To be honest, the holidays have been difficult for me this year. I don't like complaining and I genuinely feel grateful for each and every day - but that doesn't mean that certain times aren't rough. I am the type of girl that normally gets really into the holiday spirit. I love decorating the house, picking out the perfect gifts, and spending tons of time with family and friends to celebrate. But I have struggled this year - struggled to get motivated to do my shopping, struggled to get excited about putting up my outdoor Christmas lights, and struggled to muster up the energy for all the parties and social events of the holiday season.
I had a wonderful few days last week when my friend Sarah was visiting. After Sarah left on Thursday, I fell into a bit of a funk. I think I was just exhausted from radiation, physical therapy, and running all around town showing Sarah a great time while she was here. I spent much of Friday and Saturday fighting back tears - and often times losing that battle - and just crying for no apparent reason. My poor husband would look over and check on me every 15 minutes or so to ask how I was doing - he could sense it and see it all over my face that I was just feeling down. I couldn't perk myself up, couldn't force a smile, and just felt like I wanted the holidays to be over - as much as I feel ashamed to say that because I know I should be grateful for this time with friends and family. It just felt like a bit of a blue Christmas this year.
Christmas Eve we had Mom, Doug, Mike, Diane, Dan and Melissa over for dinner and we had a great time. It helped distract me from my funk for a little while. Christmas morning we headed to Mom & Doug's for breakfast and gift exchanging. As always, we had a wonderful morning together, along with Jeff. But, I felt exhausted already. My eyes were burning from the second I woke up and I just didn't have the usual excitement about the day like I normally do. For the first time in my entire life, I didn't spend the rest of the day with my family. I decided to head back home with Mike instead of going to my aunts, and then to Mike's aunts later that night. I put on my pj's, laid on the couch, watched Home Alone (my favorite Christmas movie ever - along with Love Actually) and didn't move for the rest of the day. Of course I felt guilty not being with my family, but it was the first time in my life I didn't have to run around to a bunch of places on Christmas day. Not only did I want and need to let my body rest, but I just felt like being alone - at least alone with Mike and the pup. I can't really explain all of my emotions well so it might be hard for others to understand. The bottom line is that sometimes all of this is a lot to handle and it can be really tough - really, really tough - and I guess the holidays this year has been one of those times.
It's also hard to face coming to the end of a year that was filled with so many hopes and dreams. Every year I set goals and make resolutions for the upcoming year and Mike and I talk about all the exciting things that we hope might happen. I had such high hopes this year - dreams that didn't come true, and may never come true now that cancer has entered my life. And yes, I know that I have accomplished a lot. I know that people will say, "But look at all you have been through and how well you are doing". I know that I have so much to be grateful for and that I will set new goals and have new dreams. But, I also think it's only fair to let me mourn the loss of my old ones.
I had such a blast with Sarah last week. I am so grateful that she took the time to come and visit. Love you friend!
What gets me through each of those dark times, is my best friend. His love and support mean the world to me. During those difficult times, he knows exactly what to say, or not say - when to hug me, and when to give me my space. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes and I would be lost without him.
Our fate was sealed with a kiss on a unforgettable night 13 years ago. It was New Years Eve of 1998 and I had a serious crush on a cute senior boy, one year older than me. He was the star of the basketball and baseball teams and although we had known each other since we were in elementary school, we had just recently become good friends. A friendship that quickly turned into stalling after our respective basketball and volleyball practices so that we could see each other, phone conversations that went on for hours into the late night, and re-routing how we walked to class so that we could "run" into each other throughout the day.
I will never forget that New Years Eve. I remember exactly where we were, who we were with, and what I was wearing. I remember when Mike asked me to go outside to "talk" which led to that first magical kiss. It started as complete teenage puppy love - I was a few months shy of my 17th birthday and Mike was 18. We have been together ever since.
You aren't supposed to marry the first boy you fall in love with, right? You are supposed to date a bunch of people to figure out exactly who is right for you and weed out all the jerks before settling down and getting married. But what happens when you meet the love of your life as a kid? All I know is that I thank God every day that I recognized how incredible Mike was back then and how special our relationship was....I held on tight and never let go. And the rest is history.
Even before this recent roller coaster started, we had been through a lot together. We spent 4 years in a long distance relationship in college, supported each other through personal and family struggles, and endured the loss of Mike's mom together. By the time we were married, it felt as though we had been through more than many couples that had been together for twice as long as we had. I thought we were surely in the clear for awhile - that we had dealt with our fair share of heartache. I would have never guessed what was waiting ahead for us.
But through it all, we have remained absolute best friends. There is no one I would rather be with on this planet than my husband. And although we have surely had more difficult times than many people our age - the amazing, wonderful, and hilarious times FAR outweigh the tough ones.
Tomorrow we will celebrate 4 years of marriage, and 13 years together - nearly half of my life spent with the most incredible person I know. I am so blessed...but I am greedy and I want many, many more....100 more years would still not be enough.
Happy Anniversary to a man that lives out his vows each and every day. I am so honored and proud to be your wife. ♥
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