Saturday, August 27, 2016

Power Couple

By Laura Yeager

My husband Steve and I are at a benefit to raise money for autism.  We have an autistic son.  We are sitting at a table, minding our own business when the organizer of the benefit approaches us.

“There they are,” she says.  “The power couple.”

I almost choke on a piece of broccoli and ranch dip.

No one has ever referred to us as a power couple.  And I certainly don’t see us as one.  We don’t have money or a big house or prestigious jobs.  Neither of us hold a political office.   We are just Steve and Laura.  Trying to get through the day.

Furthermore, two bouts of cancer have certainly taken any residual power I might possess.  I am a sick woman.  Sick people aren’t powerful.

Power is the last thing I feel.

Is she joking?  Simply flattering us?  Stroking us so that we will donate more money to her cause?  How can we be a power couple?

But we go with it.  We don’t contradict her.  In fact, we like what she said.  We like the label.

Maybe illness does give you a form of power.  If you can overcome it.

After my latest cancer surgery on June 10, 2016, my wounds on my chest got infected.  I lay in bed with pus coming out of the incisions.  They were giving me morphine for the pain.  The nurses couldn’t get the IV in because the chemotherapy I had five years ago had “ruined my veins.”  I was crying.  I was hungry.  They had ordered a lunch for me, but it had been two and a half hours since it had been called for, and I was starving.  Thirsty.

Not the picture of power.

But as I sit here tonight at the autism benefit, in my little black dress, with my good gold jewelry and my recently styled and colored hair, I can fake it.

Jesus says, “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”

Maybe this is what is going on.

Actually, now that I think about it, I know what that gracious lady might mean.

We are two people who are successfully raising an autistic child.  And we are still smiling.  Still standing.

Ultimately, I like to think of the whole incident this way.  We aren’t a power couple.  But we certainly aren’t a powerless one.

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