Saturday, August 27, 2011

Honey, I Love You

Six years ago today, I married my beloved Derek.  People then told us we weren't ready, said to wait, said to slow down... but we knew deep down, that waiting wouldn't change things... just prolong the "hard part" unnecessarily.  Yep.  We were that smart and also very mature.

But the thing is... when we married, we each had a secret.  A big secret, that we hadn't shared with the other.  Not in full.  For the first several years of our marriage, those secrets would rear their ugly heads and we'd beat them back down.  Quickly.  Before the other person noticed.

And then they started to be known.  Right around the time we had our third, fourth, and fifth miscarriages.  And my Gramma was killed in a senseless accident.  And I was trying to rebuild a relationship - a new relationship - with a part of my family I hadn't so much as spoken to in years.  And then I had my first endometriosis surgery.  We did some fertility treatments.  I had another surgery.  Then we did some more treatments.  I got depressed.  Derek got depressed.  I finally let my secret out, and it shook us until we were barely standing - and that, only by the grace of God.  And not long after, Derek let his out, and we were shaken again.  And then we tried another fertility treatment and more surgery, and it didn't work.

Derek stood helpless as I spiraled out of control, caught in the snares of PTSD and depression.  I was battling not just in my mind, but physically, too.  So much - SO much - had to be conquered.  The people we'd worked so hard to bring back into our lives ended up sort of being let back out. Not because we didn't love them, but because at the time, our focus needed to be exclusively on our God and our relationship... and any added stress could have caused this house to wash away the next time rain fell or the wind blew.  But we held on. 

And we've grown closer and stronger, and stronger, and stronger.  Two days ago, we were meeting with my counselor (yes, I see one.  No, it's not a secret.)  Derek had to handle some pretty rough stuff... and I have been noticing that the healthier I get, the more emotional my responses to him are.  Not out of control emotional... but emotional as in I feel things now, instead of just being numb.  I got angry.  I felt hurt.  And I told him.  And he didn't attack it.  He has never, ever, that I can recall, verbally (or physically or in any other way) attacked or put me down.  Ever.

And through it all?  He is mine.  I am his.  We are Christ's.  Do you know how truly beautiful, and rare this gift is?

And now that I've told you vaguely about the hard stuff, I will tell you some of my favorite parts of the last six years:

Laying in the dark talking until the sun starts coming up.  After going to bed early so we can "get lots of sleep."

Laughing so hard we cry, at silly, stupid jokes shared between us.

Having a chance to show love and honor and support to someone who forgives me when I don't do so well at it.  And someone who genuinely appreciates everything I do get right.

Having someone irrevocably, unwaveringly on my side.  In everything.

Swimming with dolphins. 

Being honored and privileged and fortunate enough to know the hopes and dreams of another, intimately.

Seeing my six foot tall, two hundred plus pound husband holding a 24-hour-old kitten, patiently feeding it a bottle and smiling.  In the middle of the night.

Watching our five cats light up and swarm around him when he gets home - and watching how happy he gets.

Growing and changing with someone I love.

Discounted admission to the zoo for our anniversary, because they were closing.  But let us in anyway and we didn't leave till almost two hours after closing time.  And it was okay, because there was a kids' overnight thing and I think the staff thought we were part of that.

Being safe and loved enough to be able to say "I am angry" or "I am sad" and not be afraid of the consequences.

APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) machine.  Like a C-PAP only it's not a constant pressure - it varies with his breathing.  The little black machine has done more for our marriage than any other possession we have.

Most of all, I am thankful that we have been married for six years.  We no longer get "You're so young and you aren't ready for marriage."  We no longer get called newly-weds.  We haven't heard "be married longer before kids" in quite some time.  And yet... it is still just as much work, just as hard, just as beautiful, just as amazing, and just as much an adventure as it was six years ago.

I'm ready for... hmm... about 83 more years?  I don't think I want to live to be older than 100.

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