Over the past weeks, I have learnt what fear is

I have also known sorrow as my constant roommate.

My life is in tatters. The lovely Snapdragon has been in hospital since Saturday, awaiting an extremely delicate and unusual neck and spine operation with a very real threat of permanent disability.

At times, that woman can be difficult to live with. She can be a real idiot with the ability to ignite an anger in me that I never knew I was capable of. She can be a nasty piece of work – but she’s my nasty piece of work and I love her more than I love sin itself.

She’s the great love of my life and I’m paralysed with fear just thinking of what may lie ahead for not only her, but our entire family. We’ve been together for 10 years and I consider her to be a part of myself. She’s my wife, the mother of my spoilt daughter … and after all these years, still the woman that features in my wildest, most personal dreams.

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I love my children and my dogs, but there’s a very special little corner of my heart that’s reserved for this woman. To see her in pain in her hospital bed, breaks my heart.

She tries to hide her anxiety and worry, but her little body is far too small to accommodate such an immense burden – it radiates from her eyes and it fills me with an agony that I have experienced only once or twice in my life.

In the mornings, when I try to do the little Egg’s hair for school, I cry. That is not a job for clumsy male hands – some tasks are designed for women and no man will ever be man enough to be able to fill their shoes.

Things like tying girls’ hair ribbons, being a mother or being my best friend, the person who I miss when I’m at work or the person whose hand I want to hold in my hospital bed after my first heart attack.

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My dear, dear Snapdragon, over the past weeks I have learnt what fear is. I have known sorrow as my constant roommate. And I have prayed – something I have done far too seldom in recent years.

Please be there for me after next week. I’m a strong, independent man who doesn’t really need you to do anything for me. But I can’t live without you.

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