Archives

Date Night and a Revelation

My Love

Image by Jennuine Captures via Flickr

Marriage is such a beautiful gift and too often we are swept up in the daily struggles of life to fully cherish what we have.  I feel so blessed to have a partner in this world who sees me as his equal, supports me in every way he can, worries about me, treasures my insights and ideas, and loves me for who I am.  Not enough people in this world can actually say that statement in truth, and that saddens me.  To be honest, I don’t know where I’d be without my husband. He’s my best friend, my rock, and my life-long love.  My love for him comes only second to my love for God, and to have that sentiment reciprocated is the best feeling in the world.

Unfortunately, this school year has been extremely stressful and a true test to our marriage because of how little time we actually get to spend together.   Since every day has been feeling very repetitive and mundane, I decided that we desperately needed a date night.  Well, tonight was one of the best nights we’ve had in a long time.  For the first time since the school year started, David and I took the night to enjoy each other’s company and have a romantic dinner and movie.  We laughed, stuffed ourselves with fantastic food, kissed, held hands, and fully appreciated our time together.  We even took a drive by our old college, taking in how it has (and hasn’t) changed since we left.

Just the time spent sitting in the car, blaring the music, and smiling at each other, while I sing terribly off-key and he sings right on pitch, was fabulous.  Yet, we made the night even better by going out to one of our favorite restaurants, seeing a cheesy romantic comedy, and holding hands every chance we got.  I honestly felt like we were just starting to date again, and it was a wonderful sensation!

After the movie, we decided to drive by our old college.  Wow, is it funny how a few years can change things.  The buildings are the same, and the parking lots have only slightly expanded, but the atmosphere just seems so different now.  When we were there, it was like the entire world was open to us and every possibility lay before us.  Now, I see the fresh faces of eager, young, and energetic college students, and I realize they don’t know just how good they have it.

I remember being there and struggling to pull myself out of bed some mornings (especially when my CF was acting up).  I would attend about 5 hours maximum of classes and then had the rest of the day free to do homework, sleep, or hang out with friends.  Seriously? What is more perfect than the above description?  I didn’t “pay” rent (although my student loans beg to differ), I had meals made for me, I was surrounded by people my own age who actually cared about me, I developed life-long friendships, and I found the love of my life.  College was such a great time in my life, and I am so grateful to have gone where I did (even if my degree is of no use now).

After leaving our detour, David made an interesting but quite accurate statement that I hadn’t thought of before.  We had been talking about our college memories, our up-all-hours-of-the-night and desperately-need-coffee days, and about our crazy and random road trips, when he suddenly looked over and said, “It’s funny how fast we became a family.”

Wow. That line really hit me hard.  I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, but he was exactly right.  I don’t know why I’ve always envisioned a “family” being us and a child, but that’s really not the case.  We’re  a family already.  We look after each other, fulfill each other’s needs and desires, listen to each other, love each other, and treat our dog as if she’s our daughter.  We have an established routine and we struggle if we have to vary from it. We love sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Also, we can go for hours without talking and know just how the other person is feeling.  It’s quite evident that we’ve already started building this beautiful family unit that one day will hopefully include a child or children.  I’m not really sure when it started (was it right after our marriage or was it starting even before that?), but we have certainly evolved, for the better, from our college days.

Marriage is such a beautiful gift.  Looking back on our journey from where our relationship started to where it is now is breathtaking.  I’m so proud of us, and I’m excited about what our future holds.  I’ll tell you one thing for sure, if date night brings revelations like this all the time, it’s going to have to become a pretty regular thing around this house.

To Marry a CFer. . .

To marry a CFer. . . you have to be a really specialperson.  
I would be interested to see astudy done on the divorce rates of CFer’s and their spouses.  I may be wrong, but I have a feeling theywould be lower than the national average. Why? Because to marry a CFer, you have to really really be in love with that person. Because by the time you reach marriage, you have probably gone throughsome really rough times.  Because you go into marriage both realizinghow precious life and love actually is and you are determined to make the mostout of your time together.  Because whodid or didn’t forget to take the trash out last night is hardly as important asthe other million things going on in life for a CFer and his/her spouse.  The list could go on and on, but I think youcatch my drift.
My husband is amazing. Plain and simple – amazing. Again, to marry a CFer, you pretty much have to be amazing.  I’m not saying that we are a horrible choice(on the contrary, we usually appreciate life in ways many others can’t fathom),but we certainly come with a lot of “baggage.” 
By the time my husband and I were married, we had beenthrough one hospitalization and two surgeries. He was by my side with my (2nd) PICC line, and he was therewhen my diabetes diagnosis came through. This all happened prior to exchanging vows.  In addition, he was used to me coughing upgreen phlegm at all hours of the day, having to routinely ditch out onactivities because I was sick, and he lived with my flatulence and bowelmovements, which as other CFers can attest, is NOT an easy task.  We talked about my life expectancy in depth,we talked about the financial strain CF will put on us in depth, and we talkedabout the expected hospitalizations that occur when you have CF.  Not only did he still propose and walk downthe aisle, but he jumped in with both feet. 
After our marriage, he dealt with my first instance ofhemoptysis, which was absolutely terrifying, but he handled it all instride.  He also has been the rockbeneath my feet when it comes to my treatments. He is the reason I am compliant with them and despite his busy schedule,he makes sure I’m doing everything right to take care of myself.  Even when I’m exhausted, he’ll push me to doa treatment because he knows it’s best for me, and he takes my yelling andpouting in stride.  I must say, some daysI am NOT the best wife, but he treats me like I am an angel. 
This year, we made the decision to have me stay at home tohelp keep my risk of infection down. I will continue to sub when asked but I won’thold a full-time job.  So, all thepressure to provide for us comes on him and when you are a one-income familyliving off of a teacher’s salary, it makes it a little difficult.  Again, he handles it beautifully.  It just blows me away how wonderful of aperson God gave me to spend the rest of my life with – I am truly blessed.
So then, back to my divorce comment:  I believe that by the time many CFer’sspouses actually walk down the aisle, they have dealt with some of the hardestthings a marriage can have thrown at it. Typically, they have dealt with illness, surgeries, weeks to months ofIV antibiotics, and financial strain or at least a realization of the financialburden, and yet they still vow to be by the person’s side through sickness andhealth.  That’s a big statement for aCFer spouse, but they already know what they’re getting into before thevows. 
So, while some marriages break apart when finances arerough, or an illness causes one spouse to be less capable than before, or becauseof petty bickering, I think often a CF marriage pulls through with flying colors.  When you marry a CFer, you learn to valuelife a little bit more than the average person and petty things don’t tend tomatter quite as much. 
I think all the spouses of cysters and fibros should begiven a pat on the back and a giant thank you. It’s not an easy life but it’s a wonderful one and I’m just grateful Ihave someone walking by my side, holding my hand for the entire ride.