Monday, March 21, 2016

The Worst Anniversary Ever

This has been all in the last week: last Monday (a week ago), my oldest daughter came and got me after seeing blood in the toilet. We then ended up in the ER with her for half of the day ruling out possible scenarios, malfunctions, etc. While we are still in the process of getting her better, we were thankful to leave the hospital knowing what wasn't wrong with her. That night I was up all night with her after she had four accidents throughout the night- once in her bed, three in ours. She's almost 5, but with the frequent bladder issues, her muscles have become very weak and when she gets another infection, she can hardly get to the bathroom quick enough. The next night, my 2 year old ended up in bed with us and started throwing up. Adam then ended up sleeping in the living room floor with her where she threw up once more. The next day we sent Callie to school, having been on antibiotics for a few days. Her school called to let us know she was bleeding once more and was in intense pain and needed to be picked up. Her follow up with the pediatrician was that day where we were told she would for sure need a procedure done to further investigate her ongoing issues and would have to be sedated. Also we had to switch her to a stronger antibiotic because the one she was on wasn't doing anything. Saturday was set aside for us to go out to eat for our anniversary. I took off work and was really excited to get away with Adam after our crazy week. As irony would have it, I became pretty sick that evening and we had to cut our mediocre dinner short. I was able to rest up Sunday and in the middle of the night Adam started throwing up. He violently threw up all night into this morning and stayed home from work. I saw him briefly as I brought him more water and was switching out the laundry. Today is our 7th anniversary.
Whoa. I mean, I can't even digest what this week has thrown at us.
So in the midst of fear, stress, exhaustion, and worry, I'm now frustrated because my weekend didn't go as planned. Our plans of a night out was cut short and we only spoke today when I was ushering the girls out of our room to keep him quarantined. He even said to me in passing today, "This is the worst anniversary ever."
Yep, can't say I disagreed with that statement. But in retrospect maybe I do disagree. No, we didn't get to have our big dinner and stay out as long as we wanted. Heck just to have him in the same room with me without running to the toilet would've been great. Reality is, life is hard. Life doesn't care what you have planned or what you're feeling, it just has a way of sucking sometimes. But this week, we gave life to these vows.

"to have and to hold, from this day forward
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness, and in health
to love and to cherish
til death do us part
according to God's holy law
and this is my solemn vow."

These weren't our exact vows, but very similar. Let's be honest. When you have children, it's nearly impossible to hold each other. Our arms are full with little girls and garbage bags, and laundry baskets. Even when we're walking somewhere together, we're herding sheep. Making sure no one gets hit by a car and carrying 14 bags plus an infant seat. The best time to hold one another is in bed I suppose, but he'd have to get past my pillow and our two children who climb in between us almost nightly. He's started this thing saying, "Do you need 20 seconds?" He read somewhere that hugging for 20 seconds releases endorphins and puts you in better spirits. So he'll grab me as I'm running to get a bottle or to get Maci out of the sink. I usually try to keep walking but he usually wins. And let me tell you, it works. For 20 seconds, I have time to remember that I'm a wife. His wife. I can embrace this man and tell him I love him in the midst of chaos. I have the opportunity to show my girls how much I love their daddy.
This week has been more worse than better and more sick than healthy. Sleep deprivation and long work hours thrown in with everything else has made this week purely survival mode. Bathe, eat, brush teeth, get to where you have to go, pay bills. We've been robot parents and robot spouses.  We communicate through text on our work days if possible and even after getting off work, we're counting the minutes until we can fall into our bed. You can see where this vicious cycle would take it's toll on us. After this week, it could be very easy for us to be at each other's throats. But by the grace of God, we have stayed unified. I don't say that in a way that's implying our marriage is some great teacher to other marriages. But I say that to give glory to our Lord for helping us to keep each other priority in the midst of the ugly stuff.
We love each other, we cherish each other, and we have each other. When I walked down the aisle in front of all of our family and friends 7 years ago, I made a life long commitment. I had no idea what that commitment would look like or how much work would go into it, but it's hard work, let me tell you. I wake up every morning and choose to love him. I choose to put his needs above my own. I choose to encourage him even with a simple text or a quick prayer on the way to work. He wakes up and chooses to love me. He puts my needs above his own. He encourages and strengthens me. There are no boundaries, no white elephants, no secrets, and no hiding. Everything is on the table at all times. If I need to be called out, he does it. If he needs to be more sensitive, I tell him to put his phone down and look at me when I'm talking to him. "I need your eyes" is something else he says to me when I'm distracted or half listening. Our honesty and transparency is the the lifeblood of this marriage. The Lord brought us together. He is my most precious gift and I am his. So while we are still figuring things out, have many more hurdles to jump, and many mountains to climb, I know that I'm never alone. He is the love of my life, the father of my children, the holder of my heart. He serves me and cares for me. He leads me and doesn't skirt around hard issues. We laugh. Man, do we ever laugh. My face has more lines in it than I had wanted at 31, but I can't regret them, because I know most are from laughing at my crazy husband.
Happy 7th Anniversary my love. Let's keep having and holding and cherishing and loving. Our life wasn't promised to be easy or full of sunshine and rainbows, but we can walk through the rain hand in hand and keep our family before the Lord. Here's to many more!

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