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Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s a weird holiday. One of those made up ones for greeting card and flower sales, no doubt. But, I will say that any day that makes me stop and think about the man I love, is a good day and fortunately I have a lot of good days. I don’t need hearts and flowers to be reminded of my husband’s love.

A lot of women say they are the luckiest woman in the world because of the man they married but I truly am. I know this for so many reasons but when your “in sickness” vow is called upon, that’s when the real test begins and my sarcoidosis has been one big test.

My husband has stood by me through it all in a way that has drawn us closer rather than pull us apart. I owe most of that to his ability to see me despite my disease. He looks past it to who I really am and while he makes allowances for the sarcoidosis, he does not allow it to define me anymore than I do. He knows that despite being sick, I am still me, the woman he fell in love with and that is who he focuses on.

He doesn’t ignore my illness. He rubs my back lovingly when I have a coughing spell and can’t get any air. He asks me just about every day with caring concern how I feel. He reminds me to take my medications. Sometimes he pushes me to exercise and other times he knows when to help me pull back. The point is, he pays attention. He knows me in ways I don’t even know myself and he helps me see myself differently…beyond my disease.

I could go through this journey without him if I had to. I know that I am strong enough but there is not one single day that goes by that I don’t feel profound gratitude that I don’t have to.