Our oldest daughter was recently married. She had always wanted the reception to be in our garden. Our yard is not exceptionally large, but it is a fully landscaped perennial garden with multiple flower beds including ones in the front and on the sides of the house. It is a lot of work to keep it watered, weeded, green and bug free. We also have a large patio area where we have about 21 pots we plant every year with annuals. He loves to work in the garden, but it can be overwhelming. It can be maintained by weekly gardening, but it requires a lot more attention to get ready for a wedding. During this same time our family was dealing with multiple time consuming issues and financial strains. We knew that we could not hire any help to get our yard ready for the wedding, so we plugged along preparing for a late spring reception.
Months ( I mean months), earlier He had started battling what He believed to be unavoidable exhaustion from all His responsibilities. I convinced Him to finally go to the doctor who ran every test he could think of, and concurred His suspicion that He was indeed overwhelmingly exhausted. The doctor ordered Him to take time off from work and find some time to rest. The idiom "no rest for the weary" seemed so very applicable. He knew that under the circumstances that He could not "rest", so He carried on. He really did't even slow down. I watched helplessly as the stress started to make His face look haggard. He suffered from a chronic high temperature hovering around 102. He started to walk slower, and even hunch a little. People would tell Him He didn't look well. The wedding came and went, and He was pleased that it lived up to what His daughter (and I), had dreamed of. After the wedding some of His other stressors also resolved themselves (although they also created new ones).
A few months after the wedding He decided that He better go back to the doctor. That in itself meant something was serious. Finally, and oddly, a diagnosis was found. He had been under the influence of mononucleosis (for over 6 months by now, complicated by bacterial infections). I look back at the wedding pictures and I can see how sick He was. He smiles in all the pictures, but you can see that He was not well. When I think of Him out in the garden for weeks, kneeling and sweating, trying to get the yard pristine for our daughter it makes me want to cry. He worked tirelessly, gave everything He had, and wasn't about to let anyone down.
...one more reason I love Him.