Matt and I went to high school together for grades 11 and 12. In grade 12, we became close friends but over our university time, we drifted apart. I still heard news about him and he I, but we saw each other infrequently. Until the fortuitous day that he came to paint the basement in my house. We spent the day working side by side (with him nicely telling me, "I'm not going to say that you're doing it wrong, but..." and then just suggesting that he do it and I watch) and talking about everything. It was on that day that I knew that he was the same friend that I used to have, but with the improvements that the years apart had brought. We developed our friendship over the next month by spending almost every day together and, one evening, I told him that I knew that I was ready to commit to him, not just for the next few months, but for the rest of our lives. After two months of dating, we were looking for engagement rings and a year later, we started our life together in the house that brought us back together.

We spent years together, just the two of us, happy being a couple. We spent a hard year together trying to get pregnant while knowing that there was an underlying issue with me that might make it impossible. Then we spent a harder year together with Lauren and her fight for life. This past year has been a year of recovery and regrowth as a family and a couple.

There are moments in our life together that I think are pivotal, though at the time, I didn't realize that they could have changed the way that our lives played out.

The first is July 31, 2013, when we first took Lauren to the hospital. Matt had had such a long day at work that day and he walked in the door exhausted and overwhelmed. I could tell that he wanted nothing more than to lay down and take a nap, but as soon as I said to him that I thought Lauren needed to go to the hospital, he started packing stuff up for her and loading us all into the car. He didn't give a second thought to his own needs and never once questioned my feelings about her health and for that I am eternally grateful. I don't know if, in that moment, I would have been strong enough to make the decision to take her by myself. I know that even Matt thinks that because of me, Lauren's life was saved that day, but really, it is because of us together. I couldn't have done it without him, and, as he carried her sweet, exhausted little body out to the car, I saw the depth of his love and dedication to his family. I don't even want to think about what would have happened without his complete support that day.

Until Lauren went into the hospital, I never imagined that I might lose Matt until I saw him breaking during Lauren's first days when her heart was laying lifeless in her chest, worn and tired, while a machine kept her alive. And then I saw it. If Lauren didn't make it, Matt might not either. The pain of that would not be something that I could take from him and fix. His world would fall apart and would I still be a part of it? In our moment alone, I told him that I was afraid of losing Lauren, but also afraid of losing him at exactly the same time. At our most vulnerable time, speaking that aloud allowed us to join together in our fight for Lauren, as he took all of my fears away with a simple hug. This was the "for worse" that we had promised to work through when we made our marriage vows and he assured me that he wasn't going anywhere. And he didn't. My favourite memories of that horrible time are of the two of us walking outside for our evening lap of the hospital grounds, crunching leaves under our feet and talking openly about how Lauren was doing and our concerns and cares for each other. That was a hard year. Even after Lauren got out of the hospital, we still had a lot of healing to do together.

One year later, with a lot of work, prayer and patience, on our 5th anniversary, we are back to a time of "for better" and I can't imagine my life any other way.

Marrying Matt was one of the easiest decisions that I've ever made and, hands down, the best decision that I've ever made.

There aren't words enough to explain the depth of what our first five years have been and how much I love you. Thank you for making my life so complete and joyful. I love every minute of our journey together.
With love always,

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your fifth anniversary! You have certainly lived a lot together during those years. May God bless you richly as a couple in the many years ahead.


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