To The Man I Married, From The Girl You Didn’t

My Husband is home from work today, burning through a vacation day early in the year. Selfishly, I love waking up and having him here, but he isn’t here so we can go off doing fun things or going on vacation. He’s here because today, as many other days, he woke up with terrible anxiety about leaving me here alone.

We married in 2008 with plans and goals; dreams for the future. We bought a house and settled in raising the kids. Until those plans and goals went awry with my getting sick. So here we are, 11 years later and those old dreams, they’ve been put by the wayside-changed like me.

He bustles around the house taking care of long overdue projects. With working, full-time school, taking care of his wife and pitching in around the house, he hardly has time for projects. Yet happily, he bustles around the house, today, doing so.

Mid-day, his anxiety is confirmed. When getting off the couch, my foot suddenly becomes paralyzed. Horrible pain tears through it, the pins and needles only mildly lessening the pain. Unable to move my foot, put it down or stand on it, I collapse, calling out for him. I have just successfully sprained my ankle. Yay me. It wouldn’t be a year if I didn’t have a good fall.

For the remainder of the day, I sit with my foot propped up on pillows and minimize any activity. I seriously didn’t need anything else to limit my already diminished activity (eye rolls here).

Such is this, our new life. My Husband is no longer my friend, partner and lover; he’s also become my caregiver at only 44. And I absolutely cherish him for it.

Our love is one of the very few things that keeps me going day in and day out. I cannot imagine doing any of this with anyone else, or that anyone else would have the patience and demeanor to do so with me. And it hasn’t always been easy. The tolls of this chronic life has brought our marriage to it’s knees twice now. Financial ruin, loss of family and friends, a massive shift in responsibilities and lifestyle has twice proved to be a lot on our marriage and we crumbled in the strain. Yet here we stand, almost 11 years later; ever stronger from overcoming that strain and proving that true love really does conquer all, including devastating illness.

So to my Husband, Father to my Children, my life, my love; it is long overdue to pay homage to you and all you do.

Many men could and would not still be here-I never take that for granted. I try to always be cognizant of all he does and all he has sacrificed. I’m thankful to never feel resented or that I am less because of illness beyond my control.

I am often riddled with guilt; guilt over getting and being sick and never being able to get well again. I feel guilty for having a life now, that is no comparison to all we planned or hoped for. I am guilty I cannot do what I want or hope to on most days. But most of all, I’m wracked with guilt that I have become what he grew up with; a sick wife, whose Husband has to do everything. His growing up with his Mom constantly ill, left an indelible mark on his soul. And yet, never once has he ever made me feel guilty, lashed out at my being sick or been frustrated that perhaps my illness is just laziness. Not once. The guilt I harbor is all of my own doing.

So today, as he happily buzzes around tending to the house, his music playing as he goes about, I want to thank him and recognize him for all he does.

Thank you for being my love, my life, my partner, my friend, my caregiver.

I appreciate everything and all you do.

I am grateful that you never lash out, admonish me or get angry over our circumstances.

Thank you for carrying me up and down our stairs, cooking for us, babysitting while I attempt to shower, holding my hand when the pain and frustration proves too much, endlessly watching tv (which you hate) with me, doing a large share of taking care of the kids when I couldn’t, going to all the Doctors; time and again, making me laugh when all I could do was cry and giving me my reason to live.

This chronic life is *not for the faint of heart.

Instead, it is for a man like my Husband and I could never feel more love or gratitude to have him by my side.

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

11 thoughts on “To The Man I Married, From The Girl You Didn’t

  1. I’m left in tears. I’m so happy for you-that you have someone, a husband, that so obviously loves and adores you.
    I’m 41 and alone, what you have is just nowhere in the cards for me. I need my person, but not happening. Thanks for being here.

    1. Oh Shonna, I just cried reading your comment. Thank you.

      I am always here. <3

      Please don't give up on finding your person. You are totally deserving and worth this same love. I will pray that you find it. Sometimes it will come when you least expect it.
      Lots of Love, Stace

  2. I’m fortunate enough to have a very similar husband and enjoyed your tribute very much. It’s interesting, my husband was raised by a single mother with chronic illness. He’s probably the most selfless person I know and a very loving partner and caregiver. I guess it’s not surprising how two men who cared and worried for their mothers as boys could become such compassionate men. I’ve thanked the universe for putting us together every day for over 14 years years.

    1. Oh, that’s so refreshing that you thank the Universe! Me too, constantly. Bri and I have been together 14 years too (well, just about 15 now. YAY).
      Kudos to your Husband for being so wonderful and supportive.
      I do agree with you. As much as I never ever would have chosen this for my kids, I do believe that all three kids are kinder, more compassionate and empathetic as a result of my getting sick. So I guess, something good comes out of all this yuck, right? Our awesome Blessings of Husbands and hopefully kids making the world a better place too.
      Here’s to another 14, Capricious!!
      <3 Stace

  3. What a blessing your husband is to you Stacey! Chronic illness is a difficult road to travel and often times seriously tears families apart. So glad the two of you are navigating this with love and togetherness! Hubby has psoriatic arthritis himself, so the two of us are the blind leading the blind so to speak, but we have the comprehension of how our illnesses affect each other and we plug along together with compassion.

    1. You are so right, Gail, I know. Chronic illness just changes everything and affects everyone involved. It’s about so much more than just pain or illness.
      Ha! Blind leading the blind. That cracks me up. I imagine that can be helpful and comforting to you both. It kind of takes one to know one with being sick. I’m so glad you have one another to comfort and love. I’m not sure what I would do without Bri.

  4. Your husband is a total legend! What a great guy I Can relate to this post almost word for word I’m living with m.e. day in day out for the last 15years. “My husband to be in 20 days,” he supports me as ur husband does you, I was ill before he met me so he knew what he was getting into I honestly didn’t think he would stay around but here we are 5 years later due to tie the knot. I hope all the best for you both

    1. Oh…..Congratulations!!! I’m so happy for you. Best wishes to you both!! How exciting!
      Bri (Hubby) really is a legend-this path isn’t always easy. Sounds like you’ve found one of the fabulous ones yourself. It is a special kind of man that loves us regardless. I’m glad you have this super special kind of love and support too. Have a Blessed day, Leisa and live in all that beauty.

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