This past week I held my new nephew for the first time. I looked over at my little brother, all grown up now, a father to his firstborn son. I saw him looking at his wife with new eyes. Her 38 hour labor made him respect and cherish her so deeply. There was so much love in that room.
I remember that moment. As a young couple being joyfully married and thinking you could never love each other more than you do right now, and then this little child comes into your life and your heart grows a million times larger. You see each other as so much more. You love in a whole new way.
The week before, my husband called me on his way to the emergency room. I could hear the fear in his voice, though he tried to reassure me that he was fine. He hasn't been feeling well for a while, but his symptoms had escalated, and he needed to know what was going on.
It was so hard to see him like that. He has always been the strong one. The one I leaned on when I was scared, and now I had to be that for him.
These days are hard. Our full house keeps us so busy. We find ourselves missing each other even though we are right there. Sometimes I look across the crowded dinner table, past the baby food splatters and spilled milk, past the siblings arguing and the baby crying and our eyes meet and I think, "Oh, there you are.".
We still need each other, not just to help unload the groceries and bathe the children, but to be strong when the other feels weak. To hold the pieces together when one feels broken. I have been praying for him harder than I ever have. He hangs onto these prayers to get him through the day. We are learning to love in a whole new way.
The week before this, it was my father who was in the hospital bed. We were sitting in the Cath lab when we heard the results. He had suffered a small heart attack, but could have been moments away from a massive one.
My stubborn daddy, who waited three days to even see a doctor, May not have survived if he had waited any longer.
I saw my parents, who are rarely emotional, break down as they held each other, overwhelmed at the thought of losing each other.
This couple, married over three decades has lost a baby, lost a son, lost their parents, lost their home to a fire, lost a job...and yet through it all their faith has held strong. Maybe they are appreciating each other more now. They are still holding hands and learning to love in a whole new way.