My parents have been married for 54 years.
They were in the same kindergarten class, they started dating when they were 14, and they got married when my mom was 19 and my dad was 20.
They were best friends in 1960, and they are best friends now.
About two weeks ago, my mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.
If you’re gonna get cancer, this is one of the best kinds to get. Or so I’m told.
But still. Nobody wants to get cancer.
Both of my parents have been pretty stressed out, but my dad has been beside himself.
I challenge you to find a man who loves his wife more than he loves her.
Actually, forget that challenge.
That man does not exist.
My dad loves my mom so much.
It’s the same way for my mom.
She loves my dad more than life itself.
Today my mom had surgery. A total hysterectomy.
Her surgeon is optimistic that this is all she will need to completely eradicate the cancer in her body, although they won’t know for sure until the pathology report comes back in a week or two.
I went to the hospital today to hang out with my mom and dad.
I wanted to be there for both of them. I wanted to distract Mom from how nervous she was until it was go-time, and I wanted to be there for my dad because I knew when they took my mom away to the operating room, he was gonna be a mess.
Surgery was delayed for about 2 hours.
I sat in a little room with my parents and showed them old videos of the kids on my phone.
There were some pretty funny ones.
It was a good distraction for both of them.
My mom was laughing so hard I was afraid she was going to have a heart attack. At least we were in the right place if that happened.
After a while we were wheeled to the pre-op area.
My parents held hands.
The nurse pushing the bed just looked at me and mouthed they’re so cute.
We were in the pre-op room for about another 30 minutes.
The surgeon came in.
He was awesome. An Asian dude with a pretty strong accent.
He looked at my dad and said, “You’re not the guy she brought with her the last time.”
Everyone had a good laugh.
He was reassuring and attentive and really thorough.
He said to my dad, “Are you going home? I can call you when the surgery is done.”
“I’m staying here all night,” my dad said. “I’m sleeping here.”
The doctor tried to talk him out of it. He said, “You’re no spring chicken. You’ll need your rest tomorrow to help your wife out.”
Clearly he didn’t know my dad that well.
“I’M STAYING,” said my dad.
“You’re in love!” the surgeon said, looking directly at me. “Okay, then!”
A couple more nurses and doctors came in to go over stuff.
My dad stayed right next to my mom.
Finally the nurse came to take my mom into surgery.
“Can I go in there until you start?” my dad asked.
“Nope, sorry,” said the nurse. “You can’t go past those doors right there.”
I could see my dad start to panic.
“Time to go,” said the nurse.
My dad leaned over, grabbed my mom, and buried his head in her shoulder.
She did the same.
He sobbed and he sobbed and he sobbed.
It was brutal.
The nurses gave them a little space.
And then they gave us each a box of tissues.
The wheeled my mom away, and my dad sat down on a chair and buried his face in his hands.
“It’s gonna be okay, Dad,” I told him.
This is what life looks like when you marry your best friend.