Cost of love – and being loved

Carolyn Aldis
Carolyn Aldis
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THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis

So, this week’s adventure began with some DIY and ended with our wedding anniversary. There was a loose bit of carpet on our stairs that had bothered us since we moved in, often the cause of a shout and a stumble as one of us slipped down it. I lifted up the boring carpet to find it was covering a lovely wooden staircase. I mentioned to my husband that I would like to take up the carpet at some point and he murmured something about me finishing the painting in the hall, so I waited until he went to work and then went for it, sounding like Big Daddy as I struggled to yank it up.

I quickly realised that this was the easy bit. There were so many nails to pull out, as well as gripper rails that seemed impossible to remove without damaging the stairs. I was keen to get the nails out before my children came home, so I used pliers to remove them. My husband then came home early from work. He took one look and said “Are you mad?”

“Probably,” I said grinning and then asked “How do I take out these gripper things?”

He recommended a chisel and hammer, showed me where to hit it and I set about removing them. It was so much easier with the right tools that I was finished in no time and though I had lost the skin off most of my knuckles, I felt proud of my achievement.

When I married my husband 19 years ago, I had no idea of the adventures we would share together…the blessings of 4 wonderful children… the misery of mental health issues…the excitement of finding God in the ordinary…the grief of losing loved ones…the joy of finding friends that share our level of weirdness…the miracle of answered prayers…and the fun of working on house projects together.

I have struggled through valleys of despair, wondering how we could have got so low and in the next heartbeat, I have enjoyed the bliss of true love, unable to remember what the arguments were about. It’s been hard work at times and wonderful at others; when one is weak the other is strong and the beauty of our marriage is the strength we get from our faith; without it, I really doubt we would have made it this far.

When my husband found out he had MS, we dealt with it like we always do…we cried, we laughed, we prayed and we adjusted our lives to make it easier for each other.

My wooden stairs serve as a reminder to me of what it costs to make something better:

Sometimes you have to dig deep to find the things of beauty…removing things that have been embedded for a long time is hard work, but they need taking out, otherwise they will cause pain to others…using the right tools make a job easier…the “tools” of love and forgiveness make a relationship work better than anger and bitterness…

My wonderful husband serves as a reminder to me of what it costs to love and be loved.