A Little Happier: On My Wedding Anniversary, It Makes Me Happy to Remember What a Nurse Once Said.

My husband Jamie and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. We didn’t do anything much to mark the occasion—pandemic, plus we rarely do anything special, though as I mentioned last week, once we had a big party—but the anniversary did make me reflect back on something that happened several years ago.

In 2015, in a real miracle of science, Jamie was cured of hepatitis C, which he’d had the entire time I’d known him. He got hepatitis C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation that he had when he was eight years old. You really don’t want to have hepatitis C; eventually, it destroys your liver. My husband tried many treatments over the years, but nothing worked until a new treatment was approved, and in 2015, he was declared cured.

So now he’s fine, but back then, as part of the monitoring of his liver, Jamie once had to stay in the hospital overnight so he could get a liver biopsy, to try to get a better sense of just how damaged his liver was.

So he had the biopsy, and he was recovering in the hospital room. Our daughters Eliza and Eleanor were still young, so they didn’t visit. I brought the newspapers, some books, and sat by his bed.

At one point, I asked if he wanted anything to eat, and ran out to a corner bakery to get him a cookie.

But mostly I just sat there and fussed over him as much as he’d allow me to do.

And here’s the part that I remember most.

In the afternoon, a nurse asked, in a sort of indulgent tone, “Are you two just married?” and, surprised that she asked, I said, ‘Not really, we’ve been married a while.” Then, as if still confirming something, she said, “But you don’t have kids?” and again surprised, I said, “No, we do, we have two daughters.” Then I added, “Why do you ask?”

“You two just act like newly marrieds,” she said with a shrug.

At the time, I was so preoccupied with Jamie’s recovery that I didn’t think much about what she’d said. But later, it made me very happy.

When you’re in a long relationship with someone, it’s so easy to take that person for granted. Research shows that married people treat each other with less courtesy than they show to friends—or even strangers.

Jamie is the love of my life! I want to treat him that way, and so often, really, I don’t. But I try. It makes me happy to remember a time when, from observing us, someone assumed that we were in the early stages of love.

If you’d like to read about the happiest day of my life, the day that we found out that Jamie’s hepatitis C had been cure, you can read about it here.




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