It occurs to me that not everyone is as lucky as I am. I have perhaps, the most loving and supportive spouse on the planet. But more than that I have a best friend who walks this crazy journey through the world of chronic illness with me, at my side moment by moment and I am not alone.
I remember when I told my mother that he’d asked me to marry him. She had one question. “Do you like him?” She said she knew I loved him or I wouldn’t have said yes but she also said that successful marriages are built on more than love. They are build on truly and entirely liking one another. And I really like my husband. And I can tell from the way he interacts with me that he likes me too.
So we started our marriage on the right foot, I suppose. But I think you never really know who you married until “the you know what hits the fan” and there is nothing like getting sick to put your nuptials to the test.
But from the moment I started to show signs of illness he has been steadfast. He has been by my side supporting me in ways that call for him to sacrifice for me as I cannot be as productive a partner as I once was. Yet, he makes these sacrifices without comment and without hesitation. I marvel at his love and loyalty to me and it makes me fall in love with him all over again.
There is no way it can be easy for the spouse or partner of someone suffering with a chronic illness. You’re helpless but more than that you are living with someone who is forever changed and who is no longer the person whom you married and pledged to live your life with. Yet, here you are stuck in this new situation by the vows you took as younger healthier people.
Then there is the fear of the unknown. I know my husband worries about the future, although he never says so. I see it in his eyes. Neither of us knows what lay ahead and mostly we really do try to live in the here and now and enjoy each moment. But the fear lingers. It is always there lurking. For me and for him. But I have to say that my husband does an outstanding job of not allowing it to crush us. Another burden I do not have to carry alone because he has been such an outstanding partner and friend.
While he expertly lives in the present, he continues to plan for our future with great enthusiasm of a long and rewarding retirement. I love this about him, his constant optimism because it spurs me on to keep moving forward and to keep trying. He gives me a life now that I love and hope for a wonderful future.
Every day that I wake and rouse myself to begin a new day full of ridiculous aches and pains, I look over at my husband and I am filled with enough gratitude that I gain the strength to allow my feet to hit the floor. This is a priceless feeling and I know not everyone has the honor to experience it.
I cannot think of day since getting sick when he hasn’t asked, with care and concern how I am feeling. It is not done with a tone of obligation. Instead it is asked full of love and hope that today might be a good day. I can tell he does not wish it will be a good day for selfish reasons. He wishes this for me because he only wants the best for me. There is no greater blessing than to be loved this way.
And whenever I try to thank he for being there for me, he simply shrugs and says, “You’d do the same for me”, full of confidence that this is true. I would also like to believe this to be true but I am not sure I would do it with the same grace that he does.
So, I just want to take a minute to thank my husband for…well…everything because I would not have, illness or not, this beautiful, safe, happy life that I have come to appreciate beyond words without him.
Honey, I know you really don’t read my blog that often but if one day you do…know you are truly and completed loved by me.