Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rich Love

Today is our 7 year wedding anniversary. When restaurant.com did not show any promising dinner solutions, we headed for the pre fixe menu at our very own Sycamore. For us, Sycamore feels as if you are in the city, with a top chef and city atmosphere, without the drive in and parking fees. Mike and I had an exceptional time together reminiscing over our last 7 years, the milestones and great moments. The hard ones that clearly "grew" us closer together, small trials that we thought were huge, and somehow we both had a black hole in both of our minds between years 2-5, which was definitely his residency.

So I was in a baking mood this afternoon, and threw together two of our favorite cookies, peanut butter cup and double chocolate chip. Nothing quite goes by without an analogy in my mind, so as I was pouring the cocoa powder into the mix master bowl, a seemingly turbulent environment, the cookie dough developed into a richer, creamier, deeper color. The pale sweetness of sugar, butter, and eggs visibly transformed into a divine richness. Of course, stop and scrape the sides briefly, but getting back to the turbulent stirring, they were the moments when richness was really created. I'm not sure how my foremothers (generations ago) did it, with all that stirring. God must have revealed greatness to them in their baking, because they had so much time to think. My mixmaster accomplished cookie bliss in about 5 minutes, but looking into that bowl while mixing: yes, turbulence.

And isn't it in these moments where you really find out who someone is, or how deep or rich something has grown? Totally.

I was so un-consumed with my previous problems of anxiety, which I practically made a sport of leading up to my last appointment with my neurologist, so when this time we got to go meet the surgeon, somehow I was released from anxiety. I was excited. I guess I shouldn't say somehow, but I was not consumed with my previous frame of mind, and it allowed me to focus on such greater happenings. I don't think I would have noticed how well I was led by Mike, how orderly I needed my paperwork, or how succinctly I needed to tell these pros at Penn my story.

We started the morning with a breakfast at 7am at the diner where we signed the papers to buy our house, which was the last time we were there, 6 years ago. A sweet southern belle took our order and served us kindly while we both thoroughly enjoyed our time together. The half hour ride in was reminiscent of Mike's commuting into residency, and he quickly realized how much he did not miss that commute. And there it was . . . Penn in all of it's greatness, a brand new center for advanced medicine, with stunning architecture and life-size portraits of founders and physicians. Timelines of history and modern sculptures strategically placed around the clearly yuppy-natural food coffee stand and cafe, and elevators of glass revealing the surrounding campus of greatness in medicine. Stellar system and registration, everything clearly marked. Then the wait.

Had I been completely consumed with anxiety, this would have been miserable. We arrived at 8:45 and we met with the doctor at about 11:15. However, we couldn't help but feel they were researching my case, going over my CT scan results, discussing prognosis, etc. Mike was consistently encouraging and re-assuring. . . And then true greatness came in the door with a medical student. Confident, calm, quiet, discerning, reviewing, listening, and then spoke so succinctly you would assume that all the information for my visit was packaged neatly and handed to me verbally, in a cute little box that had taken years to prepare. He would occasionally pause and turn to the medical student and explain exactly what he meant if a particularly large concept blew by. We were able to schedule a thymectomy for mid April, and let's just say that within 20 minutes, the surgeon earned a whole lot of my trust and Mike's.

So, it would only be dreamy and naive to say that a smooth path would have been better these past few months than a rough one. Actually, the most growth that has happened in our 7 years of marriage was through areas of turbulence. I would not trade one cookies-worth of turbulence to go back to that pale butter-sugar mixture, seemingly bliss at the time. Mike is a true treasure and our marriage is a good and perfect gift from God. Although we are not perfect, His work in us is, and I would say, most definitely, bring on the cocoa and turbulence for many more years with my love.

Happy Anniversary Sweets!