"if i were him, i'd just want someone to hold me," steve said, one day, years ago, when ian was still really sick and steve was still alive.
i knew what he meant because in the desperation of ian's condition those first few weeks, months after the accident, there was nothing we could do for ian. except to show him we loved him.
but there was always a bed in the way. and i wasn't strong enough to lift his stiff torso toward me.
or there was always a wheelchair in the way, and he couldn't lean forward so i could get a good wrap in.
so at night, when steve and the care giver would help ian sit up on the exercise mat steve built, i would wait. and sit and wait. and cancel plans because i didn't want to miss that moment. that moment when steve would open the bedroom door and let me know that i could come in and hug him.
i could put my arms all the way around him. because he was sitting on the edge of his exercise mat, nothing behind him.
my torso was holding his up, but i was around him.
and he tried to lift his arm to be around me, too.
and i forget those times, when a hug was all it took to get me through another day. how ungrateful i've allowed myself to become, forgetting that one of the greatest gifts, holding and being held, is right next to me every day.
it's there and it's so sweet. and he now always wants to be with his wifey. and when someone starts to pray, he reaches for my hand. and when i sit next to him, his arm wraps my waist. and sometimes he squeezes the extra skin that wasn't there a few years ago and we laugh because he's not supposed to notice but we have changed in these nine years.
God gives us joys in the littles.
He gives us joy when we look for it in the most over-looked movements.
and even though i forget, what a great God there is surrounding me.
tonight, i'm thankful for arms that wrap me into him tight.