In Sickness and In Health
by: Deji Yesufu
I work in a hospital that receives many patients with terminal conditions. Despite the expertise of the medical team on ground to handle these cases, many patients show up at the hospital when their conditions are irreversible. So, yes, I see many deaths.
Lately, I have begun to observe couples at the clinic. Usually it is the wife that brings an ailing husband. But I have been seeing husbands standing with their wives too. The sight is difficult to describe; I can only describe it as inspiring.
These couples have had their pursuits, they’ve raised children, they had great careers and now they are standing together facing an illness that may take one of them away. As I observe them, I know they’ve got their histories. There have been joyous times together and there would have been issues that threatened their marriage. There may have been an adulterous husband or a high spending wife. All sorts of issues. But none of those matter now. There is this sickness they must beat together.
There is this particular Igbo man who came with his ill wife all the way from the East. His commitment to the wife is mind boggling. He runs all the errands, buy food and does all the soliciting to ensure the wife gets treated. The woman most times sits there with a sense of entitlement. Lucky woman.
It all reminds me of the vow many couples say at their weddings: “… in sickness and in health…”, they’ll stick together. Thankfully many couples keep this vow and God will bless their commitment. I however wonder what shall happen to New Generation Churches’ wedding vows that cut out all negative confessions. Where couples are not urged to be committed to one another even in bad times. Are we surprised why many homes are under strain: where churches give couples the impression they should never expect evil. I digress.
This post is directed at couples to enjoy the good times God has given them together. Argue less. Be a bit more patient. Husbands love your wife. Wives be submitted to your husbands. Enjoy your children’s company. Enjoy whatever you have. Enjoy eating together, bathing together … sleeping together. Make the best of the time you have together. Because you will not always have it.
Someone has likened marriage to times of Spring, Summer and Winter. Spring is the time of bloom, love and being newly wedded. Summer is the middle life and times of building, times that come with aches and that crushes many marriages. It is also the time many reap the reward of faithful commitment to the marriage.
Finally, comes the Winter period. The time of illness and the days death shall come. Children are all grown and have left home. But one spouse is dead. May the good memories of the times spent together sustain one in those days.
This is dedicated to all spouses who are standing or have stood with ill spouses. May God grant you the fortitude to wade through the storm into health. And if it be God’s will, and a spouse die, may God grant you the fortitude to bear the loss.
This article was first published on Facebook May 26, 2017.