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Oh, how the times have changed over the years. I’m sure you ask anyone who knew us 14 years ago and they would tell you how wild, crazy, and free we were. That we had a passion that both of us didn’t understand. We had a soul connection that wouldn’t break, a fire that couldn’t be dampered. But, those are all the things that haven’t changed over the years.
After celebrating our recent anniversary, I have taken time to really look back on our life. It’s been 4 years now since I was diagnosed with lupus. I didn’t even really know what lupus was when I was diagnosed. But you did. You told me about a cousin you had that passed away and struggled with lupus for many years. I’m not going to lie, I was scared then and I’m still scared now of what the future may hold for us as a family.
Life has changed so much since my diagnosis. I am no longer able to do a lot of the same things I could do before. I don’t feel like I laugh as much or smile as often. There’s a sadness in my eyes that I am sure you recognize all too well. But there is a sense of security that I have never felt.
I’m not going to lie when I sometimes wonder how you have decided to stay with me after all of these health issues. I’m 32. I never expected this to be how my life turned out. Part of me is scared one day you will just grow tired of it all and leave. You reassure me that will not ever happen, but I would lie if I didn’t admit the thought creeps into my mind on my darkest days. I’m only human.
I often wonder how you find these extra 40lbs juicy and wonder if this steroid induced moon face bothers you as much as it does me when I look in the mirror. The weight loss ups and downs have been a struggle for me since being diagnosed. You know the struggles I faced with my body in college; yet, you find ways to let me know you love me exactly how I am.
You have been our families main provider during the pandemic. Every store visit or family need was laid upon you. Yet, you never complained one time. You wanted to protect me and the kids and you did so with love. You did all this while taking care of your family and working.
I wonder how you are able to give me weekly injections over the last few years, when I haven’t even mustered the courage to do one myself. See, you are more than just my love. You are my caretaker and my provider. You are my husband, my best friend, and father of my children. You have been my therapist for years and never judged me for the mental toll of living a life with a chronic illness.
I shamelessly wonder how you deal with me after I have breakdowns. The mind and body can only take so much and you know that I never like to take a break. These days are unfair and I am sorry. Sometimes, I think you deserve better than what I have to offer on these days.
Yet, each morning you find a way to make me laugh or lend an ear when I’m venting again about what hurts or what I am struggling with that day. You bring me coffee every morning you get off work, even when we have 3 coffee makers here. You know that I love coffee and that I drink way too much of it…but you do it because you care and know that I need it to make it through the day. It really is the small things that count most in life.
On my worst days, when I can barely make it out of bed you are there for me. Even going as far to pick out towels and outfits for me after showers so it can take less of a toll on my body. People without a chronic illness may never understand how many spoons it can take to shower on flare days. These are the days people don’t see. My friends and family rarely see me on these days. In fact, I’m pretty much dead to the world. But you see them.
You are always there to support me through the triumphs and the failures…and failures there have been. You were my main support when I was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. Most of my friends barely checked on me. Going through a cancer diagnosis and surgery without a lot of support is traumatizing.
Knowing how scared I was and the fact my grandmother passed from the same cancer, you were my rock. I was terrified for myself, for the future of our kids, and for you. Thankfully, we have crossed that mountain for now and you continue to support me through all of my doctor visits and scans.
You are an amazing father. You love our boys with such passion. I love you in ways that many people will never understand. A love like ours is once in a lifetime. We have trekked through so much in life without ever leaving one another behind. We’ve had our struggles for sure and it’s never been easy.
But I don’t want to do this life with anyone else but you. I often think back to our wedding song and how applicable it still remains all these years later. This dark and twisted path has led me into so many directions over the last 14 years, but you have been with me every step of the way.
Rascal Flatt’s never sang a more relatable lyric than “God blessed the broken road, that led me straight to you”. Through sickness and health, you are my one and only love.