Supergluing My Life Together

He studies the directions on the package of frozen vegetables.  “Cook for 3 1/2—5 minutes.” How do I know how long to cook it? he thinks.  “Put on a microwaveable plate,” it says.  Aren’t all our plates microwaveable? he wonders.  I have to tell him the best plate to use.  I watch as he stirs the beans with a stainless steel spoon in my non-stick pan, and I cringe.  Should I say something?  I decide I have to.

“Honey, could you please use a wooden spoon to stir those beans with?  That spoon will scratch my pot.” He quickly apologizes and exchanges spoons, and I almost wish I hadn’t said anything.  He is trying so hard to negotiate this foreign territory, as clueless in the kitchen as I am when it comes to cars or finances.  This broken foot of mine has made him my caretaker, and he does his job tirelessly and painstakingly, without a word of complaint. Without so much as a sigh. I hate to see him work so hard, but I need him, so there’s not much I can do. Besides, it’s not like he hasn’t always taken care of me. This is just in a slightly new arena for him. The fact is, my husband has been supergluing my life together for a long time.

Over these more than forty years of being married to me, my husband has used a lot of tubes of Superglue. Not long ago we headed to the hardware store for yet another multipack of Superglue after I accidentally dropped a little angel I was trying to get out of harm’s way when we were removing the wallpaper in the kitchen. Unfortunately , I was harm’s way when it slipped out of my wet fingers and cracked across the angel’s face. I picked up the two pieces and nearly cried because the angel had been a gift from my brother and sister-in-law when they returned from Italy. But then I remembered the superglue and said to my husband, ” You can fix this, can’t you?” It was more of a statement than a question. And he did fix it so well that you can hardly tell that it was ever broken. My little angel’s nose just seems a little out of joint, but I think that’s the way with most angels, isn’t it?

Over the years my husband has glued back together another angel’s wing, my grandmother’s fruit bowl, which was quite a feat because it was in about ten pieces, a beautiful Delft crocus bowl, the lid to a prized cookie jar, and a host of other items that are special to me. But more than things, my husband has held me together over the years when I have felt broken into tiny pieces.

Many times people have asked me how we’ve maintained such an intense love for each other for so long. They joke and say I should write a book on the secret. I would make a killing. I don’t know the secret, and I have no answer for them other than to say, “We’re madly in love with each other. That’s it.”

I hate that I’m so helpless and need so much from him. I like being the one who takes care of him, or at least I like doing my fair share. Before I got married, I went to a Bible conference with my mother and went to a lecture on “How to love your husband.” I have never forgotten what the lecturer said about marriage. “Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition,” she said. “It is about giving 100%, even when your partner can’t.” Well, this is the time I can’t give my 100%, but my husband is more than making up for it.” He is, has always been, and will always be my hero. 

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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50 Responses to Supergluing My Life Together

  1. Rufina says:

    Simply a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts with us. Whatever you’re doing, together and individually, it’s working beautifully! 🙂

  2. Margie says:

    I’ll have to tell my husband about superglue. I just broke a glass cow my daughter gave me, and when I stopped crying, hubby said, “I’ll fix it somehow.” Unfortunately, somehow usually involves duct tape.
    The scratchy spoon in the pot – it reminded me that no matter how many times I explain to my hubby about how to load the dishwasher so it has half a chance of getting the dishes clean – he always loads it the one and only way that doesn’t get the dishes clean. (I think he keeps hoping I’ll take over the job again, but I’m pretty sure I deserve a break from the kitchen now and then!)

  3. Leah says:

    Really nice post! We all have our strengths (and weaknesses) within our relationship. It’s good to embrace them and hope they compliment each other.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Leah. As much as my husband is so strong and supportive of me, I can get him to stop dwelling on things we can’t change and just need to move on, so you’re right. We compliment each other.

  4. You described all of my thoughts exactly as I watched my husbands stumble
    around in the kitchen when I was sick for many months. He was a dedicated
    caretaker that had never cooked a thing. i, too, had those – should I say
    something moments? The meds helped erase them. I was glad I had him to comfort me and let me know he is there in sickness and health. It’s a pleasure
    to know that another couple has had a wonderfully long marriage, too. My 47th will
    be this August and every moment has been divine.
    A lovely story …
    Isadora

  5. Rosalie says:

    I wish the kind of relationship you and George and Tony and I have for all of our children.
    We have been there for each other in tough times and good times in our 44 years together.
    Oh, he’s handsome too – of course – he’s George’s big brother!

  6. oldereyes says:

    Hi, Susan … it’s been a while since I’ve come by but I’m glad I did for this post, I love to read about your marriage, at least partly because it sounds like mine. As to the secret of a long marriage, I have a good friend (he’s actually my 12-stpe sponsor) who’s been married for fifty-five years. He and his wife seem so much in love that people ask, “How can we have a marriage like yours?” Their answer is, “If you want to have what we have, you have to go through what we’ve gone through.” I think it’s the best answer there is. Hope your foot is better soon.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Bud. Glad you stopped by, too. When I read about you and Muri, you sound so much like George and me. It’s so refreshing to read about couples being so happy together.

  7. yen says:

    Wow! Such wise words…”It is about giving 100%, even when your partner can’t.” Susan, I’d like to ask permission to share/reblog your post in Tumblr. This is such a lovely post and something that the younger generation needs to read when it comes to commitment and marriage. I was so blessed reading this.

  8. judithhb says:

    Susan, I too had such a husband. He helped me through the crises of life and was supportive of all I tried to do and all I achieved. Look after your George; mine left this world far too soon.
    I love hearing of your love affair. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      I always think of you when I write about George because I know you had an amazing love affair with your husband, too. I appreciate George and love him more and more every day. I could never take him for granted. I know what a treasure I have. You are an incredible woman, Judith, and you constantly show such grace in showing how to live when you’ve lost your beloved partner.

  9. pattisj says:

    I’m glad you got an outing over the weekend. That helps so much, doesn’t it? I’m thankful for hubbies who know how to wield Superglue, power tools, etc. I’d be lost without mine. We’re in it for the long haul, too. I told hubby our marriage contract was for 100 years, and when that time is up, he’s free to leave. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      That’s one of the things I love about you, Patti…you and your sweet hubby are like George and me. But I don’t know if I would let him off the hook after 100 years. I think you should renegotiate.

  10. Al says:

    Having observed George’s excellent care-taking expertise personally the other night, we will certainly vouch for the fact your are in loving hands. It was a nice welcome for us and thank you again. Hope you get a great prognosis on that foot Wednesday.

  11. gaycarboys says:

    Your thoughts are spot on as usual. It’s touching and I wish that my other half was handy, but it is I who is the deb hand with the super glue. Have a wonderful day…

  12. My daddy is one of the most handsome men I know. Love you both.

  13. Thanks for sharing this tribute to your hero, supergluer and live-in blessing! I suspect the fact that you both seem to walk around with your eyes open wide enough to see the others needs before your own and live a life of gratitude has something to do with your strong and loving relationship. What a beautiful tribute to your hero!

  14. This is beautiful — and I so agree that marriage is about giving 100% (and you still are even if your leg is broken, I’m sure of that). And I’m super glad you got out to the grocery store and Target — WOOHOO!!!!

  15. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart and your true north. Husbands are our gift from God, even when we think they are our gag gift. I am so glad you have someone to look after you and reach for things that are unreachable now. Have a good day and continue to heal and rest. DAF

  16. So lovely. Congratulations to you both on being the best people you can be for each other.

  17. We must’ve been to a similar marriage conference. Mine was pre-cana. I remember the same comparison: marriage is each partner giving 100%. My husbands name is George, too. Although he is not a wiz at super-gluing, he is the wisest, most supportive husband possible. Friends and family refer to finding their true love as “finding their George.”

    (By the way, we purchased a “transporter” for my mom when we went to Rome. It’s like a wheelchair, but much lighter and easier to negotiate; no giant wheels. She’s not wheelchair bound, but cannot walk for miles on cobblestones. The transporter cost about $100. It’s so light and easily collapsible, I took up a flight of stairs and beat the elevator.)

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks for the tip, Adela. I think that might be what George rented for me. It doesn’t have wheels I can turn; it has to be pushed by someone, but it is fairly light and folds easily to get into the car. George took me to the grocery store and Target Saturday.

      I absolutely love this sentence: “Friends and family refer to finding their true love as “finding their George.” This makes me smile to think of you with your own George and so happy like I am. How did we get o incredibly lucky?

  18. Lenore Diane says:

    This is a wonderful and beautiful tribute to your hero. I chuckled about the metal spoon on the non-stick pan. So true.
    Thank you for sharing this personal story.

  19. dorannrule says:

    Yours is the kind of marriage most people yearn for. I have a husband a lot like George, who keeps me pinned together in crisis and when the going gets hard for him, I step in too. It’s just part of it, and this week we will be celebrating 54 years of marriage (and dated 3 years before that)! Doesn’t seem possible.

  20. What can I say? Aw. Beautiful, beautiful words. Thank goodness for amazing husbands. 🙂

  21. Not “like” LOVE. I do not believe in coincidences, I believe we are all connected in some way. If I could put into words how powerful this post is to me I would, but it’s not possible. Thank you for sharing and your friend is right….do the book! On another note if you are non-weight bearing there is a wonderful alternative to crutches that would give you some freedom around your home. It is a device called a turning leg caddy. Just google it there are all different manufactures. Here in PA you can rent it from a Medical Supply store, it is not covered by Insurance (here anyway) by for 75.00 a month, it’s worth it. Hope you are feeling better and AGAIN a big thank you for your perspective!

    • Coming East says:

      So glad you loved this, LWTTD. I hesitated to post it because it seemed so personal. Thanks for the tip on the knee caddy. Huffy Girl told me about it, too, and we looked into it Saturday. The problem is that if you already have knee problems, this will make it worse, we were told. Since I have arthritis in my knees, I was advised not to use it. Darn! I really thought this was going to be the ticket. George bought a walker for me, though. Still a lot of work since I have to hop, but I feel much steadier than using the crutches. He also rented a wheelchair and took me to Target and the grocery store yesterday. Whoo hoo! An outing!

      • Oh, I call patients like you “the professional hopscotch players” you’ll be an Olympian by the time its over. Knee problems do throw a wrench into things. I’m glad you got out to the store!! It’s so exciting.

      • Coming East says:

        Thanks, Life. All I can do now is stare out the window because I can’t manage negotiating the screen door and threshold to go out to the patio. At least the view of our little courtyard garden is beautiful.

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