Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Husband Reed

There are so many adjectives that can be used to describe my husband.  Gentle, funny, strong, character driven, funny, dedicated, talented, intelligent, focused, quick-witted, funny, Godly.

But what so few people get to see is how unbelievably loyal and caring he is towards me.  I’m sure this could be assumed because we are married and have been for a very long time but I recently heard a statistic that made me sick to my stomach and really opened my eyes. 

Evidently, in marriages where there is a terminal diagnosis (NOT saying mine is!!), the vast majority of the marriages end in divorce.  I can’t site the exacts of the statistic because, sadly, I didn’t think to write down the information.  But it was about 7 in 10 marriages end.  I was in shock.  At the moment the “sick” spouse needs the “well” spouse more than he/she has before, the marriage ends.  Made me think, “whatever happened to “in sickness and in health”?”.  And also really brought to light just how blessed, spoiled, fortunate I am.

This illness has been hard on me..very hard.  But only a fool would believe that it hasn’t been equally as hard on Reed.  Just in a very different way.  He’s not the one with “the disease” but he’s most definitely the one who has picked up the majority of slack at home.  The boys have been amazing too but Reed’s the one that works at least 50 hours a week (plus overseas travel several times a year), makes sure the refrigerator is full, paper products and other toiletries are stocked, dinner is, in one form or the other (often through friends), taken care of and the kitchen cleaned up afterward, gets up early on the weekend to get the boys where they need to go, keeps the yard maintained, the cars full of gas, the laundry going when I can’t, and makes a point to check on me during each day just to make sure I’m OK.

He VERY seldom complains and when he does it’s never about all the extra burden placed on him because of me.  It’s about “other” stuff that may or may not include people who whine too much for the lamest reasons.  He has many, many reasons to gripe about my “sickness” and yet I NEVER hear it.  His brother might but I don’t...ever.  Even now when he is so tired and the weight of all of this is catching up to him, I don’t hear griping and I’ve never felt blamed.  He just keeps on loving me, loving the boys, and making sure we all get through that day.

Somehow, he has managed to continue to do his job (and do it well), be an “I’m there for you father” to the boys, and an unbelievably loyal, compassionate, and loving husband to me.

My journey is not over and I really haven’t a clue when it will be.  We survived the radiation (which was really more like hell on earth) and will now proceed to the next thing.  Chemo pills...5 days on, 28 days off.  I have no hair which makes it even harder for me to understand how Reed can love on me but I figure it’s because he sees me in my very cute wig too.  For nearly two months now, I have been far more tired than I’ve been at any point during this entire ordeal often needing to sleep 16 hours a day.  I’ve had very little mental clarity and lots and lots of nausea.  And still Reed stayed by my side, encouraging me, affirming me, making sure I’ve eaten, and often simply helping me to walk.

Despite what my doctor and nurses have thought about where I should be right now, I am still very much alive.  I know there are many, many reasons for this...Jesus!, hours and hours of friends and family praying, treatments that have “worked”, an insanely strong support group, good eating habits (except that one donut I had a couple of weeks ago), but the biggest human reason is because I’m married to a man that refuses to leave my side.  Who will, and has, dropped whatever he’s working on to come and be with me when I’m in a horribly pathetic state.

He is a man to be emulated for sure.  I am thrilled beyond thrilled that my boys get to be raised by such a gem.  They couldn’t ask for anyone better.

I love you so much Reed.  Thank you for sticking by my side.  For caring for me, trusting me, believing with me, loving me, and for often carrying me through this 12 year long journey.  Especially the last 5 years.  I know you will be my walking partner from now until eternity.  And I am here for you.

Until next time...

P.S. I have a birthday coming up on October 17th...just in case you want to send me a card (insert big smiley face here).