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and then there’s this

published: 2011-07-16

And then there’s this: I have chat with a friendly father at school. His wife is ill. He has taken a year off from work so that she can focus entirely on getting better. We have spoken a few times about her illness, he has explained how they don’t like to dwell on the situation, and how they dislike it when people feel sorry for them. They do not feel sorry for themselves, why should anyone else? They are dealing with it and doing what needs to be done and they will be fine.
I tell him that my husband and I are splitting up. He reacts by saying how terrible that must be for me. He says: “my wife and I always tell each other that the most important thing in life is your relationship. To be happy together, for the kids to be happy too. As long as everything is good at home, you can handle all the set-backs. All of them.”

I think to myself: wait, wasn’t it “as long as your health is good?” And when I next look up, I see a drop next to his nose. It’s raining, so it could well have fallen from the skies. I take my chances, I squeeze his arm and my gesture says, ‘it’s hard isn’t it?’ And yes, it is a tear. And that’s fine, but only for that moment.
Because after he has gone his way, and I have gone mine, I find myself sobbing in the rain. Perhaps he is too.

3 Responses to “and then there’s this”

  1. Arwin says:

    Yes, I was too.

  2. Sander de Regt says:

    Of course since it’s the health part that is lacking in their case ‘as long as you’re healthy’ wouldn’t do them much good. Like you mentioned previously, when people give you advice they usually talk about themselves. For me personally the ‘as long as you’re healthy part’ has shifted to ‘as long as the children are healthy/happy’.
    As soon as the health part falls away you need the support from loved ones. But you can find that support everywhere also outside of the ‘traditional’ relationship.

  3. aliefka says:

    Arwin 🙂

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