Tuesday, December 3, 2013

There's a Bathroom on the Right for a Long Long Time

Dear John,
The radio is getting decidedly worse. Sentimental Christmas songs have infiltrated all of my stations. Tonight I stumbled into Blue Christmas, bailed out, and landed in Linda Ronstadt singing A Long Long Time. On the brink of despair, I ran down the dial, found Creedence, and took a deep breath. Appropriately enough for the season, it was Bad Moon on the Rise. Or Bathroom on the Right. Whichever you hear in it.
Somehow, all of this got me thinking about our first married Christmas. Things were pretty dismal - you were on chemotherapy, I had mono and was in liver failure, and we'd lost our last appeal to have our health insurance pick up some portion of your surgery, chemo, and all of that. I remember that I finally dragged myself out to look for a tree. We were living in that tiny basement apartment and didn't have much room or any money. And I found the perfect tree. It was about six feet tall with a big bare spot in the middle, and was one of the last trees left on the lot. I made an offer and got it for $10 - and he even cut it off in the middle of the bare spot for me. It ended up the perfect height to stand on the dining room table.
Our first year of marriage was tough. But I'd highly recommend it to any newlywed couple. In our first year we had to deal with the medical bills, your chemo, my liver failure, and my job at The Hospital From Hell. We had to write wills and talk about advance directives. We sat on the floor on opposite sides of the toilet and took turns throwing up, and you had to tie my work shoes for me when my liver was enlarged. We took turns looking after each other, pulled together financially, and learned to laugh about all of it.
And that little half-of-a-Christmas-tree symbolizes that year for me. We made a beautiful tree out of something that nobody wanted. And we made the root of a wonderful marriage out of a year nobody in their right mind would have chosen. All the way up to the end, we still laughed about our first year.
Can we do it all over again?
Love you so, so much,


  1. Well I'd say it sounds like the perfect Christmas (less the puking part) what a great memory!

  2. It was kind of typical us - awful things happening, and laughing about it. It was a good foundation for us. We had to deal with things that most of my married friends my age still haven't had to deal with. And oh, how I'd love to do it again! :)