Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Things I Didn't Know

Four years ago I wrote a blog about how amazingly supportive my husband is of my running/traveling addiction. I've had friends remark that it must be nice to have my own paparazzo at the finish line (it is). When I wrote that blog we'd been married about four years, and up to that point things had been pretty easy for us.

When I wrote that blog there was a lot I didn't know about my husband. I didn't know that 2013 was going to be a shit year and test everything we thought we knew about one another. I didn't know that he'd shortly face the greatest pain of his life in losing his dad, and I still am unable to take that pain away. I didn't know that he'd patiently sit next to me as I sobbed when the vet was euthanizing my 15-year-old cat in the middle of the night. I didn't know that he'd be my rock when we had a birth mother change her mind after the baby was born. I didn't know that 2013 would contain all of that heartbreak and be a devastating year. There were times when we looked at each other, and I wondered if we'd get through it all. We're strong but how much can one couple take?

I didn't know that in the summer of 2014 I'd be hospitalized for a month, and he'd drop everything to be there for me. He never wavered in taking care of me and our life so I could focus on getting well. 

I didn't know (but suspected) that he would be the most amazing dad in the entire world. From the moment the nurse walked into the hospital room surprising us with the tiny bundle in her arms he has been a rockstar. I have had friends complain about their husbands not doing their share and leaving bottles in the sink and not getting up at night. I don't have those complaints. I am lucky. We are a true team, and we pick up the slack when the other one is busy. I hear him playing with Will in the other room and the happy giggles coming from our child, and sometimes I can't even breathe from the tears that surprise me. I think back to the dark year of 2013 and realize if it hadn't been for that dark year, I wouldn't be able to appreciate the light and joy in our lives now.

I didn't know that my husband would hold me when I collapsed onto the floor in tears while picking out clothes to wear to my father's funeral. He knew better than anyone the pain I was feeling, and he never wavered for an instant. 

I didn't know that 2015 would be my toughest Crohn's year in fifteen years including a week-long hospitalization and another surgery. He took care of our son and our pets and our house while working. When I feel unattractive and frustrated and sick he reminds me that I'm beautiful and patient and strong. 

He's still at the finish line of nearly all of my races, but it's a footnote to everything else in our life. I am so, so grateful to cross the finish line and see him there now with our son in tow. I always feel strong at the finish line, and I want my husband and son to see that side of me. I have finished way fewer races this year than in the past few, but I couldn't do any of it without my husband's support.

My all-time fav photo after a race - New York Marathon 2015
With my boys after shattering my PR in the Deckers Creek Half Marathon, June 2015
He doesn't make me happy 100 percent of the time, but every day he makes me happy. Some days are rougher than others, but every single day is worth it. While this year wasn't like 2013 in its brutality, 2016 has had some unexpected challenges. My husband has never, even for a second, doubted me or hesitated to have my back. As I count my blessings entering into Thanksgiving week, you can bet he's at the top of the list. 

There's nobody I'd rather have by my side.

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