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.