We are officially 33 days away from the wedding. Still so many things to do. I am trying to get as much done on my days off as possible and, as for right now, it is working. And that is good enough for right now. I feel like there are so many other things for us to be focusing on that the wedding is kind of taking the back-burner. As many of you know, Sam was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks again. It was kind of a wake up call for me. Many people would ask me how the wedding planning was going and that was the first time that I realized that I was not like the typical bride basking in all of the glory and the attention. Brides generally use this time to be selfish and rightfully so. They want to talk about the wedding and nothing else. They eat, sleep, work, and dream wedding. They watch endless hours of Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, Say Yes to the Dress, and My Fair Wedding. Meanwhile, I was driving to the hospital every nite after working 13 or 14 hours in another hospital to sit with my groom to be. I knew Sam was going into the hospital, but I was not expecting it to happen on the day that it did. I did not get to give him a huge hug and make sure he had everything he needed to go in. I did not realize they would already have a bed waiting for him when he went to see his doctor. That nite, on my drive home from seeing Sam on that first nite, I did something that I had not done before. I took a moment after getting back into my car at almost 11 pm and just thought. And the wave hit me like it never had before. My eyes welled up with tears and I knew that my life would never be "normal" again. This was my new normal. I called my mom and started talking to her and before I knew it, I started to cry a little. I am not a very confident driver when I am not crying and at this point, I had been awake from 18 hours and worked for 13 of those, so imagine what it was like for me to be driving at this point. So I just sat there, driving and sobbing about how this should be the happiest time of my life and Sam was in the hospital, sick. I felt selfish for doing that because I was not the one in a hospital bed, but instead was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't be a selfish bride. Once the reality hit that I was able to sleep in my own bed, I snapped out of my pity party.
The next day, I was walking the dog and stood and stared at our front lawn. The grass was embarrassingly tall next to my neighbors' lawns who cut them practically every day it seemed like. I whipped out my cell phone and called Sam. He sounded so happy to hear from me, but yet he was greeted by me yelling at him about what our lawn looked like. He felt terribly and tried to explain that he was planning on coming home from the doctor and mowing the lawn before going into the hospital but couldn't do that because they had a bed waiting for him. I yelled, "Whatever!" into the phone and hung up. Stomping along the street, I continued to walk the dog and admire all of the other beautiful lawns on my street. Cheyenne just bopped along and did her stuff. I was glad that she was done so quickly because that meant that I did not have to stare at all of the other houses. As I got back to our lawn again, I started to think about what all of the neighbors must be saying about us and how they were probably judging us. I started to get even more angry because they had no clue what was going on behind our beautifully wreathed front door and they would think that we were just lazy. They didn't know that the young man that lived there who gave a healthy appearance was anything but. So, I did what any scared, angry girl would do. I brought the dog inside, finished packing all of Sam's belongings that he would need for his stay, set the alarm, hopped in the car, and called my dad. I started to sob again as soon as I heard him say, "Hey! How's my little girl doing today?" I told him how angry I was about the lawn and that I wanted the back yard cleaned up and that I was going to have to mow the lawn tomorrow, blah, blah, blah. My dad did what every loving dad would do and said, "What time do you want me over there tomorrow morning?" We talked a little and my dad asked me if I wanted to stay at his house while Sam was in the hospital. I would have loved to, but I really just wanted to be alone. After I hung up with my dad, I realized that the lawn was just a way for me to take out my anger and sadness and that it was not the lawn that was bothering me, but it was simply the only thing that I could possibly control at the moment. The next day, I mowed the front lawn by myself. With each blade of grass that I cut, I felt like I was getting something done, but it also made me sad. I started to think if I would ever be the only person who could cut the lawn because Sam would not be able to do it any more or if his fight with CF would be a losing battle. My dad came over and we cleaned the front yard and the back yard. It felt very liberating to be able to get it done and I really wanted to surprise Sam when he got home. He was so grateful when he saw it.
I am wondering how I will do getting thru our wedding vows. When we get to the point where we need to say "In sickness and in health", I wonder if we will ever have the opportunity to actually have 100% health. I would think that this is not something that most brides need to think about so soon in life. Several years ago, I suffered from depression. Very severe depression. I was hospitalized 2 times in 18 months for it. Even though I got thru it, I worry about my coping skills and if it will ever creep back up on me again. The whole time Sam was in the hospital, I kept very busy - from the moment I woke up in the morning until the moment I fell asleep. People kept telling me that I needed to take time for myself and do something for myself, but I was afraid that if I did take time to stop, I would think too much and that would not be in my best interest. Just to give you an example of how desperate I was to keep busy, I actually took dish washing detergent and a scrubby sponge and scrubbed each individual tile on our kitchen floor. It took me about 4 hours to complete, but it kept me busy and it was a great way to get out my anger.
I also used this time to meet up with my friend, Stephanie, and grab a cup of coffee with her. She lent a great ear and listened to me. I feel badly because I made her cry when I was telling her about all of the mixed emotions I was having about this time in my life. After thinking about it, I realized that if I was not in the situation myself and heard about it, I would be sad for the person going thru this. I told Stephanie about how I was having trouble sympathizing with people who were complaining about trivial things when they had their health and their loved ones has their health. It saddened me to walk into Sam's hospital room and see him on oxygen and get out of breath just walking down the hallway. It scared me when Sam called me up one nite to tell me that he had coughed up a ridiculously stupid amount of blood and that he thought he was going to have to go into surgery and wanted to call me to tell me he loved me in case he died during the surgery.
Last nite, we went to a party and I was so sad before we left because Sam is now on home iv's and another dose of 3 different IV antibiotics were going to be due while we were out. He was nervous about having to do them while we were out and there would be some people there that did not know his situation and he might have to explain. He did handle it gracefully, though, when someone asked and he told them it was an IV of vodka going straight into his veins. I just feel like life can be so unfair because Sam is having to go thru this. How can I focus on flowers and favors and cakes?
Now that Sam is home, I am getting more excited about the wedding, but I am hoping that as the date draws even closer, I will be even more excited. When Sam was born, the life expectancy of someone with cystic fibrosis was less than 20 years old. Thanks to Sam's parents, doctors, advances in CF medications and treatments, and most importantly, Sam's dedication and will to live, he is a college graduate with a Master's degree in Accounting as well as a CPA. He will be getting married, which was unheard of for CF patients at the time of Sam's birth. This is a huge milestone for him and I am beyond thrilled that he chose me to share this with him. We are grateful for the people that will be taking time out of their busy schedules to join us on our special day. It means so much to us that those people will be celebrating this miracle with us.
Please remember to hug your spouses, family, and friends and tell them that you love them, but most importantly, make sure you mean it. Celebrate each day as though it is a gift because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Listen to your partner and share in their interests even if you don't think that you will like them. Take time out of your busy schedules to celebrate the miracles and milestones in life. You never know just how important they are to others and how they might be affected by it.
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle. ~Marianne Williamson