Good Thing We Promised Through Better Or Worse
I’m going to be brutally honest this morning: I’ve had a pretty terrible month.
My grandma died suddenly from bilateral pneumonia, the flu, and sepsis on February 2nd. I haven’t even shared about losing Gram on the blog, because I’ve honestly just been processing it and going through the grieving process … and dealing with the guilt of all the “should have’s” that I’m experiencing. I should have called more, I should have visited more, I should have brought the kids over to go swimming like she offered – all those kinds of feelings. Gram was the first person in my immediate family that I’ve ever lost, and it’s been quite the process accepting what happened.
We haven’t been able to sell our house. We experienced this before with our first house, but it’s so incredibly frustrating to have friends sell their house in a matter of hours and ours has been on the market for almost a month, and nothing. Camping in 150 square feet with everyone in our family is fun and we’re having a good time, but, let’s be honest – a house would definitely be more convenient for everyone!
We lost Charlie. While we were shooting a wedding last weekend in California, Charlie was simply walking, and herniated a disk in his spine. While we were debating trying to figure out how to find $7,000 for surgery to repair his herniated disk, within 72 hours he went from the happiest dog to being completely paralyzed from mid-back down, unable to control his bowels, and so depressed he wouldn’t even give us kisses anymore, and he stopped eating and drinking. He passed peacefully in our arms on February 28th.
Last night during an engagement session downtown, I was walking on a completely flat surface, stepped down like normal on my left side and felt a POP like a rubber band snap right in the deep part of my calf muscle. I tried to keep cool and carry on, but after a couple of minutes I ended up having to sit down because I could hardly talk from the pain, ended up leaving the session early so I could drive myself to urgent care (so thankful it was my left and not my right and that we have an automatic car!). The doctor last night had to cut my pants off because I was wearing skinny jeans and no way could I get them back on if I took them off, and taking off my boot was pretty much one of the most excruciating things I’ve ever experienced (think child birth in the calf muscle) … the doctor thinks I ruptured my calf muscle. This morning I’m unable to walk, I’m on crutches, I cannot bear any weight on my left leg and I cannot move my ankle up and down without hurting all the way up to my hips (I can wiggle it side to side though). I get to have an MRI at some point in the next few days, to assess how much damage I did and to see if I need surgery. I don’t think that I’ll need surgery – but it’s something that’s possible, I guess.
And today, our best friends are leaving Colorado and moving to Oklahoma.
There’s more that’s gone on, but I think you get the gist – it’s just been a terrible few weeks for me.
… and this is a Sir-Mix-a-Lot sized kind of but!
You see, fourteen years ago – Randy and I stood at the Indio Courthouse together in Southern California. We hardly had two dimes to rub together, I was too nervous about my post-baby body to wear a white dress, we had a lot of naysayers who said we were too young to get married (we were barely 19), and we had only my parents and his mom as our witnesses.
Under a cheap arch with plastic flowers and the grumpiest officiant I’ve ever met, we vowed to work together, to support each other through sickness and health, and through wealth and being poor … we vowed to just love each other.
Even though this has been a time I’d definitely label as “worse” – we’ve got each other. I’ve leaned hard on Randy in the last month, and each time – he just leaned right back on me. He held my hand as I said goodbye to Gram, he’s gone out of his way to do little things to let me know I’m always on his mind (like last night, when he brought home Doctor Strange on DVD for us to watch today), he held Charlie with me and together we cried as he closed his eyes one last time.
It’s easy to love someone when things are good – it’s when the shit hits the fan that your marriage strengthens or weakens. It’s when you’re feeling so alone in the world, and someone holds your hand in the darkness and squeezes. It’s when you think you can’t handle one more terrible thing happening, and when something else does happen – and someone is there to help raise your spirits, to remind you that this too shall pass.
So today, if I can – I’d love to offer you some marriage advice. When you’re standing at the altar, take those vows to heart. You’re not just reciting random words, and I hope to the gods that you’re not making empty promises. They mean something – there’s value in following through with those vows. Being married isn’t about love; sure, that plays a big part! But marriage is friendship, it’s trust and honor and support.
What a gift I’ve been given, finding Randy so early in life and having the opportunity to experience everything life has to offer together. To have someone to squeeze my hand in the darkness, to raise me up when I’m down, to lean on and have lean right back on to me.
Happy fourteenth wedding anniversary, Boo Diddle: you’re everything I never knew I always wanted.