Nurse Ratchet (a.k.a. Terry) of the Branch household is having a dominating reign these days when it comes to administering medicines and giving orders. Before she leaves for work, she pours my morning pills in a small dish for me to consume with the command “Take. Eat,” and quickly pours my lunch time rendition of different sorts in the same bowl. This is accompanied by some sort of school art work with a scribbly arrow pointing to the bowl with the printed word “Lunch” duly emphasized (!!).
Once home from work, the first order of business for her is to check if I have taken the lunch pills, and then she proceeds to administer the supper pills in the same bowl with the stern enjoiner “You better remember to take these” (again duly emphasized.) She is quick to morph into a “Bernadette” when I go to bed without taking my night time med.
She turns into a Chatty Cathy when I let her go to the doctor with me. She spills my guts when adds information I did not want the doctor to know. The Nurse is not a trained pharmacist, but she can rattle off the technical pharmaceutical terms fluently. Our second son, Keithen, holds a doctorate in pharmacy, and I heard the Ratchet ask the other day in a telephone conversation, “He was recently prescribed Hydaco-ulna-poo-xhia-pina-zhoca-pine—-is that good for him?” The Nurse’s skills are amazing.
I contemplated recently her mindset and expectations when I took a stroll in the yard. I recalled years ago how she vowed that she would love me “in sickness or in health.”
The two of us have known each other for forty-seven years. We have been married for forty-five years. Most of that span has been lived in health. We have thrived for the most part in health.
But, now it comes my time to live in bad health. I am fading. I am weak. I cannot do many of the things I used do. But, the Nurse is staying true to her vows. Sh e has lived with me as I have had health, and now she lives with me as I am having bad health. She is like that Scriptural vine clinging close to the sides of the house, “and that thus shall a man be blessed…”
“A (faithful) woman is a crown to her husband…”
The thing to note from all this is that couples that are married for long times should not peter out on each other. Stay faithful and true. Do not resort to bitterness. Love each other in sickness or in health. For when or the other goes out into eternity, it will not be enough time despite how much time you have had.
In the meantime, my nurse is not really the Ratchet, but is Terry.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.