There are quite a few things going through my mind right now to write about but I have been dually inspired to write about marriage. When I was growing up I was not a little girl who dreamed about her wedding day or having a family. I wanted adventure and Independence. I come from a very large family and I was not interested in contributing to the nieces & nephews branch. I like kids a lot but I like them a lot more when they are someone else's responsibility. I want to play with them and be able to leave them. This is a good thing because I have a medical condition that makes it impossible for me to safely be pregnant. What sucks is that I found this out the first year of my husband's canser diagnosis. So it was like ok, you are recovering from your illness nicely, your husband has stage IV canser and oh yeah if you get pregnant it will most likely kill you. Wow! ok geez. That was a banner 2 years of medical lemons. One thing that was so important and so stable was our marriage. When serious life threatening illness enters the picture it can cast pretty dark shadows on everything and make you review your life and your relationships with a fine tooth comb. It is a relationship strengthener or breaker. You realize every little thing you love and cherish about each other instead of every little annoying thing that makes you crazy about each other. I remember strolling down memory lane in my mind those first few months and remembering with such happiness all of the fun little things about my husband, our long dating life and our experiences together. I would go to the store before going to work and sit in my car waiting for them to open and think what life for me would be like if canser won and I was alone. It makes me cry now as it did then. We have been together for about 18 years which seems crazy long. We dated forever before getting married which was ok with me. In fact I recommend it. He broke my heart a few times during that time by breaking up with me but we were young and I always knew it would not last. I always knew we were meant to be together. We moved to LA in the mid to late 90's and lived together for the first time. Our time there was amazing and living together let us experience each other in a whole different way. Our first big fights happened during this time. We experienced financial mess ups and living on a strict budget together. We loved it a lot in our west LA apartment 5 minutes from Venice Beach. It was hard sometimes but living in southern California was a beautiful blast! When it came to an end that was out of the blue and not in our plan due to a serious illness in my family I was amazed that he moved back to the Midwest with me and knew that there was no reason to question our relationship again. But that did not last in my mind. About a year after we were married I was in our bathroom getting ready to take a shower and I looked at my feet and noticed that my toes were not painted. I just started crying because my toes were always painted red for as long as I could remember..always. Who was I now that I was married? I co-owned a home and had no desire to be domestic at all but I spent all my free time cleaning everything meticulously and arranging crap to look one way or another. I was not being creative at all and that was not me. I was all business all of the time. I had gotten lost in the stereotype of what a wife is supposed to be and do and how the marriage is supposed to be and look. It was crazy. It made me crazy. I was not happy in this role and did not know how to get out of it. Topping it off were questions about when we were going to have kids. When I would say not every woman or married couple needs or wants kids I got "the look" or a mean comment or silence. It was a lonely place to be. Really it was not until my life threatening illness that I settled down and relaxed and appreciated my husband like never before. I was in the hospital for 1 month and out of work for 6 months. My rehab therapy took 1 year. Paul was by my side the entire time tirelessly making my meals, monitoring the 40 meds I was taking,teaching me to drive again ,helping me wash my hair. I felt helpless and totally like he should leave me now. He was 38 years old and taking care of his wife like an old couple or like I was a kid. Paul is a musician and loves to play music with other musicians and here he was having to work to pay the bills himself,we always split everything in the past, watch over me. He did it all with love. I never in all of our time together felt love from him as I did then. It still leaves me speechless. Then the tables turned. Now it is my turn to take on all of the responsibilities, care for him,get his meals,etc. and love him through the pain and frustration of canser. It is tough & overwhelming but there is no place I would rather be than with my husband except with him on a canser free path...we are working on that one. We love and adore each other even on the rough days like today has been.
It is so easy to loose one's self in regular life situations and so important not to allow that to happen. Because if life tosses you some serious lemons you need each other in ways you never imagined. It is important to be your unique individual self always. You posses qualities you never knew you had and your uniqueness is what attracted your spouse to begin with usually so don't loose sight of that as you grow up. You'll need you throughout your life.