tagRomanceNaked Beneath

Naked Beneath

bylovecraft68©

Author's note: Welcome to my entry in the Nude Day contest. Nude is an easy theme on an erotica site, after all our characters are always naked. But I decided to take a different angle on nudity and focus on how real life events can strip us bare, remove our normal 'clothing' we show to the world on a daily basis. My wife was very ill last year and this is a true story of how I was taught the expression 'love conquers all' is not just something used to sell greeting cards, but is very real. I went from cynic to believer very quickly and hope I can convince you to believe as well. Lovecraft68

I'll start at the calm before the eventual storm, it was Thursday May seventh of 2014 and my wife and I had just had one of those nights that make you realize how happy you are to be married, how good life can be when you have the right person to share it with.

We had tickets to see Rob Zombie, not exactly high society, but we love that music. We had both taken that Friday out of work and planning on having a great night took a cab downtown. We ate at her favorite restaurant, had a few drinks and walked hand and hand along the Providence River and to the club.

The show was fantastic and we both drank like we were at a frat party. Took a cab home and had the kind of sex people here-myself included-often write about. Torrid sex, skirt up, pants down jacking her up against the wall sex. We indulged in each other the way we had drank at the club, with the reckless abandon of a youth we still felt at our age.

As our festivities made it into the bedroom we continued to go at it like we were performing for a website until our bodies-and the alcohol- brought us back down into reality.

As we lay there in a tangle of sweaty limbs, the sheets on the floor and clothing everywhere, a cool breeze caressing us through the window my wife mentioned how blessed we were that after fifteen years together we were still this passionate, this crazy for each other and this happy.

Being a non believer-you could say my beliefs fall under 'playing for the other team'-the word blessed is not one I would use, but having been previously involved in an unhappy marriage, I considered myself damn lucky.

I can honestly say I have never taken my wife for granted, nor her me, and have always appreciated her, but I would later realize that, like many, even though I told myself that I still did take her for granted.

Not in the everyday things we did, but that it would always be that way. We had our share of drama in the previous years and our share of heartache, but always felt it would happen around us, maybe to people we care about and therefore affect us, but it would never happen to us.

The following morning-closer to noon I should say- we awoke with hangovers, but even that was enjoyable in the sense of recalling memories of younger days, days before responsibility, when fun was the only thing that mattered. I remember saying at least the night was worth feeling that crappy.

Nevertheless we continued our celebration with a shower together and lunch at Top of the Bay which overlooks the water on Oakland Beach. Being a proponent of more of the snake that bit you I had a couple of Bloody Mary's and looking over the ocean thought this was only Friday, and early, we had two and a half more days of this before heading back to work and reality.

My wife then asked if we could go down and sit on the rocks and as we sat there with our feet in the water, she lowered the boom and brought reality crashing down on us. For the previous three months my wife hadn't felt well. A lot of issues with --as unsexy as this is, it's the truth-a lot of sinus type mucus and drainage.

At first she thought sinus infection, but nothing worked. She was having trouble breathing and would cough and choke like someone who'd chain smoked their entire lives. Nettie pots antibiotics, medication, no results. We even had the house checked for mold as we'd had a flood a few months prior.

Several doctors; an allergist, ear nose and throat, pulmonologist...nothing. They ordered chest x-rays and I felt the first hint of nerves for reasons I will mention shortly. You can imagine on that note I was thinking what you may be; lung cancer. When the x-rays came back clear I can't describe the relief we felt, but the issue persisted.

To a point she had to sleep sitting up and some days her breathing left her with so little stamina she could barely make it through work. All night I would listen to her cough, clear her throat and when she slept her breathing had an unnerving rattle to it.

She also complained of pressure and pain in her back, said she could feel the mucus there and her doctors thought she was crazy. At this point she was exhausted and frustrated and I was more than a little nervous.

Her doctor ordered another chest x-ray and again nothing. Then my wife saw another ear nose and throat specialist, an old timer who after five minutes says to her, "Bet you feel it in your back" My wife, a person who always has her heart on her sleeve, was so relieved to have someone understand she had tears in her eyes.

He told her to get an MRI and look lower; there was a problem far beyond some mucus. He did not say what, but the first small clutches of actual fear were replacing the 'nerves.' My wife had the MRI and said her doctor would call her with the results.

A week later and after our amazing night, a night I would later realize my wife enjoyed and felt good out of the sheer will to do so, she admitted she had received the results two days ago. They saw something abnormal in both her kidneys. Her doctor was very concerned, mentioned multiple masses, and she already had an appointment with a urologist scheduled for the following Monday.

She had refrained from telling me so we could enjoy our night which was a delayed celebration of our fourteenth wedding anniversary because she had been sick the actual weekend it fell on. We spent the next three days doing what all couples would do. I'll be okay, we'll be okay, it could be cysts, and it will be cysts, no big deal...

Now here we were sitting in the urologist's office, holding hands and waiting for the verdict. When he explained that my wife had kidney cancer and it was multiple masses and in both kidneys, one word echoed through my mind.

Inevitable.

Why that word and that feeling? Five years prior, her sister Diane had passed away of lung cancer at the age of thirty seven. Diagnosed in May of 2009 she was gone by August, the cancer had been so virulent it had spread to her liver, kidneys, bones, pancreas and stomach.

It ate the chemo as if it were candy and the doctor had told us and her parents he had never seen anything like it in thirty years of oncology, he referred to it as the hammer of god in its strength. We were there the night she passed; she was in pain even through the morphine, not really in reality anymore, but moaning in agony.

We knew she would go and my wife sat on the bed with her, holding her in her arms and singing to her. Singing amazing grace and this little light of mine, even a heart breaking rendition of the Ave Maria, talking to her, telling her how she was going home and surrounded by love. Over and over she said the words,

"Nothing, but love my sister, nothing but love"

My wife was watching her sister slip away one ragged breath at a time and there was nothing but tenderness and serenity in her voice, nothing but love. Pure love, unconditional love.

Naked love.

The entire time my wife never shed a tear, her voice never broke and she was in total control as she rocked her dying sister to her final sleep. My mother in law was in hysterics as was her father and others. People had to come and go from the room, unable to stay, my wife never moved, never stopped her soothing words and would let no one else take her place.

When life was at its worst, my wife was at her best. She would not let her sister hear anything but peace and love from her no matter how it was tearing her up inside.

Naked Determination.

I sat by her side my hand over hers, her's over her sisters and she wasn't even trembling. I had never seen such a display of strength, of faith, of love. I considered myself a strong individual; life had made me mentally and physically tough.

That was me, tough, or so I thought, because I'd be lying if I didn't admit I wanted to bail out of that damn room like a bat out of hell

I could have never done what my wife did. But I had done more than the others just by being able to stay by her side and not come and go like the rest of her family and not be in hysterics.

Like my wife I was able to keep the emotions in check, but then again I wasn't talking and singing....friggin' singing!. Not that any emotion I would have allowed myself wouldn't have been justified, but my wife was being strong for her sister and all I could do was be strong for her.

When her sister passed and the commotion had settled down and we were alone I told her how unbelievable she was, how I'd never seen anything like that. Her reply to me was she could only do it because I was there.

She was drawing her strength and love from our strength and love. My wife was always the rock of her family, sometimes to her detriment, and I was her rock. She said as long as we were together, there would be nothing life could throw our way we couldn't handle.

But life is a fast ball pitcher and has no problem with throwing at your head and knocking you off the plate. On the day my sister in law was buried my father in law received a phone call from his doctor about some tests; Colon cancer.

For the next several months we dealt with his treatments as well as fighting what would ultimately be a losing custody battle for her nephews who through a mockery of justice were left in the care of their drug addicted womanizing abusive father. Two months after the battle ended he moved them to Florida, taking them away from my wife and her family.

The pitches were coming fast, at our heads and in the high nineties, but we held it together. The same theme prevailing; her strong for her family, me strong for her. Yeah, life was pitching, but baby, this motherfucker can hit the fastball. That was my attitude, always has been. The wife relies on faith, love and peace. I thrive on being pissed off and stubbornly refusing to give the satisfaction of saying I can be broken.

My father in law was a fighter, a tough SOB who once entered local strong man competitions in the seventies and eighties. He beat it in his colon. A year later he beat it in his kidney. Then his esophagus. His liver. One piece at a time. Losing some more quality of life each time, but still had life and my wife was by his side for all of it.

January of 2014, life reared back and threw the final pitch in my father in laws at bat. Brain cancer. His body began to shut down, he could not talk or swallow, they had to put a stint in his brain to keep him alive. Her step mother could not make the call and as she had done for her sister, my wife signed off on his life saying there would be no resuscitation-his wishes.

They discussed putting him to sleep, giving him enough drugs to slip away comfortably until his body gave up. But he was aware and the doctor-who ended up in some serious hot water over this mess-should have known that. I looked into my father in laws eyes and watched him react to hearing about being put down like a dog.

He was terrified, but again my wife, this woman whose strength put me to shame, took his hand and told him it was okay. My father in law had always called Jesus his buddy, and she calmly explained his buddy was calling him home and don't worry about her, she would be fine, she had her husband to take care of her, because I always did. The rule was she took care of everyone, I took care of her.

Another death rattle, another family member laid to rest. During this time my mother in law(her parents divorced when she was in her teens) had undergone two cancer surgeries of her own, though neither life threatening it was just another thing. Apparently the pitcher we were chosen to face in our lifetime had a vendetta against the home team.

Inevitable.

Her sister, her father, her mother, it would have been a fairy tale to think my wife would have escaped. Now here we were, it was my wife's turn in the batter's box. The doctor pulled out a dry erase board with a diagram of kidneys on it.

He began making circles on the right one, showing where the tumors were and how big. One, two, four, five...six masses, ranging from 2 centimeters to six. The six right on the tip next to the renal gland. He then uttered words that were like a kick in the stomach.

That was the better kidney.

He starts drawing on the other one. Eight, count them, eight masses, one at seven centimeters and again right at the tip. The doctor then gave us hope. He mentioned most surgeons would err on the side of caution, remove both kidneys and go on dialysis. He, however had trained at the NIH in Maryland and had learned under a doctor named Linehan, the father of kidney sparing surgery.

He confidently declared he felt he could save 80% of her right kidney. The left would have to go, but a person can live on even a small portion of one kidney. However, this all hinged on had it spread? If the tumor on the renal gland had spread it could go anywhere from there, but usually had one specific destination; the lungs. The sign that it could have? An abundance of mucus and drainage.

Another MRI of her lungs and several days of waiting during which we did the best we could to remain positive. It didn't spread; a couple of surgeries, cancer free...just a speed bump. She would be fine. She said it, adding in that God would take care of her, her faith would reward her. I had no such comforts, I believe in what I can touch and see and what I'd seen the last few years was not pretty.

This diagnosis would be devastating to anyone, but to us more so. The last five years had taught us the power of this disease and that a good prognosis was not a guarantee. I kept hearing over and over again my sister in laws doctor, "Hammer of God" "Most vicious he had ever seen" Her father, three different types of cancer, any idea how rare that is? For one person to have three different types? Her sister died fast, two months, him, he lasted years.

I found myself traveling paths not best traveled; which was worse, a sudden painful end? Or a piece at a time, always hurting, struggling, dying just a little bit each time. But we didn't know yet and it was killing us and as always our opposite personalities were on display.

My wife talking of faith, God's love, a divine plan and me working out to the point of exhaustion and beating a punching bag until my shoulders hurt too much to be able to lift my arms.

But that was us, we were Yin and Yan, light and shadow, living proof opposites attract. If the two of us ever filled out those dating site compatibility tests no one would put us together. To understand our relationship and how much my wife means to me, how much I cherish her, you need to know a little about us.

My wife had the Brady Bunch family, great upbringing, love, support, a good home, great education and brought up with a lot of faith. Even her parent's divorce was amicable and she remained close to both her parents and eventually her step mother.

She is a certified life coach and motivational speaker, has three books published all of the self help variety, all based on the power of faith and love. She also has two small collections of spiritual poetry. On that note I'll just say that for anyone who has read my other work here? Yeah, yin and yang. We often joke we are going to go on the saints and sinners book tour.

My wife is one of those people who light up a room when she enters it. Her love shines through her smile and her eyes and she lives to help others. She does it in her career and her own business as a life coach and a practitioner for her church. My wife is at her best helping others through their worst.

Me? The polar opposite. The stereotype bad boy. I grew up hard, an abused child who only survived because the state had mercy on me and pulled me away from the animal that fathered me and put in a good foster home. Very loving environment, great people. Still call them mom, dad and sis today.

But they couldn't save me from me. Hardcore rage issues and a mean streak a mile wide. I was an animal in my teens and early twenties always looking for the next fight, eventually found one that landed me on a year-long 'vacation'. I married in my early twenties to a woman as fucked up and broken as I was.

Somehow two beautiful daughters came out of that unholy union, but that was about it. After our divorce I did well by my girls, but when I didn't have them with me I was back to being a dick. Drinking too much, some fights and chasing any woman that moved.

Then I met my wife and just like a cheesy romance novel there was something about her and I knew if I wanted this amazing woman my punk ass needed to grow the hell up. My wife filled that void in me that I used to fill with hate and anger and pettiness.

Again I do not believe in god-even she is yet to convince me-but if I were going to believe in an angel in human flesh my wife was that angel, my green eyed angel. She became the conscious I never had. I would stop and think, "If I do this she will be so upset..." Some people have an angel on one shoulder, the devil on the other, until her I had two devils warring to see who could make me do the dumbest thing.

Many times in our marriage I would tell people, "You don't know my wife, but trust me...you owe her." My wife saved me from me and saved my daughters from their twisted bi polar mother because when the time came and I had to help them she was right by my side fighting to get custody of them which we did and she raised them as her own.

Both went to college and I doubt that would have happened without her influence. Her unconditional love for them was amazing. I know I use that word a lot, but it's how I feel about her. As for us, my oldest daughter described my wife and I the best when she said we were Lady and the Tramp.

My wife the educated pretty goody two shoes whose friends --and some family members-came right out and asked if she was nuts being with me, the divorced, scruffy bad boy. But we were a perfect fit, she my salvation and me her protector, her sneering grumpy guard dog.

My wife is my everything, my light in the darkness, my soul mate, my twin flame. Now I lay there at night wondering for how much longer. I lay there listening to that fucking rattle in her breath which now had a whole new meaning to me.

In my life I had never known fear. Even as a child I was surrounded by hate and violence, emotionally stunted I had no clue what fear was. But now? I went to bed every night with a cold twisting sensation in my stomach and plagued with nightmares. Visions of my wife's wake and funeral.

An endearing quality of hers is she is a big kid. Still sings the Toys R us theme song. Collects Build a Bears, watches Disney and on occasions will even color. Her favorite build a bear was a black cat named Alica. Dressed it up all the time, would put it on the couch where we watched TV.

In my nightmare Alicia was in the coffin with her. Got to where I'd walk by the damn thing and shiver. I lay there at night sweating with my heart pounding. I was scared, scared shitless.

Naked Fear.

I asked myself if it came down to it could I do what my wife did for her sister? Could I be that strong? We all want to think we are. We all want to think we can be the hero, the rock, handle it all, but we don't know until the time comes for sure and I've seen many fail in times of crisis. My wife wasn't one of them, but was I?

Report Story

bylovecraft68© 88 comments/ 90644 views/ 134 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

Next
4 Pages:123

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar:

   Cancel