Caring for Others (When they Don’t Like Being Fussed Over)

My husband does not like to be fussed over. When he’s sick (like he is now), that means I have to care for him while pretending like I’m leaving him alone.

It’s an art form.

But I’m well-trained in offering support that doesn’t look like support (after all, that’s what teenagers like).

So I make tea supposedly for myself but then nonchalantly deliver tea to him. (He doesn’t know I prepared it with ginger and honey and all the great antioxidants of organic green tea). I tuck blankets around him without saying a word and then retreat stealth-like away from the bed.

I gently suggest all my healing remedies: a detoxifying bubble bath, hydration, and special, nourishing foods. I pretend he hasn’t declined them. I place the fresh water by the bed, and he drinks without rebellion.

Mostly, I practice being quietly present, but I’m ready with comforts that seem subtle and unplanned.

He’ll wake from his nap with fresh fruit nearby (who knows how it got there?). It won’t feel like someone has fussed over him.

Even though someone has.

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