These past 5 years have not been easy for my dear husband either, and I know that. When he vowed to take me for better or worse, in sickness and in health, I know neither of us expected the extent that vow would be tested. This good man has passed the test with flying colors!
I know he finds it frustrating to stand by and see me suffering while he wishes there was more he could do to help. He has been AMAZING and has taken on such a heavy load—working 4/10-hour days so he can be off every Friday to take me to chemo, cooking, cleaning, handling the bills and running the household so that I can get the rest I need. But I think his favorite way to nurture me is through the meals he loves to prepare.
John loves to watch Paula Deen; Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives; and all those Chef Ramsey cook-offs. He is always getting a new inspiration for a fabulous dish. He is also careful to avoid all my food allergies—and that is no easy task! I would have to say that MOST of his cooking ventures are successful, but there have been a few fire extinguisher stories......
The first happened on Christmas morning, 2007. John has made beef jerky for years and it is a favorite Christmas gift for many of our friends. Every Christmastime, he drapes the oven with the dripping meat slices, turns the oven on very low, and props the oven door open just a bit, filling the whole house with the wonderful beef aroma. The hours-long process often means he is up in the middle of the night checking and shifting batches. It IS fabulous, but makes a huge mess of the oven, so I request he finish the job and clean up the oven prior to my Christmas day baking. He agreed to do it and I assumed he had, when I turned on the oven to preheat for Christmas coffee cake.
Imagine my surprise when just a few minutes later flames and smoke started billowing out of the oven! We will always remember that Christmas as the one when I woke the whole family up to "FIRE!!!!" I teased him afterward that it was just his attempt to get the new oven he'd been wanting (yes, he got it). He's currently trying to figure out a similar trick so he can get a bigger flat-screen TV. I'm on to him now, though.
There have been a couple other small fires, resulting in a new barbecue, a melted tea kettle and a gift of a fire extinguisher from our friends. Once I caught him putting bacon in the oven on a greasy paper towel on a paper plate. He couldn't understand why I had a problem with this. I think he's trying to burn the whole kitchen down so we can finally do that remodel job!
Our loving church family is always offering to bring over meals for us, and although it is so very kind of them to offer, preparing food for me is John's favorite way to show how much he cares. And he hasn't burned the house down yet!