We’ve been through a lot this year. More than we ever anticipated. We started 2016 with such joy and hope, only to have it torn away from us.
I don’t think this is anywhere close to what we imagined our life would be together. We’ve come so far in the 12 years that we’ve known each other and the almost 9 years of marriage. Looking back at those silly college-aged kids in photos, everything now seems like a lifetime ago. When our biggest troubles and our greatest fears revolved around term papers or master’s projects.
Some days I can’t even comprehend how you find the strength to stay with me. You’ve been there for all of my personal struggles in the last 10 years. You’ve missed work to go to medical appointments so I wouldn’t have to be alone and you could hold my hand. You slept on a twin bed for the first two years of our marriage in that tiny apartment so we could care together for my dad and brother. I’ve put you through a lot, and you know it’s my biggest fear that you’ll leave me. I remind you constantly of my insecurity. I’m grateful to have you by my side. I don’t know how I could go on some days without you.
But, I see you. I see how you struggle with everything that has happened. I know you cry in private where I can’t see you so you can be strong for me. I know you hid the hospital bills when they arrived in the mail so I wouldn’t have to be reminded of that horrible day in April. I see how the lines on your face have become more pronounced. How you don’t find joy in many of the things that you once did.
I see how you try to cover up the pain by watching mindless movies and TV shows about superheroes. I see how you struggle to bring up the topic of losing sweet Emmett with your own family, but just don’t know how.
Still, there are the times where we do still have the occasional laugh or moment that brings us back to those youthful times from our past. They’re rare but I see how you still look at me with so much love in your eyes or a sweet caress of my hand, even though you know how much I blame myself for everything that happened. I know you could and never would blame me for any of it.
You’re one of the kindest, genuine and most caring people I know. You mean the world to me. I just want you to know that you can come to me at any time to talk about anything. I want to know how you’re feeling. I don’t want any secrets or hidden feelings. We married each other because we wanted to be there for one another through everything…and, we got everything this year.
Underneath all the years and changes, I’m still the girl you met all those years ago in that Emerson College classroom who thought you looked goofy with the comb-over and wondered why the professor kept making you move to the front of the class. The girl you took on a date to the Cheesecake Factory at the Prudential Center and you left your Pasta DaVinci in my fridge, so obviously I ate it, because I didn’t think you were coming back for it.
I’m here for you. Forever. Always.
Your Baby Doll