Cut short.

Over the weekend, I was supposed to go to Asheville with some of my girlfriends from church. We had many fun activities planned, such as a hayride and some kind of humorous tour of Asheville. I was very excited about my weekend away. On Friday night, after we got there, we had an amazing dinner and then sat by a fire under the stars catching up with one another. Saturday morning, we went for our hayride and then came back to the house to get cleaned up. I checked my phone and had a message from Mike. Saying that he had gotten really sick after I left and that he had been to the doctor and that he has H1N1. I called him to check in, and he said he was fine, he was hanging out on the couch with plenty of fluids, that I should stay and have fun.

I agonized over what to do. I had to make a quick decision because one of our friends was leaving soon to come back home while the rest stayed. In the end, I decided to cut my weekend short and come home. I was sad about this, because I really needed a weekend away, and I had already had to miss out on the Women’s Only 5K because I was sick (I got worse again after my sick day). Also, let’s face it, I knew it was going to be a Man Cold rather than a regular cold. But Mike took care of me when I was sick. And I wouldn’t have asked him to come home if our roles were reversed, but I would have loved it if he did.

It was one of those decisions where there’s no right answer and no wrong answer. What it came down to was that I knew I could still have a good time for the rest of the day, but I imagined myself there that night, lying in bed, feeling terribly guilty, knowing that he was lying at home with a fever. So I packed my bag and got in my friend’s car to ride home. We had a nice trip back, getting to know each other a little bit better, and Mike was happy (though not shocked) to see me. I wouldn’t judge someone who chose to stay. And I don’t think my friends judged me for leaving. They just wanted me to do what would make me feel the best.

After my dad died, I was surprised to realize that Mike and I might not live to our 90s. We might not have the rest of our lives together. I always thought that we definitely would. But it turns out that we just don’t know how long we have. Maybe you already knew that, but I had to learn it. I love my friends, and they are wonderful and I wanted to be with them. I worried about looking codependent. But if something happened to Mike in the next few years, I would always feel guilty that I stayed and drank wine instead of taking care of him. So I came home willingly, because he’s the most important person to me. I changed his sheets and I washed his pajamas and I got him some dinner. And on Sunday morning, when I was making him some tea, he said, “I’m really glad you’re here.” It didn’t completely make up for missing out on the fun times. But it sure did help.

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