It’s been a gray couple of days here in the Northeast, although I don’t mind it so much. The sun does it’s best to try to peek out from time to time (as I write this, actually). Our lawn is dry and could sure use the rain (trying to see the positives of having to wear rain boots– bye-bye flip-flops!– and carry an umbrella with me everywhere I go). It is supposed to rain from now until at least next Tuesday.
But I love New England this time of year, rain or no rain. As much as I carry heartfelt feelings and thanks for the summertime, I don’t mind wearing a scarf and watching the ways in which the light changes through the trees on my way home from work (it looks different now every day). This time of year always seems to bring about visits with friends and long weekends and lots more apples and placing a pumpkin out on our porch because I always dreamed of having a porch to do just that, and the last few years celebrating our anniversary, which I just love and look forward to every year.
This is a big one, folks! October 2nd marks 5 years. 5 juicy, sweet, difficult, fearful, fearless, stumbling, speeding, cherished years. It hasn’t always been easy. Yup, that’s it: No “It hasn’t always been easy… But who said that it would be easy?” or “It hasn’t always been easy but can’t complain.” Who said that it couldn’t be easy and I could complain A LOT if I wanted to. (And some days I do).
SHL and I have been through more in the last 5 years than any couple should ever have to go through in a lifetime. It’s made us stronger and at times, weaker (it can be really stressful sometimes to have cancer in the backseat– I try not to let it drive). Mostly it’s solidified our devotion to each other, but cancer or no cancer we still deal with everything else that all married couples do (that was a wake-up call for me. After I was first diagnosed I guess I thought that the day-to-day stuff would be no sweat compared to cancer. And sometimes it is. But sometimes, you just want the other person to take the trash out). So: who is going to clean out the fridge? (I did it last time). Who will take the cat to the vet? (That’s your job). Why did you spend so much money on dinner out? Why does your family do things that way? A thank you would be nice. You forgot to buy toilet paper… again? It may sound funny, but aren’t these all things that we’ve said to ourselves and to our spouses over the years? On top of job stress and the fact that there is always something to fix around the house (in other words, $$$) and taking care of our cats which yes, is not nearly as hard as real human beings but does still require time, love and devotion, we have to deal with scans and doctor’s appointments. We still have to cope with the trauma that ensued two years ago when I was diagnosed and told that getting pregnant was out of the question and having a family is not something most people with this disease choose to do but yet even worse (much worse), nobody could be sure how long I would have to live. When you’ve been married for three years, that is crushing. Beyond crushing.
But we keep going. More than going, we thrive. We love. We laugh (boy, do we laugh. High up on my gratitude list is how much we laugh together). We have FUN. Because whoever said that life had to be so serious all of the time?? We still fight because dishes are left in the sink but at the end of the day, I am keenly, almost impossibly, aware that not everybody would have stuck by my side. But even more profound than that: I have never actually once felt that SHL is “sticking by my side” and that he would rather be anywhere else. So despite the messy socks on the floor and the fact that I need a lot of attention and the long “honey-do” list still floating around somewhere, despite anything and everything that has ever happened to us in our 7 + year relationship, I thank g-d, the universe, planet earth, Aphrodite or Cupid or whoever for bringing us together.
This weekend, we’ll go back to where we said “I do” for the first time since our wedding. I can’t wait to relive the memory of being so careful not to spill wine on SHL during the ceremony that he could barely get in a little sip (we have that on videotape and it’s awesome), and my Dad blubbering on about something as a way to distract himself because he didn’t want to cry as he walked me down the aisle. I can’t wait to look out onto Pleasant Bay on Cape Cod and imagine not just the chuppah and flowers and candles, but every single person who was there with us on that day to witness us becoming husband and wife. I want to dance to Harvest Moon and drink soup from little shooters and remember the first time that he saw me in my wedding dress.
I waited what felt like a long time to find SHL, but it was surely worth the wait. xo.