This past week someone asked me, "What memorable moment in your past do you wish you had a photo of?" I could think of many but one in particular came to mind . . .
Randy and I had only been married a few years and I was going in for my fourth surgery for Endometriosis. The surgery time was booked for the morning. They were going to remove some cysts and rearrange some organs, remove adhesions and determine whether or not we'd be able to have children and what the next course of action would be based on how bad the disease was.
So, we decided to go on a "date". I wasn't allowed to eat or drink so we drove to the parliament grounds and parked as close as possible so I wouldn't have to walk very far. I was still in lots of pain but knew that my recovery time after surgery would require me to be in bed for awhile, so this was our last chance to get out together.
We sat on a bench like this one in the photo and watched birds and squirrels and people. I felt old. I was 24, but I felt much older.
Randy put his arm around me and I cried a little . . . "I'm sorry I'm so lame!" I said to him. He reassured me, told me he loved me and cracked a joke about something that I don't remember (I wish I did) but it made my grovelling stop. We watched other couples our same age throw frisbees and run through the park together.
I remember feeling grateful for who Randy was, how fortunate I was that he loved me in sickness and health . . . even though our one year of marriage was the only one that would land in the health category as I was diagnosed with a "chronic" illness that would extend in some form or another throughout the rest of our marriage.
But I remember another feeling too. It was relief. The depth of love was real and we were only a few years into the marriage. The enema boxes that Randy had to go purchase for me from the drug store to help me prep for surgeries and the heating pad that he graciously delivered, plugged in by my bedside with a few pain killer pills and a glass of water upon my many requests . . . was not the first few years of marriage that I imagined, but it was love - real love! The pressure was off. We could be real, honest, vulnerable and learn to trust each other, because we had to.
We just celebrated our 25th anniversary a few months ago! I am so grateful for him.
So, yes, I wish I had a photo of us on that bench. But the memory is pretty awesome too. I hope we keep finding times to sit on benches and face reality together, maybe with tears and jokes in the perfect balance.