The timing was perfect.
We’d been ships passing in the night for what felt like too long, and the week leading up to our anniversary saw us sitting deep in an impasse, barely speaking. Relational rifts hit my heart and spirit deeply, and when they happen with my husband, I feel almost desperate for resolution and unity. Sometimes, though, I can feel my pride keeping my heart hard and my face turned away. It had been one of those weeks.
Our anniversary is a cherished and celebrated day in our home, and we’d been looking forward to it for weeks. I had lined up the logistics for the kids and left the planning to my guy.
And he blew me away.
Saturday morning rolled around and I got the house ready and we happily greeted my mom for her first overnighter with the kids. They were so excited for grandma to come spend the night. We said our goodbyes, got in the van and as my hubby drove away, I could feel the exhale as a smile spread through my body.
Because now, we were together. I didn’t really care where our van drove, only that I was sitting here beside my guy – one of the sweetest places in the world.
What I love about marriage and what keeps coming clear for me is the gift that it is – that HE is; our marriage continues to feel like a box that contains ever deeper gifts and treasures. The sharing and the knowing and the understanding and the joy – these things continue to deepen between us, even as they already seem to be so deeply rooted. I know that there is more to unfold; that the journey of sharing life means that we continue to learn each other in new and deeper ways and that adventures await and there is more to uncover.
As we drove, he looked over and we began to share space. There are few things sweeter and more refreshing to my heart than the turning toward each other; when my guy really looks at me, reaches out to me, seeks connection and pursues my heart.
So much healing in facing each other, together.
We dove in to a weekend filled to the brim with so much happiness and adventure! He had booked us at a local bed & breakfast that proved truly exquisite in every detail. Before checking in, though, we stopped for a fantastic sushi lunch.
Then we checked in to historic and amazing McCall House, and my romantic guy had arranged for roses, champagne and chocolate to greet us in our room. We had a sweet, relaxing late afternoon and my hubby spoke words of life that met me in my vulnerability. Oh, the power and beauty in our words! And the words spoken by those who know us in all of our honest, real daily-ness: those have power to lift and refresh.
Later, we headed to the local Camelot theater for, incredibly, a comedy production dealing with cancer. What?! In the lobby, they’d set up a place for guests to write on a sunflower in tribute to a cancer survivor, and my dear hubby wrote one for me.
It was so fun to dress up a little, splurge on a fun new pair of shoes, and feel extra lovely for my guy … and he was adorably appreciative! What a change in from my usual yoga pants attire, and the change felt *good.
About halfway through the show, I was rubbing my sore neck and felt the world start spinning as my fingers rubbed over a clearly swollen lymph node. The feeling of panic was immediate and palpable. When intermission came, I told my hubby and had him feel. Yes, he could feel the swollen node but he was certain that it was fine – that I was fine. He encouraged me not to worry.
When the show ended, we were greeted by the freezing chill of the outdoors and rushed to the van. I found myself looking to Dr. Google and grew more and more freaked out. Swollen nodes after breast cancer – especially breast cancer that was discovered because of swollen nodes – felt terrifying.
As I write these words today, over a week later, and knowing how it all worked out … I am saddened again that I allowed fear to steal my joy. I cringe to think of the hours lost that night and into the wee hours of morning, as I grappled with fear and worry.
The truth is that I am FINE. A text to my doctor the next day, and a visit to her office the following day, confirmed that yes, the node was swollen but it was due to a bug that my family was fighting and she could see clear evidence of that as she looked in my throat. I am so thankful for the reassurances and reminder of what I know to be true, even as fear and worry tempted me to believe otherwise.
We woke Sunday morning to the most delicious breakfast at the B & B. As we walked in to the dining room, the only seats left were at a table with another couple. We happily joined them, introduced ourselves and ended up sharing a truly fantastic, energizing conversation. I love hearing other people’s stories; this couple had just celebrated 50 years of marriage and the wife has worked on Capital Hill in DC as an economist. Fascinating!
We wrapped up our time by savoring our last few moments before returning home to our little loves, who’d had a great time with their grandma – no glitches or concerns. Wahoo!
My heart feels full of gratitude for the precious gift of this life and the opportunity to live it alongside the man I adore and so deeply respect. Even as I feel disappointed to remember and recount the way that worry and fear creeped in to our getaway, I also realize that there are dips and bends in this healing journey. My desire to quickly bound forward in to a life absent of all things cancer related, isn’t necessarily realistic: I am very much human and a part of this human story is the continual opportunity to choose faith over fear, and to choose truth over lies.