This is one of those times where I want to tell a story that’s not necessarily mine to tell. So I will be choosy with my words and tell you this story from my perspective.
My husband comes from a family of love. Unconditional love. Drop everything and we’ll be right there love. Their love takes up space. Their love is loud and big and intrusive at times but it’s always love.
My favorite line in any movie that’s ever been written: “this loss will be met by a hurricane of love.” My husband comes from a family of hurricane love.
That’s why there’s a small, private waiting room in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in a Wichita hospital, right now, that is filled to the brim with people who are waiting. They’ve been waiting for a week, now.
Eating there. Sleeping there. Barely seeing the sun, there. Passing around tubes of hand cream and bags of tortilla chips like holy sacrament. Shining lights.
Telling stories. Telling the same stories over and over and over again like the first time.
Taking care of one another. Making friends with the others who are stuck here on this floor. Others who also got an out-of-the-blue call to say, “your life is different, now.”
They’re updating the ones who aren’t able to be in the room because they’re still in the room because they live inside of one another. They were borne of one another.
My husband comes from a family of hurricane love.
Which might be surprising to learn if you know my husband because my he is so calm. Because he’s been surrounded by hurricane love his whole life and he has learned to find a center and to hold on and be still. Because hurricane love is messy sometimes and it hurts, sometimes. And it’s the only love he’s ever known.
In the end it’s love. It’s all love. Big, and unavoidable and physically affecting.
Ryan has a hurricane love inside of him. I got caught in a hurricane.
When we left the hospital, last night, we were hungry.
We went to our favorite place. We went to the place where we used to go on not-dates and first dates and a brunch date after our wedding. We went to the place where we would be surrounded in familiarity and fill ourselves with familiarity and soak in the familiarity that we’ve created together. Like wrapping ourselves in blankets and feeding ourselves blankets and reaching for more and more blankets–creating a soft place to land. Just in case we land any time soon. Patty melts and IPAs and cheese curds.
And he reached across the table and said, “I love you so much” while I was fiddling with my phone. And I didn’t even put my phone down right away to reach for him and hold his gaze and tell him I loved him, too. Not right away. But when I finally did, he wasn’t even phased. He wasn’t hurt by the time I took. Because he was born in hurricane love and he counts on it and he’s patient for it. I had to write a story-poem to tell him I was sorry even though he doesn’t even want one. It’s the only way I know how to say how much I hurricane love you.
On the drive home he told me stories. He was telling stories. Telling the same stories over and over and over again like the first time.