Since his stroke 8 years ago many of the things my husband, Virgil, did without a thought now require time, concentration and humility. Words can be elusive and repair of normal appliances or machinery is daunting.
This can be illustrated by the old lawn mower that he was trying to keep breathing on life support. It was old when we bought it and it has increasingly become more unstable, unsafe and unfriendly.
One of Virgil’s friends, who had been keeping an eye on him, asked if he could talk to me confidentially about the contraption being used to cut our lawn. He said he tried to steer Virgil into pulling the plug on this mower and buying another one. This friend was seeking my input because Virgil was not responding to his concerns. Excuses like, “It can be repaired;” “A new one would be too expensive;” and “It’s good enough for me.” were taking priority.
Because I believed this friend’s concern to be valid I contemplated what my role should be. I knew I wanted to respect my husband. I knew I wanted him to be protected from preventable risks.
As I pondered this I recognized that when the decision to spend money is for something that primarily benefits himself, Virgil is radically frugal. But, if it is something that I want/need cost ceases to be a consideration. (What an amazing quality for a husband to demonstrate. What a picture of selfless love.)
I called Virgil’s friend and told him I had an idea. I said, “When you talk to Virgil about the lawn mower, tell him that it would be good to get one that your wife could handle that would be safe and easy for her.
Immediately, Virgil decided to buy a new lawn mower. The one he picked is of exceptional quality.
This reflection is written by a wife who is experiencing exceptional love, one that reflects the love of Jesus.