"To My Husband, After One Year"

Who would have ever dreamed a first year
of marriage could have been so difficult?
Most couples are left deciding who gets
what side of the bed --
We were left wondering if I could ever
earn an income again.
A lot of newlyweds stress about little things,
such as tubes of toothpaste --
We had to sell our possessions just to buy
the toothpaste.
Instead of planning romantic weekend
get-aways, we were in and out of
Emergency Rooms.
Rather than moving across town for more
"space", we moved across the country so
that I'd be in less pain.
Because of this illness we can't go out
and purchase the latest clothes and toys --
you have to literally scrape pennies
together each month to buy my medications
and keep us fed.

It just doesn't seem fair sometimes, what
fate has dealt to you, and to us.

But, despite all of this and more,
you've still managed to love me.
You've still managed to see through
the bad and somehow find the good.
You've held my hand when I needed a
friend, and held my head when I
couldn't lift it myself.
You've remembered that deep below
the surface of this illness, the
woman you fell in love with so many
years ago is still in there -- and is
still vibrant and alive. She's the one
you talk to everyday. You don't talk
down to me like I'm a weak child.
You've faced this disease with more
dignity and strength than anyone could
possibly hope for or expect -- more than
sometimes I can even comprehend.

I never dreamed marriage could be like
this. Never imagined just exactly why
those vows were written the way that
they are... But as we close this first
year of marriage and move on to many
more ahead -- I suddenly understand
just how important (and significant)
those wedding day promises really are.
And, it makes me love you for keeping
your vows all the more.
I'm blessed more than I can put into words
-- chronic illness or not --
because I have you.

Happy Anniversary Todd --

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