Friday, January 25, 2013

Impaired Judgement

Normally if this were like other years, my whole family would be at the March on Washington in D.C.   This year we weren't. Fred has not seen a doctor in almost 20 years for anything other than stitches and glue. And even those ER trips have been blissfully sparse. After spending so much time on making sure our kids were doing well,I decided it was time to make sure their father was OK too.

 Fred doesn't do doctors.
 Or vitamins.
 Or basic upkeep.

 So, I had to nudge him pretty hard. Finally and mostly, because he wanted me to stop bugging him, he agreed to go see a G.P. Naturally she ordered a whole  load of tests, and blood work, and X-rays and labs. We've been running around town for the last week or two checking them all off the list. Today was his final test, requiring a bit of sedation. After drinking a few vials of explosives, Andrew, Fred, and I headed out in the early hours of the morning, leaving Peter and JP to play the roles of Mom and Dad for the better part of the morning.

Women don't have too many choices about dealing with doctors. Especially during child-bearing years. You just get used to it all. Fred on the other hand is not used to any of this. I sat in the waiting room thinking of how much he means to me and how many times he has had to drive me to appointments, and doctors, and other generally invasive bodily procedures. It is hard to be the person waiting. He has never mentioned that.  He means everything to me and  I knew that as I sat watching the clock tick.

They called me in when he was still groggy and pale. I sat next to him and was handed a stack of papers. The top one was for the person responsible for driving him home. I began to read. In bold letters it proclaimed :

Warning! Anesthesia will impair your judgement and perception for the remainder of the day...

Almost on cue, Fred chose that moment  to open his eyes, smile softly, and say "Ellie- You look beautiful". Naturally- I chuckled and informed him his judgement was clearly impaired before he closed his eyes again to rest. Every one of his tests came out perfect. He is the picture of health. (Thank you Jesus!) I gathered him together, and Andrew and I drove him home stopping at Red Robin to celebrate his first taste of food in two days.

The thought occurred to me later on today, that drugs aren't the only things that impair our judgement. Love does as well. It washes away what is really there and leaves in its place years of memories to view each other through. They become the real lens of how we see one another. The rough spots forgotten, the gentleness and happiness our vision. We share a perspective on the world that is  our own. We have walked it together and therefore can see what no one else can. I am so happy to know he is healthy and well and mine. I am happy that when we look at one another, neither of us can see what the rest of the world does. Time and age have no  place in how we remember each other- the heart and soul  which have a different memory to draw from,  triumph over that 'reality' gently washing away wrinkles, and grey hair, and weight gain  and years of hard work and aging from the picture.  Our vision has been mutually impaired by our marriage  and we are all the  better for it.


  1. This is really beautiful, Ellie.

  2. "It washes away what is really there and leaves in its place years of memories to view each other through." ...I love this. And isn't what you both see actually "what's really there" as opposed to what the world sees and thinks is "really there"?

    I love you both and am so appreciative for the gift of the example of your marriage and all that it has brought into my own life. May I be as generous with mine.

    So glad Freddy's pretty perfect... but I already knew that! ;)