What do a post-it, a rock and a tarantula have in common?
A lot more than you would think.
This morning, I was gearing up to drive the one-hour slog to Cedars-Sinai, and yes, I do mean "gearing." These 47-year old bones were creaking. I was huffing and hacking from a week-long chest cold (green stuff included!). And to add insult to illness, so much of my hair has once again fallen out, that tomorrow I'll be going under-the-scissors. I'm going for that "I'm a 14-year-old-boy-look." A look—let's be frank—this flat-chested chick kinda never grew out of.
I have not been sleeping well because of this skin virus.The burning and pin-prickling is still a THING. Despite hubby's recent arrival home, and the reassuring weight now on his side of the mattress, sleep remains an elusive thing when you are in pain and can't breathe. In case you didn't get the picture, here's the picture.
I could not feel less attractive right now. Exhausted, burning and covered in dots. Sure, this blip, along my long and winding journey with chronic illness, will probably go down as a speed bump. (Brake for viruses!) I would take permanent baldness if it meant I could secure a life from illness from this day forward.
I would much rather lose my hair than my kidney.
But this morning, I was feeling pretty poopy. I had my purse, a list of questions for the dermatologist and went to grab my keys. And there it was. A tiny square of thin yellow paper. A post-it. And on it, 8 words and a scribbled heart. "Good luck today, mouse. They will fix it."
The backs of my legs wobbled, and it wasn't because I'm tired.
In some ways, I am an old-fashioned girl. Despite my sometimes shocking resemblance to a short, athletic boy, my insides have always delighted in the romantic—love letters, roses left on my doorstep at 3 am, hot-air balloon marriage proposals and public serenades as seen in a J-Lo Rom-Com. (He loves her!)
But, this has never been my husband's way.
As some of you may know, Kevin and I have had a tarantula living by our back door for the last 3 years. [Stay with me here.] This discovery was, at first, traumatizing for this old skool arachnophobe (Cue: Wild Screaming!) Then—after years of staring at her through our back door window—disturbing. And now I watch her with a kind of melancholy as she meanders up and down our back door path searching for a mate. "Poor Lois!" Yes, Kevin named her Lois. With a cockney accent.
Tuesday night after he arrived home, Kevin let Wahlter out the back door. My husband noticed that a rock had shifted and fallen into Lois' cave because of the recent rains.
"OH! Lois can't get out!"
I assured him that our hairy, back door resident was alive and kicking up every one of her 8 legs. So he closed the door and we went to bed.
I got home from Cedars with a double diagnosis. After some discussion over whether or not this rashy virus is related to my immunosuppressives (let's dodge that nightmare, please!), I received a dual diagnosis: Rosacea and Perivascular Dermatitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the blood vessels)—a virus that can take 7-10 months to leave the body. So there's that.
I opened the back door to let Wahlter out and something seemed odd. On the path, a rock lay out of place, awkwardly alone. And I realized Kevin had removed the rock from inside Lois' cave so that she might exit her hole more comfortably. That her life might be made just a little bit easier.
Just like he quietly left me a post-it. To make my life a little bit easier.
This is how Kevin loves. He does not need to post pictures on social media. He does not require likes. He does not scream from the rooftops, so that others might hear. He does not need to buy flowers so others will see. He just does love. He moves rocks. He leaves post-its. He gives kidneys.
This is my husband's way. Every night he sleeps beside me. Every day he works late to provide. Every phone call home to say hello. In sickness and in health, this is our Rom-Com life.
And every day he makes me feels like the star.