Marriage…..it’s not easy. I don’t know anyone that can truthfully say that marriage has been easy for them. Maybe in those good times; but what about the bad ones? Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a wonderful thing if you are married to the right person. One who understands you and can tolerate your annoying habits and ways (come on, you know we all have them). Someone that can love you when you are unlovable and when you don’t always look pretty and handsome! Someone who knows your many flaws but concentrates on your good qualities instead. Someone who sees past your bad day knowing that good days are right around the corner. A supporter in everything you do. The one person you can share your heart with, your inner most secrets and know that they keep your confidence. Your best friend…..the one person you WANT to grow old with no matter what life throws at you……they are your life, your love, your heart……your everything.
In the good times, marriage is pretty easy. Life flows along and you just go with it. You are happy, your partner is happy; thus life is good! What happens when life throws you a curve ball? What happens when everything you know crumbles? What happens when the perfect life you are living turns upside down and inside out? Do you grow resentful? Bitter? Angry? Yes, sometimes you do. I have, at times felt all of those things. How do you react though to your spouse? Do they feel that directed towards them? Do you alienate them and make them feel like it is their fault? OR…..do your trials and challenges pull you together? Do the difficult times make you stronger? Do you look at your circumstances and THANK God that you have that person walking this journey with you?
Thirteen years ago today, I walked down the aisle of a church and married my best friend. Today, he is still my best friend. He is my biggest fan and even though the last 9 years of our marriage has been a rollercoaster ride of sickness, surgeries, joys and sorrows he has been by my side constantly. Our first 4 years were a BREEZE…..we had no responsibilities except to work and pay our bills….life was easy, good and FUN! Then, we found out in December 2004 that we were pregnant and we were both so excited. On March 8, 2005 our world flipped upside down and inside out when we found out that our sweet little girl who was growing in my belly was very sick. Her heart, we were told, would not beat outside the womb and we were faced with the doctor telling us to either abort her or be prepared when she was born (or even prior to being born) to never hear her cry. We were told that we would never bring her home and to plan her funeral. We struggled. We struggled to make sense of it. We asked God why and we prayed for a miracle.
The last 9 years have been wrought with struggle but with each struggle Dennis and I have grown closer to the Lord and closer to each other. Each struggle brought different challenges and each challenge made us hold on more tightly than the last. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, each struggle brought new miracles; giving us new hope. We would have a challenge, then a miracle, a time of relief (usually brief) and then a new challenge and it kept on going. Like I mentioned, just like a rollercoaster! But with every up, down, twist, turn and FLIP we clung to each other and to the Lord.
Today I have to say thank you. Thank you to a man who loves me like Christ loves the Church. A man who never backs down from a challenge. A man that no matter how much he is struggling holds onto me because he knows I am about to lose my mind. A man who has walked a path of very few husbands and fathers…..a path of uncertainty with your child’s health and life and a path of watching your wife give EVERTYTHING she has to the child and has nothing left to give him. Through so much, he has stayed, been our rock, our financial and emotional supporter and encourager. He has allowed me to do all that I deem necessary to care for Hannah even if it means putting him on the back-burner more times than not. A man who still loves me in-spite of my quirks, OCD, germaphobiness (is that a word?), issues, baggage and control issues. A man who took his vows seriously when he said “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health.” A man who has experienced better, worse, (not richer), but poorer, in MANY sicknesses and in health and has accepted it, loved me through it, helped me and literally at times carried me through it all.
Today, we celebrate 13 years of marriage and I would do it all over again! I am praying the next 13 years will be slightly easier; but if they aren’t…..I will be here because he has ALWAYS been here for me!
I love you Dennis…..thank you for choosing me to be your wife and for being the best husband and father! Hannah and I are so blessed to have you!
Until next time……..