In Sickness and in Health

When I first considered writing about my Platinum Day of Love, I was sure this would be something akin to the time I participated in a Love Letter Writing Competition; me audaciously venturing into a field that I have absolutely no idea about! I mean, what do I know about love that has not already been written about? Let me rephrase that, my knowledge of love is limited to the stories I have read about and the stories I have seen around me. And then one day, I was reminded of a story that I had seen that nearly brought me to tears; a story of a love that endures through the ages, that ripens with age and companionship…

He wakes up early as usual. He is careful not to make a lot of noise, something he has been doing for the past 45 odd years of their marriage. However, she has been in the hospital for the better part of this week. He gets busy freshening up and getting ready so he can leave as soon as he driver turns up. The arthritis had made it increasingly difficult for him to wear his wedding band. But today; he does not let that stop him.

Along the way, he gets down at the Florist’s and picks up a bunch of daisies (after which she is named!) and heads over to the hospital. He walks over to the Pharmacy and buys a couple of Adult Diapers. He remembers his discomfort, the first time he had to come down here to buy one. As with most things in life, he has now gotten used to this too.

She lies there in the bed, rapt in some thought that he can only guess. He asks her how she feels, as he enters the room. At the very sound of his voice her eyes search fervently until they meet his, and then she smiles. And just like that, he forgets about the stroke, about their grandchildren, about the three children they had raised together; she is the woman he married all those years ago!

He leaves the Diapers with the Home Nurse he had recently hired to look after her. He takes out the old flowers and puts the new bunch of daisies in the vase. Then he walks over to her. They hold hands as he speaks. There is the sound of metal on metal, as their bands rub against each other. There is comfort in the familiarity of that sound.


She looks up at the man holding her hand as he speaks to her. She knows that she has not exactly been the ideal wife to him. She had been obstinate and headstrong for the better part of their marriage, but this man had stood by her; through the birth of their children, through all the ups and downs, in sickness and in health.

Girls spend their entire childhood planning to read out the verses on love from the 1 Corinthians. In her case, she had lived it! Here was this man looking at her with such tenderness, as she lay in a hospital bed, clad in a drab hospital gown. And, if she were to believe what her granddaughter told her the other day, he had tears flowing down his cheeks as he said the morning prayers the day after she was hospitalised. At that moment, she finds renewed hope to get better and spend a little more time with this man.

Maybe this is what love is all about. Maybe it is in loving each other through thick and thin, in being in your 70s and still having this one person who wants you to get better so you can go back to the mundane things that they have become so habituated to. Maybe, then, you can know for sure that you have lived a decently good life!

6 Responses to “In Sickness and in Health”
  1. Pankti Mehta says:

    Wow….absolutely beautiful. You had me moved. Best of luck!

  2. Amar Naik says:

    love is something which has so many forms. this was a nice read. all the best for competition

  3. JOHN M J says:

    Great stories are born out of personal experiences coupled with the imagination and creativity of the author (This story reveals it).

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