ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

That's What Love Is

Updated on October 25, 2009
A Clean & Happy Cindy
A Clean & Happy Cindy

I had returned from my daily visit to the hospital.  I don’t remember how long she had been there at this point.  Altogether she was hospitalized for about seven weeks.  It was mid-week, so I had school the next morning.  It had become my practice since Carol was in the hospital, to stay at school after the students were gone and do all my preparation for the next day.  That way I could have some time with my girls, have dinner, and visit Carol without coming home to papers to correct and lessons to plan.

Carol’s parents were staying with us, so they had watched the girls for the evening and gotten them ready for bed.  About 11:00, as I was finally getting into bed, my oldest daughter, Carol Anne, came to my room saying that her tummy hurt.  I invited her to lie on my bed for a while.  She had barely settled down when she suddenly wretched and threw up.  Within about three seconds the sheets and the floor were covered in vomit, and the air turned putrid.  It didn’t last long.  Her stomach was soon empty.  By the time I got her cleaned up, she felt much better, returned to her bed, and slept peacefully the rest of the night.

We did not have spare sheets or blankets, so I commenced to strip the bed and do a load of wash.  All was calm when I eventually slipped between clean sheets and turned out the light.  Sleep came quickly.

Sometime later I awakened to the sound of crying.  I rose quickly and headed to the girls’ room.  I did not want my in-laws to have to get up in the night.  They had enough to do during the days when I was at work.  Walking into the girls’ bedroom I spotted Cindy, the youngest, pulling herself up in the crib.  As she got to her feet, her head just high enough to look over the rail, her crying was interrupted by the rush of her stomach contents.  While she didn’t shoot out across the room, she did leave a fine mess down the side of the crib and on the floor.  Another cleanup job was before me.

As I lifted her from the crib I realized that something more had also happened.  I did a quick check and discovered the largest, most repulsive mess ever encountered in a toddler’s diaper.  By now it was hard to breathe.  Carol Anne was still asleep, and middle sister Christy slept quietly, blissfully unaware of either of her sisters’ experiences.  Cindy, once she was cleaned up and re-diapered, was feeling fine and ready to join her them in slumber.  Placing her in my bed, I returned to the cleanup job at the crib.

While going about this task, I realized that I was singing (in my head, not out loud) a little chorus that was common among my Christian friends.  It was mostly a repetition of the line, “Thank You, Jesus.”  Almost breaking out in laughter at the experience of cleaning up vomit while repeating this simple line, two things became very clear to me.  First, I truly did have much to be thankful for.  Second, what I was doing at that moment, and what I had done earlier that night, was loving my wife and my children.

Love is often tied to our emotions, but love itself is not an emotion.  Love is something you choose to do.  God chose to love us.  We choose to love Him.  We choose to love others.  We show that love by what we do, even when we don’t feel the giddy, heart pounding, or sentimental emotions that we associate with love.  That night I chose to love my wife by taking care of our children when she was physically unable to do so.  I chose to love my children by doing what was needed.  Perhaps you could say that I simply had to.  I was just doing my duty.  But that would not be quite right.  If I had hated doing it, or had done it grudgingly, then it would have just been my duty.  What I discovered was that I didn’t hate doing it; it was a privilege.

In the midst of being tired, and repulsed by the nature of the tasks, I also found an emotional reward.  My heart was filled with gratitude and joy.  God had given me a wonderful lady.  She and God together had given my three treasured daughters.  How could I not be grateful for this wife and these children?  And how could I not find joy in this opportunity to love them?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • John Juneau profile imageAUTHOR

      John Juneau 

      8 years ago from Sierra Nevadas

      My wife spent 18-20 weeks in the hospital that year, most of the time receiving high doses of penicillin. She did get better, and from early 1976 until the fall of 1978, she was quite well. We had wonderful times with our 3 girls, grandma and grandpa, and friends.

      In the fall of 1978 she became sick again, and in Feb. of 1979, she moved to heaven.

      I later remarried, to a widow with 3 daughters. Our 6 girls are now 33-41 years old. While I cherish memories of the past, and all of us miss the wife/mom and husband/father who are gone, we have been making other memories for the past 29 years, and now do so with our 9 grandchildren.

      I must say that God is good. While He does not shield us from all harm, He walks with us all the way, and carries us when necessary.

    • Moneylady profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      This was so touching. It brings back memories of my 3 sons when they were small. I do hope yor wife is now well.






    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)