Eight Years ago today….

“Beep.  Beep. Beep.”

I look up.  Rubbing my eyes. Trying to figure out what that sound was.

“Beep. Beep. Beep.”

Oh.  Evan’s feeding pump is alarming. He’s done.

Craig walks in the bedroom  and once I see him I close my eyes and try to get a few more minutes of sleep.

The sleep lasts about 10 minutes as I hear Craig rustling around our drawers to find socks for work.

I open my eyes, smile at him, and sleepily say, “I love you honey.  Have a great day.  Be safe.”

Something I’ve said every work day since we’ve been married.

He looks back at me.  Flashes me the same smile I fell in love with over 16 years ago and says back, “I love you, too.  Happy Anniversary.”

He pauses.  Smiles and lets out small laugh and says, “A little different than last year, huh?”

And he walks out the door to work.

I laughed at the thought.  Last year we were lounging on the sandy beaches of Mexico in our beach bungalow equipped with four poster bed, outdoor pool, outdoor bed (hey now…), outdoor shower (oh baby….) and a personal concierge.

I look over as the other man in my life suddenly lets out a sleepy yawn..then gags…getting ready to throw up.

I smile at the little butterball, comfy in his Mickey Mouse jammies.  Evan’s eyes open and his brow furrows…not quite sure if he’s ready to wake up.  He looks around and sees my face.

Then, he flashes his smiles I fell in love over 3 months ago – all gum, all cleft, too perfect.

I hear the bedroom door open.  There she is.  My sleepy girl.  In an outfit I’m pretty positive she picked out blindfolded – rock and roll jammies and a Dora shirt  – both too small – a bit too tight – when did she grow up?

She’s clutching her Daisy Duck – her best friend – her hair everywhere, her lips puffy from sleep, rubbing her sleepy eyes and says to me, “Momma  – I need to to tee tee.  And then I want a smoothen.”

I smile again as she climbs up the bed and greets her brother.  “Good morning, brudder.  Don’t throw up!”

What a difference year makes.

 

For better for worse.  For richer for poorer.  Through sickness and in health.

Vows Craig and I made to one another 8 years ago today.

Young.  Naive. Saying the vows because we loved each other.  And living on a prayer that our love would be enough.

Fast forward to today.

Our lives are so different than we would have ever imagined.

We knew we wanted a family.  We thought we’d have the 2.5 kids, white picket fence, dogs to match, living in an identikit house somewhere on in Texas – never leaving the greatest state in U. S. and A.

I think most people dream of those things if that’s what’s in their “life plan.”

We never in a million years would have thought that we’d be “those” people with a special needs child.

A child that suddenly changes everything.

A child that suddenly makes you live out your vows every.single.day as a married couple.

For better….or worse…

For richer….for poorer…(those dang medical bills…)

Through sickness…and in health…

I will never be able to erase the images from my memory of when we first found out about Evan’s diagnosis when I was 22 weeks pregnant, when we found out the severity of his heart defect, when I gave birth and him taken from me – as I watched Craig walk behind the medical transport team – crying, alone – without me by his side, when he finally held Evan for the first time in the Cardiac I. C. U. , when we found out Evan had to have surgery, when we thought the surgery failed, the walk from his ICU room to the cold, anesthetic hallways of the surgery floor…handing over our son to save his life.

I’ll never want to erase them.  As hard as our lives have been this year and I know without a shadow of a doubt will continue to be hard with Evan’s open heart surgery in the distant (still too near) future, I’ll never want to forget.

In those moments, the lowest of the low to this point, we’ve seen our marriage withstand it all.

We’ve still laughed together.

We still rejoice in the little things.

We pray together.

We hold onto – clinging desperately – to each other – to our vows – the choice we make every day to stand by each other. No matter what.

I can say without hesitation that I could not have made it through these last 4 months without Craig.  I often find myself dissolving into a puddle of tears over the fear and anxiety of Evan’s future.

I clearly remember my heart racing – hearing it pound and pulse in my ears – as the doctors said to us, “Evan is still very sick. The next day or so is very critical.”  And remember seeing the nurse escort the chaplain into our ICU room…someone you never want to see by your child’s bedside.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to Evan.  I wish I did.  I pray every day that God is going to give us a lifetime of memories – first words, first steps, first day of school – all those firsts you dream of for your child.

I pray those things everyday – knowing that God promised me that if I ask in faith with no doubting – He’ll give me the desires of my heart.  And there’s nothing more right now that I need to happen.  Memories with Evan…a lifetime of memories.

The one absolute in all those things I don’t know –  is Craig.  My marriage to him.  I know that he’ll be by my side – holding me up, lifting me up in prayer, dropping to our knees in prayer for our family, raising our hands up as we rejoice – these things – I do know.

Today, on our anniversary, our “family” birthday, I am humbled to be married to man I’ve loved over half my life, a man that found God, a man that leads our home, a man that has weekly ice cream dates with our best girl, a man that holds his sick son and prays over him.

A man that I still get nervous to walk out in front of when I’m all dolled up.  A man that when he smiles – I still get that delicious ache in my gut.  A man who’s kisses I still crave and need his arms to wrap around me.

A man that is the best Daddy to his little girl.  A man that is the best father to his best, boy. A man that is the husband I always prayed for but never thought God could bless me so great.

What a difference a year makes.  What a difference EIGHT years makes!

Happy Anniversary, Craig.

I love you.  Always.

 

Comments

  1. Happy Anniversary to both of you! May God Bless you and your family most especially to Evan!