Friday, February 14, 2014

Love in the Time of Cancer

Today is our 15th Wedding Anniversary. A week ago I was feeling very low. Phil bought us Lion King tickets for our anniversary months ago and I was at a loss for energy- creative or physical to come up with an extraordinary gift for the man who is the most wonderful person I have ever met.  I lamented to one of my favorite mutants through tears and kleenex. Her wise and experienced response-

This is love and cancer Jen. Sometimes him knowing you love him and adore him, is enough. You can't give more than you have. 

But 15 years ago, we stood in my mother's living room and I professed to give him everything, to share everything, to be everything together.  Sickness, health, richer, poorer. So I racked my brain and my heart- which I had promised him completely many years before that and every day since then.

There were years where uncertainty clouded our dreams and our time. This may be one of those years. There were times that challenged our hearts and our resources. Yet through those times we never took for granted each other. Through the rough patches we always have and still choose to create our happiness.

There were times when we were very young and in love that the world seemed opposed to us. That no one understood. Yet somehow on a cold snowy night, we sat in a dark kitchen with a box of ritz and some cheez whiz and through tears mended our hearts and placed another brick in our foundation. Years later when there was not enough money or energy, when times got rough- really rough- out would come the box of Ritz and Cheese Whiz. And we would sit on the floor and lay another brick or two- because although the storm may shatter one part of the house we still had that foundation and we would think back to the other times we had those moments and know that there were so many good times between and there would be again.

Every year we profess no gifts. And every year there are gifts. Whether it's a card or a memory- there would have to be a gift. I thought of the good times and my role as the historian of the family and knew my gift was that. Compiling all of those happy times. I knew what I could give with the energy I had.  SO I sat and I gathered and I collected our memories. I cried tears in longing for the easier times and laughed at how happy we've been. I cherish the memories and the life we've built together. As I fussed with the new computer and forged my way into a new era- I completed the project just as he returned home.

And just as he professed no gifts- he walked in with a bag and what was inside that bag may have been the best gift I could have ever asked for or wanted. The books may say the 15th Anniversary is Crystal - but I know different because there is something more precious than that.

So we sat and we placed another brick on the foundation and found comfort in just being together as we remembered all the times that led us here.  After all sometimes all you need is love in the time of cancer. 
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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)