covered by love in the fragile places.
My husband and I have shared rooms all over the world, sketchy ones and beautiful hidden treasures. There was the creaky European double in the old Jewish district in Krakow, and the damp and cool lofts on the islands off mainland Croatia. The funky boutique hotel in Sarajevo, bunk beds in the dark Israeli desert, and a hospital cot for one, in our own city. We lay next to the beeping monitors, next to our sick baby girl covered in wires. We woke up in the morning, more tired than ever, but one of us went downstairs for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. We wiped the sleep from our eyes and he kissed my hand. Hello love, this is where our journey has taken us today.
Love has met us in the most unlikely place.
It’s a place where we face uncertainty, pain and the unromantic reality of caring for a child with significant health needs. It’s a place of sterile rooms, 911 calls and blue lips, doctors’ reports and letters requesting funding.
It can be hard and painful here, not to mention overwhelming and heartbreaking.
I really thought we would crumble when we discovered our daughter may have a terminal diagnosis. It seemed too heavy, too impossible. People divorced over much smaller things, and as we often heard, marriage is hard, hard, hard. When the diagnosis was confirmed, when we actually went through what we feared most, we realized we were far stronger than our circumstances.
The very thing that tried to destroy our family would end up knitting us closer. Stitch by painful stitch, we have been woven this way and that. It is not threadbare, this canopy that covers us, it is far from unravelling.
More than five years ago, when I said my marriage vows under the chuppah on that blue autumn day, I didn’t think we would be affected by sickness or trauma for ages. I read those words through my veil, told my heart that I would love him no matter what. I believed it, and I still do, even when they told us our combined genes had created a rare neuromuscular disease that was taking over our only child’s precious body.
I have discovered the most beautiful love song is sung over us in the places of fragility.
We cling to each other when our daughter is sick in the ICU. We cling and we cry and we whisper, I love you, we can do this, we are going to make it. She is going to make it.
He takes my chin in his hands when I whimper in fear, and though I can barely look him in the eyes, I feel his love and strength as hot tears blur my vision. It feels good to cry into his shirt, to smell his familiar skin under the layers, to know he’s always going to be in this with me.
When he’s cradling our sweet girl, stroking her fair curls, and crying in brokenness as he kisses her feet, my heart groans with tenderness. When he clasps my hand hard as we drive to the hospital with knots of nerves in our stomachs, when he senses my trepidation before I say a word, this is when I sing: I am loved, and these rivers cannot wash us away. (Song of Songs 8:7)
These rivers cannot wash us away, for we are covered, we are all covered by Love.
Even here, even now.
Lift the veil and glance into the Beloved’s eyes. You are covered.
Even here, even now.