for katharine: sickness and health

My friend Katharine got engaged yesterday. Today she posted this:

This reminded me of the Monday after Ashley and I got engaged.

This is that post.

I proposed to Ashley early in the morning on April 24, Easter Sunday. By early in the morning I really mean shortly after midnight because I wanted to do it on Easter Sunday yet I could hardly wait to actually do it. So like 12:01 AM. We stayed up late that night. She called her family and she and I talked about a lot of things before we finally passed out. The rest of that Sunday was pretty standard…except for her staring at her new ring all the time. We went to bed early because we had work and school the next day.

But at 4AM the morning after we got engaged, we were in the hospital.

Ashley’d woken me up a few times that night getting sick. Finally, she said she thought maybe she should go to the ER. And if Ashley thinks she needs to go to the hospital, it’s bad. We hastily got ourselves around and a short time later were in the ER. They hooked her up to an IV almost right away – they knew she was dehydrated before they knew why.

Like many nurses before her, the ER nurse had trouble finding a good vein in Ashley’s hand. One of the attempts caused a little bit of blood to trickle slowly down her hand until it covered part of her new engagement ring. Later on, Ashley would come to for a few minutes and apologize to me for that, for having gotten blood on what she said was such a pretty ring. But it didn’t matter, I said. It could be cleaned.

As she drifted back to sleep, her body finally calm and rehydrating, I pushed a couple of stools together, made a blanket of my coat, and slept a little bit. Around 6AM they sent us home. Turns out it was a virus making her sick. The doctor gave her a prescription to help control the vomiting and diarrhea, but the pharmacy didn’t open until eight.

We spent another miserable two hours at home. She was so sick that she was afraid to leave the toilet. But she was so tired she could barely keep herself sitting up. And so our engagement began with me kneeling in front of the toilet and giving her a shoulder to rest her head on while she was sick. She said it was really awkward and it sure as hell was. But it was also just what you do.

I called off work that day and Ashley didn’t go to class. I ran to the pharmacy when it opened and eventually her nausea settled. We both slept for a while and eventually were able to kind of joke about it: ‘Hey. Remember that time I proposed to you and you got sick?’ Hahaha. Hilarious to this day, right? So pardon me, Katharine, if I disagree with your statement.

But, seriously: Congratulations. I wish you and yer fella many, many happy years.

And that he never has to hold you up while you’re on the toilet.

But that if he does, you have the good sense to let him.

And again, congrats.


One comment on “for katharine: sickness and health

  1. Yeah, it was really awkward but it meant so much to me that you would even be around me at that time let alone let me rest on you like that. I did offer to give you the ring back (like a return policy since that wasn’t exactly the way you pictured our life) but you said no, you still wanted to marry me. That is how I knew you were a keeper:) I love you so much and can’t wait to be your wife. I hope our wedding night doesn’t have any such issues.

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