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The Story of Us


Jaymun's day was slightly better today. Last night was another round of fevers and sickness. He got another blood transfusion and threw up again. I'm just trying to keep him comfortable and quiet so his poor tummy can settle down. I wish I had been able to post this blog yesterday, but there was just no time. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting day. It was also our anniversary.

I don't know why announcing that makes me tear up. I think partly because fifteen years is such a milestone in a marriage. And we never in a million years thought we would be celebrating it in a hospital room. I didn't expect a single thing-- not because Dave isn't the type to buy a gift, but because of all that is going on with Jaymun, the poor man has enough on his platter. But take a look at this beautiful bouquet...it's gorgeous and he handpicked the flowers himself to make this arrangement! We're not allowed to have fresh flowers in the rooms so the nurses are enjoying my anniversary surprise by their front desk. Since I doubt he would enjoy a stuffed animal or balloon from the hospital gift shop (!), I don't have a thing to give him. And so I thought, "Perhaps a blog will do." (And you thought romance was dead.)

What's happened to Jaymun has really tested our entire family structure. This is not an ideal situation for a marriage by any means. It's stressful and tiring as parents to keep things going. And as husband and wife, it's taking the "for better and for worse" part to a whole new level. But we're doing it somehow. Even when the "worse" part just keeps smacking us in the face, we're hanging in there.

Dave has been the one to manage everything at home. I can offer some tips on organization and scheduling and suggest this or that, but ultimately he's the one who has to deliver. I'm so proud of the way he's taken it all on his shoulders. He works from home so our children don't feel like they've lost their mom and dad. He gets everyone up for school and drives them there. He goes to the office for a few hours to check in on the employees, pay bills, make calls to customers, etc. He takes the kids to their after school activities. He makes them do their chores. He calls me to ask about my day with Jaymun. He makes sure the kids get to bed on time so they get enough sleep for school. He does the grocery shopping. Many evenings he drives down to visit and then has to drive home again. He stays up incredibly late to catch up on work stuff while the kids are sleeping. It's a big load but he's taken it on.

I wish I knew the exact right way to make sure we don't "crack" from all the stress. I don't think there is one. It's so easy to take out frustrations on each other, but it doesn't help the situation. We both want the same thing for our baby. We want him to get better and get home. This is not the way families are supposed to live. It's not natural for them to be split up and it feels awful to be separated. I hate that my husband has to bear such a huge burden by himself. I'd like to be the one who manages the household and takes care of our kids. I have no problems with the "traditional" way of marriage. There's comfort in our routine and stability and structure--at least there always was before Jaymun.

I admire him for so many things. He can find the good in just about every situation. He has an enthusiasm for life that is pretty rare to find in people. He gives people the benefit of the doubt and forgives easily. He has a hunger for knowledge that makes me dizzy. He is the first to help people out. He volunteers for projects at church and school, even though he already has a overflowing schedule. He is constantly on the lookout for adventure and fun. He is generous with his possessions. He loves our children with the kind of love that strangers envy. He knows just when to hug me when I'm at my wit's end. And he has a faith that seems to know no boundaries, even through all of Jaymun's illness. I often tell people I wish I could be more like him-well, minus the five o'clock shadow.

He also makes me completely crazy sometimes. He is forgetful and easily distracted. He tells the corniest jokes. He loses things and then blames us for misplacing them. He can get oh so intense and latch onto ideas like a pit bull with a bone. He can be pretty stubborn. He drinks coffee like it's water and then complains he doesn't feel well. He is chronically late for everything. His driving leaves something to be desired. And he argues like a lawyer. (P.S. For those of you who claim to never have disagreements or arguments, I would venture the theory that either both of you are lying or one of you doesn't have a pulse.)

Fifteen years has come and gone. I don't need to tell anyone who's been married for any length of time that the ups and downs of marriage sometimes make you want to get off the ride. But if I didn't have him, I wouldn't know what love can grow into. We've evolved from the "candlelight and rose" faze into something more real and lasting. I see him with our children and I realize that I'm not just married to some random guy. I'm married to an amazing man.

Sometimes life is going to throw you a fast curveball. It might stop you dead in your tracks and knock you out for awhile. It may take your breath away and sting so badly that you don't want to even think about getting back up. We're definitely down right now, but I know if we stick it out together, we'll be okay. Really. The reason I know is because he assures me of it. (And he's a pretty good salesman!)

Love isn't what I thought it was back when I was a teenager. It isn't romance novels or soap operas. It's the ordinary details that make love worthwhile. Love is going with your newborn son to the intensive care unit when your wife can't go along because she just gave birth. Love is taking care of your children at home while your wife is away because you realize no one else can do it better. Love is making sure kids get lots of kisses and hugs. Love is trips to get milk at six in the morning. Love is admitting you don't have all the answers in life. Love is changing diapers. Love is listening. Love is cradling your baby in your arms and letting him know he's safe. Love is wearing yourself out to provide a paycheck. Love is cleaning out the refrigerator (you did, didn't you?). Love is hundreds of trips back and forth to the hospital. Love is getting no sleep. Love is being a soft shoulder to cry on. Love is apologizing when you realize your spouse was right and you were wrong. Love is laughing because you know she is always right. ;)  Love is tae kwon do and dance lessons. Love is telling someone she's beautiful even when she's not. Love is embracing life even when you'd like to crumple into a ball and give up. Love is watching chick flicks when you'd rather be watching an action movie. Love is going to the zoo even though you really aren't crazy about the zoo. Love is hunting for the perfect card to give because you know she prefers it over jewelry. Love is reading Green Eggs and Ham one hundred and fifty times. Love is knowing that this too shall pass.....

Happy Anniversary to the Man I Love--Most of the Time.