Thursday, May 5, 2011

An Incredible Girl

My wife is something else. That’s an expression, ‘something else’. Looking at it now, I don’t think I understand it. But what I mean to say is that she’s an incredible girl. 1 Peter 3:7 tells me to “show her honor.” This is one feeble attempt at doing so. I think you should know what she’s been through and done for our family.

In September we found out about our pregnancy with child #2. We were in the midst of finishing language school, which meant hours everyday on wooden chairs spinning our brains to keep up with all that français. Early months of pregnancy are exciting, hopeful, and fun. There was sickness, but she didn’t complain, even when her head was in the toilet everyday. It would pass, and it was worth it to usher in our baby girl. At least that’s what she said.

In December the craziness began. We packed to move, from Paris to Marseille. We didn’t own a lot and had been living in a furnished apartment, but it was still a chore. A night spent in the emergency room a week before our move didn’t help. Asthma and pregnancy don’t mix, and finnicky doctors refusing to prescribe anything helpful = ER breathing treatments.

In January we arrived to our new place. An empty apartment was furnished by a toddler bed, toy chest, and futon left to us by some departing expats. Painting, installing cabinets, and much more occupied my time. JJ graciously took care of our son, fixed dinners, managed everything medical, and did everything she could to help me relax and recuperate (manual labor’s not my thing). And she kept on being pregnant.

Next the world turned upside down. A routine doctor visit sent her to the hospital for a 48-hour stay. Then another a couple weeks later. It may have been overcaution, it may have been necessary, we’ll never know. But what we do know is that a nearly two month period of her life was stripped away as she was placed on strict bed rest. That futon became the only thing she saw 24/7 for a month until our real bed arrived. Then it was the bed. Weeks and weeks of no movement and isolation isn’t good on the body, or the mind, or the soul. But she did it: she held out. And when the day came that she was allowed to live again - albeit 9 months pregnant - live she has, prepping for the coming of our baby girl, getting out as a family, not shying away from work and establishing meaningful relationships with some ladies nearby.

But through it all, do you know what I love? She didn’t stop living. She took the opportunity of being stuck in bed to build her relationship with our son. They played together, they colored, they read book after book. Now Sawyer can barely start his day without a reading from his “Jesus Book” by Mommy. She planned healthy meals that were simple for me to fix [or so she claims]. In so doing, she planned out grocery lists to minimize my time away from home shopping. And perhaps the most meaningful: she prayed for our family, our friends, and our city.

Now we’re waiting for this baby girl to arrive, and anyone who’s been there knows the final days of pregnancy aren’t easy. Yet my wife is doing it with grace. She waits, she wants this baby to come, and still she loves her family. She talks through her thoughts and fears with me. When she sees something off in me, she asks, pulls in out even. We’re across the world from our family and life-long friends, so we desperately have to rely on each other. In my case, there’s no one I’d rather have by my side.

JJ, I love you. You are a truly incredible girl. This life of ours would be impossible without you as the caring wife, nurturing mother, and relentless lover that you are. Now let’s go have a baby!


Dan and Pam Johnson said...

Your love for your wife comes through loud and clear. She is truly a wonderful woman and I feel blessed to know her. Give her lots of hugs and kisses from us. May this Mother's Day in France be a special one for her.
Love you guys so much. Pam and Dan

Carmen said...

You are going to make me cry!!!
But I've been thinking the same things about you!! You who, feeds Sawyer, cooks for the family, shops for needs, CHANGES DIAPERS!!! Cleans dirty noses, paints walls, installs cabinets, Potty training?? Are a loving and encouraging and supporting husband and father, Who rushes off to Bible study, and then rushes home to bathe the little boy and get him ready for bed. Yes, you didn't have morning sickness but had to watch those that did!!!And I am still amazed at the DIRTY DIAPER CHANGING!!! BUT MOST OF ALL TAKING SUCH LOVING GOOD CARE OF MY DAUGHTER AND GRANDSON AND GRANDDAUGHTER!!!WE LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!Can't wait to see you so I can give you bunches and bunches of hugs and kisses!! ( are you saying eeeeeuuuuuhhhhhh yet?)
Well, Just so you know,I love you, Your Mother in Law

Michael & Joe Joe said...

Thanks D&P, it's good to have clarity in writing when I most want it.

And Mom S, don't make this about me - it's about her!! But thank you, you are too kind. Now back to the woman that deserves this praise...

Kate said...

What a wonderfully, thoughtful post! I am quite fond of Joe Joe too!!!