Last night I went to bed on the early side. It had been my first day of feeling relatively normal after a solid week of hell. One lovely thing that had emerged from the past week, however, was that my spouse would read to me from the newspaper or the New Yorker, as I lay back with my eyes closed, breathing steadily, trying not to throw up my anti-nausea medication.
It was quite a treat, then - for both of us, I imagine - for me to be able to go to bed, meds taken, feeling worn out but not horrible. So there I was, with my book - a Chanukah present from my son - about the making of The Princess Bride. And as my spouse prepared to head downstairs to take care of some leftover work email, I said, "You know, usually you read to me before I go to sleep."
"Yeah. That's what you usually do." As I took my book and placed it expectantly on her side of the bed, I felt like a child, disguising my request as a previously agreed-upon contract. And I didn't care - childlike or not, I needed her. She settled in, picked up the book, and began. "Should I read the foreword?"
"The one by Rob Reiner? Yeah."
Her voice carried me into a world without cancer, treatments, or side effects. The words told me about the making of a movie, and at the same time they told me that this incredible woman will be by my side until I take my last breath.