the boyfriend who didn’t leave

A late Valentine’s Day-ish post. Hope everyone had a great day yesterday.

There were times, especially when I was in for long appointments, I was asked questions that I didn’t mind giving up answers for. It was easier to take from trained medical personnel. I didn’t feel like a freak sideshow. After we got ‘what happened’ out of the way, Scott came up, the boyfriend who didn’t leave. This was what grabbed people, that he was still here.

One morning I had returned to VGH to see the Occupational Therapist to have my pressure garments checked and to take a look at how my skin was faring underneath.

“So, you’d only been together six weeks?”

“Yup.”

She mouthed w-o-w.

I knew what was coming next. It was said a lot.

“It’s amazing he stuck with you. What a great guy!”

I nodded. “He’s a good guy.”

She shook her head. “Amazing! Does he have a brother?”

He didn’t. “Nope. He’s got an older sister.”

I laughed because I was supposed to. While she was struck by my good fortune I was irked by the picture her words created. I should be grateful for his sticking around because who would ever want me in my state?

I didn’t want to be with anyone that felt guilt-ed into being with me. It’s true – I would have been a tough sell to any guy in his right mind, but I was bothered that he was a hero in this scenario, like it had nothing to do with me. He swooped in, a knight on his horse, and rescued me, as if I didn’t live this every day.

I didn’t care for fairy tales very much, even as a girl, believing that girls were strong enough to get themselves out of their bad situations. Come on Cinderella, stop scrubbing the floors and leave your Stepmother and stepsisters. Drop your broom and walk out that door with your head held high! Snow White, you’re really going to take a bite out of that apple from a crazy, ugly old witch that appeared from nowhere? Really? Use your head.

I was still laughing when I said, “Actually, I’m pretty great. He’s lucky to have me.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean that you weren’t…”

“I know you didn’t. It’s just that it gets said a lot and he is a great guy, but I’m a good person,” I offered as explanation, wanting for her to see it. I smiled with conviction.

I felt relieved at having said the words out loud. Scott liked me before this had happened. I was still that person. He was someone to point at and proclaim, now here is someone special. He deserved to be praised. He was my hero, not because he was my knight in shining armor saving me from disaster, but because he stepped into the disaster with me. He looked past what was ruined and saw me.

We were honest with each other and, luckily, not easily offended by it. If I asked Scott for his opinion I got it, uncensored. When I asked him about all the scars, my hands sweeping through the air over myself to emphasize all-the-scars, he said, sure, they’re there, but so are you. He wasn’t here out of obligation. He was here because he wanted to be and I was worth sticking around for.

27 thoughts on “the boyfriend who didn’t leave

  1. Toriz

    “They’re there, but so are you.”

    That’s a beautiful response, and I think this is a sweet post!

    I agree… Scott is a great guy, but you’re a great woman too! And you definately don’t need some knight in shining armour to come and rescue you… you’re perfectly capable of rescuing yourself!

  2. Emily

    “He was my hero, not because he was my knight in shining armor saving me from disaster, but because he stepped into the disaster with me. He looked past what was ruined and saw me.” – LOVE this. Beautifully written!

    Great post. I’ve been reading for awhile but never comment but had to today!

  3. Kate Coveny Hood

    I think it’s very romantic that he “knew” after six weeks. If you never had the accident and just decided to elope after six weeks, the cynic in me would say that you were both just lucky that you happened to be so well suited after all. But the fact that your relationship was tested so early means that he really did “know.” So my inner cynic has to back down and say, “okay – I’ll give you this one.” I love your love story for that.

    1. heidi

      Kate, I am soooo with you. My inner cynic would agree. I’m not exactly known for my romantic qualities. And here we are…

      One day you and me need to sit down for a while and have a glass or two of wine.

  4. linda sue

    He’s a smart Dude- Lucky and better for having partnered with you not only because you are beautiful and smart but because you are a great Mother, friend, speaker, fighter,writer and and and…When I was married only a year or so, I asked my husband if he would leave if I had a life changing medical event that compromised me- he said “yes, why would I want to ruin my life”…Yikes, we are still married- have been for 26 years but that comment has always been at the fore front of my brain…I have never felt valued but I stay, Clearly my husband is mal adjusted and needs help realizing that he is not the center of the universe- he has become less self absorbed in the 26 years that we have been married…a tiny bit, encouraging!

    1. heidi

      Linda Sue, your honesty…your honesty is my favorite thing about you. I love it. As always, you are a breath of fresh air. You are fabulous. I mean that.

  5. christy

    I am SO GLAD you stood up for yourself because that thought was what first crossed my mind. Of course he’s lucky too! Matt and I knew really quickly too – I think I moved in with him like six weeks after meeting him!
    Hope you’re having a good week Heidi!

    1. heidi

      It’s been a busy week…one of those weeks. But, it’s looking up!

      That’s awesome about you and Matt…look how that worked out! 🙂

  6. Sherry

    It’s very inspiring to see that Love does exist…and not just based on matching outfits or other superficialities… I have all my parts, no accidents, no scars, perfectly fertile, and I personally think I’m an extremely nice person with strong personal qualities…honesty, loyalty, intelligence, etc. However, I can’t find a man to love me for anything! I always get my heart broken and they pass on by-? It’s actually really annoying when all my friends with cancer, hysterectomies, infertility, etc. have such adoring spouses and my OB/GYN wants to prescribe pre-natal vitamins for me because I’m so ready, but I have no significant other whatsoever!… I guess my face is not as cute as someone like you or most of my friends??? My body is truly great–oh well! My point is that you really should appreciate finding someone, especially the right someone for you!!! Some of us have our own serious, less obvious, but still tragic problems with Fate! 😉

  7. Sherry

    Maybe I should get into a critical accident and then a man would actually love me???…. sorry, I’m just floored by years of men passing me over or tossing me aside—Should I become a surrogate mother for prettier, “better” women??? I’ve always wanted to adopt. I have a huge heart, great family, and I’m very straight! Any ideas, wise, loved people of the universe??? 🙂

  8. Sherry

    Ms. Heidi, I hope I haven’t offended you by ranting away, post-Valentine’s & OB/GYN annual appt. I do like your story. It’s just kind of funny in comparison to my personal situation!… And I do hope you realize how fortunate you are to have survived and thrived. All the best!

  9. Jill

    I loved your response … because that would really “irk” me too… I know that people mostly mean well … but sometimes they just don’t think before they speak. 🙂

  10. Dorkys

    I think I would’ve felt just like you, wondering if he was really here for me or because he felt too guilty to leave. I’ve always loved the story of how you both fought through this with your love intact. So heartwarming and uplifting despite the pain of it all. I hope you’ve been well all this time. I’ve missed coming for a visit 🙂

    1. heidi

      Dorkys!! Hi!! I hope all is well with you! It’s time I paid you a visit. I have been head down writing this book for what feels like forever. I really, really hope you’re doing well. 🙂

  11. IntenseGuy

    Now this is a Valentine’s Day story. 🙂

    …Heck, I live thousands of miles away, never met you and I know Scott’s a lucky dude.

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