Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Valentine

Shaun and I were 19 & 23 when we stood at the altar and said our vows. Though I felt the weight of their importance and knew the words I was saying would be for life, I could not have, in my wildest imagination, dreamed up all the life we would carry those vows through:

Major remodels (doing the work ourselves) on three primary residences
Two moves
Attending college
Both sets of parents divorcing
Being in debt
Job changes
Having three biological children
Taking in foster children
Tight financial times
A major illness

The major illness, cancer, is the most recent and by far the most difficult. In fact, statistically there is a 33% chance of divorce during or after a significant illness where the wife is the one who is sick. Many nurses have commented to us how rare it is to see a man like Shaun, consistently being there and loving so hard. One ER nurse, not much older than me, told me of her own cancer journey. When it was over and she was cleared, her husband asked for a divorce stating, "the last year has been all about you".

And its so true...this year, now year and a half, has been ALL about me. Everyday last year our number one thing each day was Lisa has cancer, what does that mean for today? Pain, appointments, treatment, naps, sickness?

Shaun faithfully continued to do his thing as much as possible, while taking on the kids and household responsibilities, and also being my primary care giver. He's been the principal decision-maker, always with his family's best-interest in mind. A myriad of untold things have been asked of him and through it all, he's never complained, he just faithfully gets up and does another day. I've never even seen him roll his eyes or sigh heavily. Instead, I see the pain in his eyes, wishing he could take mine away, desperately praying that this does not take me away from him too soon. I see love in his eyes, and I know I am loved, not for what I do, but for who I am and what I mean to him.

When you're weak, I'll be strong
When you let go, I'll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I'll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death
Like you can't take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I'm gonna love you though it

Today, our 26th Valentine's Day together, I do not expect that Shaun will buy me flowers (he better not! ;). I won't get chocolates or a romantic dinner. It's highly unlikely I will even get a card. You might conclude then that he isn't very romantic. I would say he's about as romantic as they come. He's the kind of man...

The kind of man whose romance isn't flashy--because love is gritty.
The kind of man whose romance isn't about cameras--because its about Christ.
The kind of man whose romance doesn't have to go viral--because its going eternal.
~Ann Voskamp

I love you, Shaun. Thank you.


Melody said...

Bawling over here! Love you all.

Gavin Desnoyers said...

What a fantastic post; you guys are writing a great story together. Love this!

The Bug said...

I just don't see how the people who leave could possibly have actually LOVED the person they left. Been IN love? Sure, but really loved? I'm thinking no... Isn't it great to have a partner who really loves you? Mike is like that too - and I do NOT take that for granted!

Amy said...

Ditto, Mel. Good grief, where was the warning???!! Beautiful post, beautiful story, beautiful commitment.