Influenza

We have The Flu.  Or, more accurately, he has The Flu.  This distinction is meaningless to me.

Watching someone you love suffer is a terrible kind of torture.  The Flu is one of those afflictions during which, despite tailoring the medications to the symptoms, the sufferer does not really get any relief.  Therefore, I am a powerless witness.

It’s been a full week now.  One week is a long time. Over the weekend, I could float in and out of the sick room and provide entertainment when he was awake.  During the workdays, though, he is both alone and lonesome, unable to do much other than read intermittently before he sinks into his next nap.

And then, chatting last night, it hit me that I know he will get better.  And some people don’t have that certainty.  It dawned on me that, little by little, and despite my intentions otherwise, I have become dependent on him.  Not in terms of financial support, but dependent on his company, his humor, his smile. I’ve been lonely. It came crashing down upon my head that, just as I had incrementally grown dependent on him, people tragically, day by day, are forced to grow more independent from their partners because they know that their time together is small and they will be forced to let go.

I feel like it is almost drilled into us that being dependent is a bad thing. I think it’s a beautiful thing. I love it and I am going to embrace it. It’s okay that he is responsible for my happiness most frequently.  And it’s okay that I crave time with him, because he makes me laugh.  It’s okay that I go to him first with my ideas or questions, because he is always, without exception, supportive and understanding.

Our home has been so quiet this week, fewer laughs, fewer absurd dances.  I can’t wait to have him back. My happiness is inextricably linked with his and I have absolutely no desire to change that.  And that’s okay.  It’s one of the greatest gifts the world has given me. No matter how many moments we have, at the end we will look back and think how brief it all was.  So I will celebrate my beautiful dependence like there’s no tomorrow.

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