Why Bother Knowing Who We Are Responsible For?
If I am attentive, my marriage teaches me something new every day. For instance, recently, my husband was on his way to the grocery store to do the weekly shopping. Before he left, he asked me to remind him to take his antibiotic when he returned.
“Why can’t you take it now?” I asked.
“It’s too soon,” he replied.
I set the pill on the kitchen window sill so I wouldn’t forget and continued to the weekly chore of house cleaning.
When he returned, I reminded him to take his antibiotic. After he put the groceries away, I reminded him. When he sat down to read, I reminded him. Still the little pill sat on the window sill. Finally I asked,
“So, how long do I have to be responsible for reminding you to take your antibiotic?”
“Honey,” he began, “You will always be responsible for me because you married me.”
Though my husband and I have always had good health, this last week he underwent oral surgery, a common and somewhat benign procedure. In preparation for this, the dentist sent home some paperwork ahead of time explaining what to expect.
Because of the drug he’d be receiving, my husband would need a designated driver. Though we’d discussed having a friend of his do the driving so I did not have to take a day off from work, we decided differently. My husband wanted me to go with him to the appointment. At first I was a little reluctant, but when I saw my husband being wheeled out of the dentist chair in a wheelchair, I was glad to be his designated driver. The drug they’d given him had rendered him oblivious.
It was a little alarming to see him in this condition and I hoped he’d come out of the sedation as the same man I’d married. Fortunately, by that evening, my husband was mostly back to normal and mostly himself again.
But, this experience brought to mind my wedding vows, “…To be my wedded husband to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
So far our marriage has weathered better and worse, and being richer and poorer. Yet, that little trip to the dentist for a common and begin surgery gave me a brief glimpse of what it looks like to remain faithful and trustworthy when sickness enters a relationship. Albeit it was a short stint with an incoherent mate, it remains a reminder; I am responsible for my husband, forever.
Why bother knowing who we are responsible for? Marriage, unlike any other relationship, binds us to our mate and to them alone. I’m grateful for the one I chose to be faithful, trustworthy and dependable to.