Chronic Illness invaded our lives several years ago. When it came down to me not working, my husband really stepped up. It is really not an easy thing to realize that working is making things worse. It is even harder to see your spouse working twice as hard. I try to remember how lucky I really am. Chronic illness often brings depression, for someone who already suffers from depression-well you get the idea. It is easy for me to fall into the poor me thought process. I try and take time to remember our story and how it is evolving.
Fourteen years and I still see him as the only one. He has changed since that first time we met. I have changed since that first time we met. He has become more and more family oriented.When we first met it was fast and loud cars, Dungeons and Dragons, and sleep. I was more about reading, reading all the things, to the point it started arguments. He introduced me to mangoes and rutabaga. I introduced him to coffee and sandwiches with no mayo. Now we both look forward to family time, hikes and bike rides and even some camping. We both have gone through some serious self analysis times, where we were questioning everything. Of course we did not go through this at the same time. It brought loads of frustration to our relationship. It was hard to remember we needed to focus on communication. There were times that communication was completely forgotten, too wrapped up in our own brains. Even still, he understands me on a level that even words cannot describe.That is the hardest thing to do, love someone even as they change. He is my sanctuary when reality gets to be too much. There is so much talk about what men are not doing, it is time for there to be talk about what they are doing. I may have to ask him to take over for the night, but he does. He does the homework, dinner and shower routine with our daughter. He tucks her in and kisses her goodnight.We balance, and that is a rare thing in this world. Some days she is insistent on one on one time with him, and they go for a bike ride together. I love watching their relationship develop and evolve. The thing is, my love for him is also evolving. Sometimes it is hard to remember that, to find yourself wishing for how things were. Mostly wishing for when things were much less complicated.
I still remember hearing those words over the phone.
“There has been an accident. The helicopter is taking him to the trauma hospital.”
The feeling of the floor going out from under me. I was a senior in high school. He was late coming to pick me up so I could cut the last class of the day. I barely remember turning to see my English teacher standing next to me. I blurted out, “He can’t die. I am supposed to marry him.”
There is just something about seeing a person on life-support. It makes you wake up; realize what you do have. Love. It ripped through me and I just knew. There was no one else. He was in a coma. He was battling a brain injury. I, however, just knew he was going to be okay. Two weeks of trips to the hospital forty-five minutes away. He walked out of the hospital. Yes, walked. We made it through that. We made it through that after only knowing each other for three weeks. Two and a half years later we got married. It is not a scene that is easily erased from your memory. I can’t tell you how many times that scene flashes before my eyes. It has a startling ability to snap you back to reality.
It would take us almost four and half years to have a baby. A well worth the wait baby. I thought then I couldn’t possibly love him anymore than I did seeing him with our newborn daughter. Here we were, in awe of our daughter. We created this beautiful child together.He falls asleep with her on his chest and my heart melts. He holds her hand as she tries out this walking thing. Love exploding.
Years go by, and suddenly I am seeing my husband through my daughter. Things I fell in love with that he does, she does. They both have an ability to notice the smallest things. She has definitely picked up a good mix of both our sense of sarcasm.They are both negotiators, never wanting someone to be upset. Peacemakers. There it is again. That feeling that I couldn’t possibly love our little family more. This feeling happens over and over, year after year. During the most mundane family times. Ah yes, but there is the other side. The other side, some of the things he does that irritates me, she does. Oh yes, there is irritation, there is annoyance, but it doesn’t cancel out the love. There are times I feel all I do is complain. Then I realize, it only irritates me because I do love them. The more I sit here trying to think of an example of an irritation, I can’t. Love blots it out. The irritations are fleeting and really once you see someone on life support, the dishes really aren’t that big of a deal. He has worked so very hard to support our family. I found myself this holiday season treasuring him even more.