than what it would appear. At first glance this would be a picture of a woman lying in a hospital bed, with a man laying next to her and as with all things in life if we just look at the surface you would be correct but there is so much more under the surface. There is a whole other story waiting to be told something far more beautiful and more important than any why you could ask. So let’s get the why out of the way quickly, for reasons I am unwilling to go into at this time, this picture was taken by our daughter after I was released from the ICU and was in a regular hospital room. Just to ease any minds I am home, resting, and on my way to healing.  There will be time when I am physically better and have emotionally gotten to a point where that story may be told but it isn’t what led to this picture that is important, it is the story the picture tells.

For those of you who may not know us well I want to give a quick back story, I met Eric when I was 13, started dating him when I was 14, and married him when I was 16. I do not need to tell any rational adult that when putting the pressure of parenthood and marriage on a couple of teenagers you have the making of DRAMA! Eric and I have experienced plenty of ups and downs in our marriage. We have not always been kind, loving, romantic, or even forgiving of each other. We have judged each other harshly and said mean things. We have even had times where we wondered why stay married? If a picture could say a thousand words this picture explains the why. Why stay married and work hard when everything in our culture says me me me? The answer lays within the frame of this picture. After being transferred by ambulance all alone in an ICU room the only thought going through my head was please Eric, get here soon, he could not fix what what wrong with my body but he could do for my soul what the medicine was trying to do for my body.  Because during a time when I could do nothing for myself, when I was at my weakest spiritually, emotionally, and physically, when I was as vulnerable as I can ever remember being Eric crawled into bed with me. He provided a comfort that no one else could. Eric could see my soul and feel my needs before even I had the words to express those needs, that is the why. This is not a connection you get early in a relationship, this takes years of tears, laughter, grief, joy, hatred, love, passion, and in the end a commitment to something greater than yourself.

I was unaware that this picture had been taken until much later, at first I was embarrassed when I saw it, let’s be honest we all know we want to show the world us at our best. A hospital bed, no shower for days, no makeup and asleep does not make one feel beautiful. Let alone in this picture I am vulnerable, there are no facades to hide behind and no one wants the world to see them at their most vulnerable.  What we show the world is our wedding pictures, that is what we blow up and put on our walls and post on FB feeds and that is love in it early dreamy romantic state and it has it’s own beauty. As for me I want this picture blown up and put in my bedroom. For it will remind me on days when life has hopefully gone back to normal and there are dirty socks on the floor and I can’t remember the last romantic thing we did, that there was a time when I was weak, smelly, and sick that he laid down next to me hold me, to offer my soul a soft place to rest while my body was sick. That is what this picture is for me, it is a reminder in a world full of confusion of what really is important. It cannot be bought, consumed, or manipulated, it has to be earned and the price tag at times can feel impossibly high but in the end when all things are removed what remains is love in its purest form.

So why post such a private picture?

For you, if you are thinking about giving up on your marriage, take a time out and forget what he or she doesn’t do but instead focus on what do they do? Will they lay down next to you when you are sick and in the hospital?

For my children, I want them to see that separate and apart from being their parents, we have a love story , a love story that looks nothing like a Hollywood movie but that I hope someday they will experience. I want them to know what to look for in a mate. I want them to see what commitment looks like.

Ultimately it is for me, it is a moment in time when I was loved just for my soul and nothing else and I want to remember that always.

Thank you Eric for all the years of joy, sorrow, fighting, laughing, passion, love, and commitment that brought us to that moment in time. Thank you for loving me when I was most vulnerable and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable with me.

My life, my journey, my soul is better because I share it with you.