My dearest husband,
The day we met was almost like the beginning of a fairy tale, and we know how I feel about those Grimm Brothers. They’re absolutely horrid. Still, you have been my happily ever after since that fateful plane ride that brought us to where we are today. Such beautiful and brightly colored dreams we have woven through our years as man and wife; dreaming for our children, dreaming for ourselves. A romantic, sometimes hard-won, Technicolor life that leaves no part of us wanting for more. The hikes, vacations, adventures, and, of course, the beautiful babies. It’s all so amazing and exciting. YOU are amazing and exciting; you still give me butterflies.
Sweet daughter of mine,
Your boundless energy and generosity of spirit never cease to amaze me. I see you pushing yourself to always be and do better, and I celebrate your triumphs with you every single time you achieve a goal. Learning from your teachers that you’re sunshine at school, that you still stick up for the little guy, or how you manage to brighten any day with your quick wit makes me want to explode with mommy joy. Even as a child making your way into adulthood you’re managing to handle all the craziness and confusion with minimal fuss; you still put others first. Watching you bloom into the first blush of the woman you’re going to be makes me so damn proud. I would never miss a moment.
Darling little man of mine,
I never fully understood when people told me that the love of a son is just different. I sure understand now. You’re a constant ball of fire; energy I can’t even begin to comprehend or match. Somehow, though, you always bring your lovely brown eyes to focus on me, no matter what I may be doing, and tell me how much you love me. Your intelligence and ever-growing little self are always making me laugh; you’re so dang smart and thoughtful. I see you running, jumping, laughing… I never want to miss one musical note of it.
And then there’s YOU…The woman who can’t have any more babies because this damn disease might prove fatal. The destroyer of dreams; no hikes, only soft adventures, no running or leaping with children because it hurts. The woman who is constantly apologizing for not remembering, not feeling well, not being able to go and be and do. You cry when no one is looking because of the horrid guilt you feel for depriving them. Your self-loathing has begun to squeeze out around the edges and the nastiness of it is tainting the beauty around you. It’s not the amazing rainbow life you dreamed about, that’s for sure, but it IS your life. These three people don’t keep score; they just love you. Giving up so much of your identity to a faceless and unstoppable monster is worth a measure of grief, but that woman is gone. This is the you that is present and it’s time to BE present. She is you…
You are me…
I am sorry.
I’m so damn sorry I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain; it tears my heart out just thinking of what I’ve cost you in this world. What have you missed because the lottery of love and fate matched us in this world? Your patience with me has been boundless and your love immeasurable. You don’t seem to notice, nor give a tinker’s dam, that the plan has changed. You just keep loving me the way I am. I’m sorry for my absence while I was learning my new normal. I promise not to leave like that again. You’re my whole world; my reason for being. There’s no excuse for dropping the ball. I love you.
Mommy, Wife, and Me
~If you or someone you love is suffering from a chronic disease, please don’t fall into self loathing and depression. There’s life after diagnosis; smiles and love after you clear the fear. Life does and will go on. You just have to decide if your life needs you as much as you need it. I know it’s difficult, but there’s sunshine after the rain.~