Have you ever been completely devoted to someone?
Do people still do that these days?
I asked my hubby what he thinks of when I say "devoted" & he said, "marriage".
Look how young we were...
When I look up the definition of devoted, it says, "Very loving, or loyal".
There are also words that mean the same, like...
Faithful, true, steadfast, constant, committed, dedicated, devout, admiring, fond, warm, affectionate, caring, attentive.
I think of myself as extremely devoted. No question... I've always tried my best to put others first, before myself... & When I got married, I took my vows very seriously & I made it my goal to be the very best wife that I could be... & I've always been an overachiever, so I'm pretty sure I probably am THE BEST wife ever, lol. *Wink, Wink*
When I was growing up, my mom was devoted to our dad & all of us kids. I learned the most about devotion from mom. She was completely devoted to praying for each & every one of us, every single morning, to this very day AND she will be turning 90 this year. THAT is a LOT of devoted prayers!! Mom did a lot more than pray for us, I just used that as an example. Our mom is THE BEST mom, in my opinion & I feel SO grateful to still have her.
Obviously I haven't been as devoted to my blog as I once was (SORRY!!), but I truly have a good excuse. It's only because, in January, my hubby suffered a stroke (more than one) & because of my absolute devotion to him, I have had to let other things sit on the back burner for a while.
My dedicated devotion to my hubby is very clear to those around me. I have basically dropped everything else in my life, in order to focus on him during his medical trauma & recuperation. He had a stroke (more than one). I went to stay with him at the hospital for 44 days, because my devotion to him is so strong that when I saw he wasn't being cared for well at times, I knew I "had to" be there to advocate for him. He was scared & couldn't always think of what he wanted to say due to his stroke brain, so I had to be there to relay his feelings to the staff & let people know what was going on with him. It's amazing the amount of relief they had, when they had no idea of why he was wincing in pain or groaning & I would pipe up & tell them, or ask him if it was a specific thing hurting & he would nod his head yes. Pretty soon, they were all looking to me to find out what was wrong with him. The entire staff saw my love & devotion to my hubby for the entire 44 days. They were actually in awe over it & many remarked about it to me on several occasions. I just had to keep telling them, "I'm just doing what I think I'm supposed to be doing", but many of them thought it was incredible. Maybe it's just my opinion, but I believe that is what wives are supposed to do, be devoted to their husbands.
We've been married for many, many years now & I have gone through many different stages of devotion. All of them kind & loving, in all sorts of ways.
Our whole life together I have tried my best to be extra loving, kind & caring to my hubby. If he was working in the yard, I would bring him an icy cold drink of homemade lemonade or iced tea. If he was at work, an hour away in Seattle at the warehouse, I would bake fresh zucchini or banana bread & drive it down to him & his crew, "just because". Whatever he needed, I tried to anticipate it beforehand & have it for him.
There was a time when I was a fishing widow. My hubby went fishing well over 300 days per year. I knew how much he loved fishing, so I was happy he could go & do it. Early on I used to go fishing with him a lot, but I'm not a fisherman & I don't even like to eat fish. As much as I loved being with my hubby & enjoying the great outdoors, I wasn't too fond of having to steer the boat or net the fish when he asked me to. I was happier just being along for the ride & reading my book out in the fresh lake air. I wasn't there to fish. I started staying home more, so I wouldn't be expected to partake in the tasks of fishing. I was not devoted to fishing at all, but yet I went because I was devoted to my hubby & it was what he LOVED to do... Then when he started drinking more & more while he was out fishing, I began to think twice about it. I am not a drinker. Never even had one sip of alcohol, so being around it wasn't my thing at all. I was devoted to my hubby, but not his drinking. When he started drinking so much that he had to puke out the upstairs window from our bed, I'd had enough of that. I was still completely devoted to him, but being married to a drunk guy was totally NOT my thing at all! I also am devoted to having self respect & I demand a certain amount of respect as well. This wasn't the kind of life I wanted for myself or our marriage... I was so devoted to my hubby that I gave him a chance. I went to him & I said, "This is not the kind of life for me & you can either keep on drinking, or you can stay married to me"... He stopped drinking. You know why? Because I am devoted to him & he is devoted to me.
In our marriage there is a HUGE amount of love & devotion. When we took our vows, we devoted ourselves to them, for better or worse, in sickness & in health, til death do we part. We love, honor & cherish each other & we are completely devoted.
Since my hubby had his stroke, I have had to step up & be even more devoted than I was before. Did y'all think that was possible? The best, most devoted wife in the world, now had to devote herself even more?... Firstly, I am a devoted believer in God, who makes ALL things possible. I could not be who or how I am, without Him in my life, holding me up, continuously. God is my strength. My faith in Him is huge. It's the only way I get by. Faith.
In my entire life, as devoted as I am, there have been a lot of things lately that I never thought I would be doing, in a million years... Because of the massive amount of devotion, here are some things that I find myself devoted to doing on a regular basis right now...
~ For over five months, I've been feeding my husband. It is SO humiliating to him, trying to eat with his non-dominant hand (his left hand is SO NOT coordinated), which makes a HUGE mess, so I feed him if he needs me to. Oatmeal & a yogurt every single morning, for sure. Spoon fed. Anything handheld, he can do on his own, but using utensils is super hard. I'm there if needed. I will cut his meat or butter his roll or salt his veggies. Anything... AND I will "wait" until he has eaten, before I dish up my food & eat. It's what I choose to do, so he is taken care of "first"... Our parents always taught us to take care of things that couldn't take care of themselves "first" before doing for ourselves. It's all I know.
~ In all of my life, I never dreamed I would have to completely bathe my husband. I wheel him into the bathroom in his power wheelchair, carefully transfer him to a bench seat that sits over the tub & I give him a shower.
Once I wet him down, I squirt shampoo on his head & he washes his hair with his left hand. Then I rinse his head, being very careful that soap doesn't get in his eyes & soap up his washcloth & scrub every part of him & then rinse him. He dries his hair & I dry off his body & then I put on his deodorant & help him with putting on his shirt & then I comb his hair. We're a great team... In the beginning, this took us well over an hour & a half, but we've gotten it down to fifteen minutes now & we do it often.
~ I shave the man too. He likes to be clean & shaved.
~ I get up in the night, so my hubby can pee... People have asked me why, so here's why... First of all, he can't walk... & When you are a guy with the use of only one arm or hand, it's impossible to get your pants down, hold yourself & hold the urinal. Not to mention taking care not to spill the urinal once it's full of pee (I speak from experience)... & I'm smart. I prefer not to have pee in my bed, so I'm gonna get up whenever I need to. Trust me!
~ How do you feel about poop?... Yep, me too... BUT (Or should I say butt?) we all have to do it & when ya' gotta go... Well!... Let's just say, I never thought one of my skills would be bed-panning. Oy vey!... & Have you ever wiped somebody else's butt? I don't even think you can compare to a baby & diapers when the poop could be considered the size of some people's baby... OK, I'm just kidding, but you get the idea! LOL
~ Have you ever tried blowing your nose one handed? My hubby tries it, but ends up with a real mess on his hand. Literally... I have a hard time, knowing he's completely missed the tissue & has snot in his one good hand. Why doesn't this bother him? I've found that when I see his nose needs blowing, it's best not to mention it or he will wipe his hand across his nose, thinking it's fine. I always have to point out the back of his hand, but he just laughs at my disgust. I try now to just grab him a tissue & make sure to place it in his one good hand, carefully, so he can blow into it & catch the flying debris as it blows out. This keeps him from doing the backhanded nose smear... He will then raise his head & say, did I get it?... & No. He did not get it, but it's impossible for him to complete a thorough nose cleaning with his left hand... SOooo I have had to swoop into his bat cave & flush out the bats. Let me tell you, this is not an easy task!! There is just something about reaching up a nostril that is on another body, trying to pull out what you see there. When it snaps back inside, like a slick white rubber band, it will make you gag. Trust me!!
Why does this give him such complete joy?... Folks, this is purely devotion on my part!
So there you have it. I could continue on, but then y'all would get bored reading... My point is, devotion is real & true... For me, I will do whatever it takes, especially right now, so my hubby can have an easier day, every day. He did not ask for this stroke. It came in the night, while we were sleeping. He misses the life we used to have & his old self. The man who could take a chainsaw to hundreds of trees, cutting them down, limbing them & tossing them into the fire all day long. The man who mowed dozens & dozens of yards through the years, beautifying them for all to see & enjoy. The man who could cut up lumber, nail it together & make wonderful buildings & other fine projects... He could & did do so much with his hands & he can't wait to gain the strength back to do things again. Until then, I am devoted to doing whatever is necessary to help make his days easier. I truly do LOVE the man!
Love isn't what you feel, it's what you do consistently over time. True love is when you stand together even in difficult times... Devoted... It's all I know.
If you feel led to donate, to help us on our journey, while we work hard helping Dean get back strength & mobility on his right side, which was paralyzed after the stroke, please copy & paste the link below into your browser, to get to our GoFundMe. We appreciate any & all support. Thanks!
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