Valentine’s Day

Originally posted on February 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

For some reason, this Valentine’s Day I wanted to write about the moment I fell in love with my husband. Turns out, I can’t do that. There wasn’t a moment. There were a thousand little microscopic moments – a joke here, a gesture there, a touch, a smile, a look – that built upon each other to create our relationship, our love. We were friends long before we were romantic, and that trust was invaluable in creating a bond that would, could, and in fact already has, weathered the darkest of storms.

But still, there is one thing in particular that stands out in my memory as some sort of shift. I can’t explain why, but I can tell you the memory.

I was about to go into my last full semester of college (which for me was year two), and I had to get my wisdom teeth removed. There was only one possible time for me to get it done, and that was less than a week before classes started. I made the appointment (back home in College Station) and had the surgery. Many people have had this procedure done, but everyone experiences it in different ways. I was one of the unfortunate people for whom it was awful.

I came home from the hospital in an anesthesia haze of misery, gauze filling my mouth like dry, cottony wounds. My dad and Kyle immediately ushered me into bed, where I laid on my back and tried to fall asleep. I was exhausted, but being the rule-follower that I am, I couldn’t let myself sleep because I was supposed to keep my jaw closed and if I relaxed it fell open. I mumbled something to this effect to Kyle, who promptly left and returned with a roll of toilet paper. He tucked it under my chin on top of my chest so I could relax and still have my jaws closed on the gauze.

Now, it must have been tempting for Kyle to laugh. I think I would have, if I hadn’t been in so much pain and all drugged up. I must have looked like an armless chipmunk desperate to hold on to a roll of TP. But Kyle didn’t laugh. He’s too sweet for that. He simply solved what needed solving, tucked me in, and let me sleep off the worst of the medicine. I will always remember him in that moment.

Us back when we were giggly little monkeys.

But for me, it only got worse from there. I ended up getting two dry-sockets, which for those of you who don’t know, means I had two gapingly exposed nerve endings. Worst physical pain I’ve ever felt. But through it all, Kyle was there. In fact, when I went back to school after missing the first week of class (dry sockets messed up my well-laid plan), my professors didn’t believe that I’d had my wisdom teeth removed. They said my cheeks weren’t swollen – everyone’s cheeks are swollen after that surgery. My cheeks weren’t swollen because Kyle woke up every four hours for three or four days straight to put fresh ice on my cheeks. How ever did I get so lucky?

I don’t love Kyle because he takes care of me when the chips are down. I don’t even love him because he’s thoughtful and considerate and kind. It’s much, much more than that. But looking back at that memory, I have to admit that it’s a piece of the puzzle. I love you, Hub-a-Dub. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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