Today is November 13, 2014. A very special day. Today is the day I walked down the aisle. Today is my 3 year Anniversary. The same feelings that engulfed my mind, my heart, and my spirit 3 years ago are the exact same feelings I feel today…..3 years later. I was full of love and excitement. My life was beginning and I was ready. Today was the day that I got to not only share with the love of my life, but with family and close friends and yes….God! Marriage is a major step and you have to be mentally ready. You can read as many books and get as much advice from seasoned married people, but you don’t fully get it until you are living it. It all makes sense once you live it day in and day out. This is the person you wake up to every morning and the last person you literally see before you close your eyes at night. Before the “I Do” during the ceremony there is a part where you take your vows. Some of us chose to go with the traditional vows and some of us chose to say our own, but you do take vows. I can remember really thinking about what I wanted to say, but most importantly what it all meant. Vows are what you are committing to. You are held accountable to these vows. You are saying this before God, your family, your close friends, and your spouse. Never would I have imagined 3 years later that the “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” would be knocking at our door.
Over the past 3 1/2 months I have felt like I have been on a roller coaster that did not have any brakes. I have felt every loop, twist, and turn. There have been days that I didn’t even know if I was going or coming. There have been days where I didn’t even know what to think or even do. Everything was spiraling and it was spiraling fast. For the first time in my life, my Faith was wavering. I did not know what to believe. 3 1/2 months ago I found myself rushing my Husband to the emergency room where we would spend 10 solid days while he was clinging for his life. We didn’t know what our future held. All we knew we were headed to St. Louis one minute on a new journey, only to have that short lived when we came home to Atlanta for a quick visit. In an instant, we were sitting in a hospital room full of uncertainties. After 10 days things started looking hopeful. My husband wasn’t 100%, but he surely was not how he was 10 days prior to. Even the Doctor’s were in complete awe with the turn around. All I could think of…But, God!!
After he was released 2 weeks later we were headed back to St. Louis. I had never been more scared in my life. I was not looking forward to taking this trip back there because in my heart, I knew he was not ready. I knew he was not healed. Everything was still so uncertain and I was so unsure of what was to come. Well, as sure as I thought it, we were only there for 3 days before his company decided to bring us back to Atlanta while we wait on a 2nd official start date of his job. By now, I was tired, I was exhausted, and I was developing so many emotions that I didn’t know if I could even endure any of it. At this point, I had became a nurse and the prominent driver. All those road trips back and forth to St. Louis from Atlanta was on me because my husband was too sick to drive. I learned how to administer antibiotics through a PICC Line and check blood sugar all while driving. In a months time, I didn’t even know what sleep was. The first 3 days of his initial hospital stay, sleep was not even an option. It was too much going on and too much information to absorb and I was scared. Here we were driving around with our SUV packed because we had moved. We decided to stay with my mom while we wait. Imagine trying to live in a one bedroom apartment. I felt so horrible that my mom was on a couch because she insisted we take her bedroom. Talk about sleepless nights. I don’t even think my husband slept much because he felt horrible. Not only from his sickness, but because of the living situation.
By this time, August rolls around and we decided that we would split our time between his parents home in Ninety Six, South Carolina and Atlanta. Plus we wanted to give my mom some space. So, we headed up the road to South Carolina to visit. We stayed a few days and we were headed back to Atlanta for doctor visits that turned into a nightmare and we found ourselves right back in Ninety Six at the emergency room due to not being able to get the proper care in Atlanta. We would spend 4 days this time in the hospital. By now I was beyond exhausted. I literally couldn’t think straight. I feel like I slept the entire 4 days while my husband was in the hospital and I couldn’t tell you anything that happened. My body and mind had shut down. The only thing I know we were getting answers to this sickness and things seemed like they were going in the right direction.
Now it’s September. We were still in Ninety Six while he recovered and things were going ok. I was still tired because my husband was on a schedule with medicines and I had to make sure everything was being taken care of with the meds.
11 days into September the newest addition to my family was born so I came home to Atlanta to help my sister out for 2 weeks. I was there in body, but mentally I was back in Ninety Six with my husband. My mind was clouded with worry. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was hard for me to not think about the fact that he was sick, we both were not working because I had quit my job when we found out that he had gotten the job in St. Louis and he hadn’t worked going on 2 months. Reality was sinking in….fast! My Faith was shot. I found myself being angry with God. I had never felt that before. I was ashamed of those feelings, but it didn’t stop me from being angry. I was giving up. I had made up my mind that all the praying was pointless and that we had failed. I felt like a failure. Which made me resent my husband. I was bitter. I was lashing out at him. I was being reclusive. To add fury to the fire, right before I came back to Ninety Six we finally got word from the doctor the solution to his illness. And boy was we not prepared to hear that it would require him to have open heart surgery to repair or replace one of his heart valves.
It’s October now and we are meeting with his doctor to discuss options if his valve can’t be repaired. That was a Wednesday. We had an option for surgery to be that Friday or that Monday. I don’t know who was in more shock. My husband or myself. My husband decided to go with Monday to buy him just a little time to try and mentally prepare for it. Monday rolls around like the blink of an eye and it’s 5:30am and we are headed to the hospital. My mind was all over the place. The night before I was reading the Bible and I stumbled upon Job 23:10. From that scripture I could only hear God saying, “You shall come through”. The entire time my husband was being operated on I felt this heaviness in my heart. My heart was hurting. Every time the nurse would open the waiting room door with an update, I was scared. I could not mentally think what I would do if my husband did not pull through. As the day went on my mind relaxed and I remembered the scripture I read the night before. The surgery was successful. And the recovery road would begin…..
Despite the angriness and bitterness, I would still find solace in turning to God. When it is all said and done, God will never leave us nor forsake us. The crazy thing is as bitter and angry as I was with my husband, I never turned my back on him. I knew he needed me and in the back of my mind those vows we took still meant something. I have been right by his side through all of this and I love him today even more that I did 3 years ago when we said “I Do”. I worked through all of that anger and bitterness. I am free from all of that.
And here it is November. Our anniversary! Today I was ready to share our testimony. It’s been a month since my husband had open heart surgery. He is doing excellent! He is recovering well. We have an awesome support system from his family as well as my own. We could not have gotten through any this without them. Our closest friends have been a good support as well. And Our biggest cheerleader God has showed us that together we can get through anything. Without this test, we wouldn’t have the testimony to share with the world. God is good! We never know why God places people in our lives but when it is revealed…..My God! We never know what the next person is enduring or going through. We think our problems are bigger than the next. We just have to remember to be thankful. 3 1/2 months ago I could have been burying my husband when he first got sick. A month ago I could have been burying him when he had to have open heart surgery. My God had other plans. So, I am thankful and we are Blessed!
To my Husband:
Happy 3 year Anniversary. It has been an interesting 3 years, but I can’t think of anyone else that I would have wanted to spend the last 3 years with. Thank you for believing in me, accepting me flaws and all, and loving me unconditionally. I thank God for saving us for each other and I am looking forward to the rest of our lives together.