I think I can say, with full sincerity, that this must be the worst summer we’ve ever had. Worst June, July, and now rolling into August. Worst three consecutive months on our record as a couple. And we aren’t newbies to stress either, far from it.
When in company and at home as a family, I give you a hard time. I rib you relentlessly and you always laugh appreciatively. Always. You’re good-natured that way. What you may not know is that when I talk about to you others, it’s almost always in the form of disbelief. ‘He’s one of the best people I know, and will probably ever know. He’s a better person than me by miles. I have no idea how I got so lucky.’ It’s true and I don’t tell you that often enough.
We started off this summer with shelling out some bucks for a new HVAC system. While it was an unexpected expenditure, the idea was we could still make the most of this summer, and hey, we have our health…
Then I had to start taking E to the pediatrician as she was getting sick regularly in the morning. It took a few visits but eventually we discovered she was experiencing a combination of severe allergies and a newly discovered food allergy – lactose intolerance. For days, her little belly was bloated outwards in pain and we had no idea why.
Then, I experienced thyroid storms, which nearly hospitalized me and required several emergency trips to various doctors and labs. Just when that began to subside, the debilitating stomach pains began. What I first dismissed as anxiety pains turned into something else and resulted in an ER trip at 7pm on a Tuesday night. I had not eaten solids in several days and I was losing weight as a result. I was doing my level best to keep my panic in check as I feared the worst. While the jury is still on out the cause (most likely colitis) I’ve begun to improve as my appetite slowly returns, and my thyroid medications and anxiety medications are continuously tweaked.
Dear Husband – You’ve been there through it all. You yourself dropped ten pounds just through sympathetic stress. You’ve juggled your career, my care, and E in a difficult symphony that has no real direction. You’ve waited anxiously by your computer and cellphone for my sometimes hourly health updates because you couldn’t take time off of work as your company undergoes a critical period that relies heavily on you. I know you felt undo guilt over that. Where most people are taking vacation time, you’re the guy that gets called upon to tackle projects most people can’t, and during a time of personal home stress too.
You’ve hovered over me in the middle of the night to make sure I was breathing. You’ve taken over E during the evenings and weekends so I can rest more. You’ve never complained when I asked you to pick up yet one more medication or some other item from the store. You’ve held me as I’ve cried, wondering if I’ll ever feel the same again, something in my core broke and I’ve been a quivering mass of fear and anxiety since. I unraveled again as I was bombarded with thoughts of stomach and colon cancer. You remained stoic and took the time to explain why my stomach issues couldn’t be those things.
I continue to improve. I wouldn’t have been able to do so without you.
It’s no secret, I never had any intention of getting married. My childhood was not beset with good examples. My mother and father, as you know, married and divorced three times each with a multitude of unhealthy relationships in-between. I did not know what a healthy relationship looked like. I think on my parents and I know they could not hold up to most of the prerequisites stated at the altar like fidelity, good times and bad, richer or poorer, never mind in sickness and in health.
But that’s why I said “yes” to you, with full confidence, when you asked me to marry you. I knew you were the real deal when I met you. A lot of people may never know what that lighting-in-the-bottle feeling is like, but I do. When people ask me how I like marriage, I tell them I would never do it again, not because it’s been that bad, but because it’s been that good – I doubt I would be so fortunate as to capture lighting twice.
Yesterday, you were rocked backwards with the news that your aunt died. I feel that old guilt that we don’t live closer to the DR so that you have better access to your family for times just like this. Because your goodness is not just limited to being a husband, but as a whole person, you check in with almost everyone in you immediately family, wanting to make sure everyone is ok, more so your mom who just lost her sister.
This morning you go to work like normal, reassuring me what time you expect to be home because you know it makes feel better when I know to expect you. My mental and emotional armor is strengthening, but it’s knowing those little things that helps me get through a tiresome day and you know that.
I tend to hold my cards close to my chest, which is the point of this post. The person who needs to know my love and appreciation the most, it seems, doesn’t hear it nearly as often as he should. I love you. Always.