Monday, October 13, 2014

A Tribute to My Husband

This is dedicated to all the caregivers.

No one expects bad things to happen. That is why on our wedding day, the happiest of days, we are reminded of the sad ones to come. There will be worse times. There may be poorer times. There will be sickness. Stick together, and you'll make it.

I am fortunate to have married a man I love, and one who takes our marriage vows seriously. We are in one of those sickness times now - I am facing a double mastectomy to treat cancer. Dan has risen to fulfill his vow.

We met almost 25 years ago in a Connecticut newspaper newsroom. I was a 30-year-old reporter and editor in the middle of a fairly successful writing career. He was a newly-minted college graduate, 21 years old and in an entry-level reporting position. On paper, maybe he wasn't the best choice. But I saw a person who was open and honest and loving. He treated women well, especially me. Oh, and did I mention he's drop-dead handsome? 

Our wedding day
We married in June 1992. Since then, we've experienced the better and the worse of our vows. He's supported me after the death of my beloved stepfather. He coached me through a days-long labor that culminated with the birth of our son. He encourages me in my writing career (he's a big fan of this blog) and supported me when I tried out a new career as a reading support tutor in our local schools. 

He makes me laugh on a daily basis. He is the smartest person I know. He is the one editor I really trust. If my writing needs improvement, he shows me how to fix it. If he says it's good, it really is good. Did I mention the handsome part?

He now finds himself in the role of caregiver. While he is going through this experience with me, his is unique.He has been the voice of calm when I have been afraid. He has made the phone calls to help me get the care I need. He has been the extra eyes and ears during sometimes overwhelming tests and doctor appointments. 

He is the very definition of a cock-eyed optimist, a mix of Annie and Pollyanna. But when we got word of a second cancerous area, it hit him hard. He is now helping me face surgery that will change me. He will be the one caring for me in the difficult post-operative days. He has been relentlessly on-message: "After this you will be healthy."

It is the storms that make us appreciate the days of smooth sailing. We know the storm clouds have been gathering in the distance. The sky is darkening. Soon the rain will be lashing the windows and the waves will be crashing.

Please hold Dan up in your thoughts and prayers next Monday during my surgery. For me, the time will pass in the blink of an eye. He will be the one watching the clock tick.