Sunday, July 31, 2011

SEVEN

Seven years ago today I married my best friend.

Before I share "the story of us", I want to talk - for a minute - about something people rarely talk about... How diabetes can affect your marriage.

It's not always pretty.

Diabetes requires time. And money. It causes stress. People grieve - at different rates and in different ways. It can make you feel isolated. Angry. Scared.

Having little to no time together as a couple, the financial stress of medical bills and supplies, stress and worry over your child's health, being at different points in the grieving process and approaching it in different ways, resentment over the distribution of care, little sleep.... It all adds up to a very volatile combination.

Is it any wonder that it all becomes too much for some people?

It can either push you apart or push you together.

I am blessed and lucky that diabetes has pushed us closer. We are like our own island. We get it. And most other people around us just don't. We are there for each other. We work as a team and we pull each other through. I am so grateful!

Maybe this post could encourage you to talk to your spouse- to celebrate your victories or to pull together as a team. To get real about the stress of life with diabetes. And to vow to move forward together.

Maybe.

I hope so.

I have no great wisdom. No great advice. Just a wish for happiness and for love to triumph over all else. Especially diabetes.

The rest of this post I wrote last year. I just changed the number of years. Because it's still as true today as it was then!



If you've been reading my blog, you already know that J is a wonderful husband and father. You know that he is every bit as capable in handling diabetes as I am - and that he does handle it, every day. You know he takes good care of his girls and loves us both to pieces.

So... today I thought I'd tell you the story of how "we" came to be....

Go get some popcorn and a drink. Get comfy. Here we go...


Let's go back to the Spring of 2003.


I was part of a prayer group that met once a week during lunch at my school. The ladies in this group are all wonderful and we always had a LOT of fun together. They are also some of the most kind and caring people I have ever met.


One day after school, one of the ladies in the group came into my room holding a magazine. She said that didn't know I would be interested in this... or ready for this (I had just broken up with a boyfriend).... but she saw this advertisement and thought of me. It was an ad for eharmony.


I thanked her and took the magazine. I didn't think much about it. But later, I looked at it again. And I thought... "why not?". So I registered.


In the meantime, I had been reading a book that had a chapter devoted to the importance of being baptized as an adult. I was sprinkled as a baby and never felt I needed to do it again. But this book made a good argument that I couldn't get out of my head. It said something to the effect that while God won't hold blessings back from you, He wants you to obey and by doing so you can open up a whole new world of possibilities. (for the record, I do not think you have to be baptized as adult for it to "count" or something. I think it's a personal decision that between YOU and GOD. No one else.) So, on May 22, 2003, I was baptized. (I tell you the date because soon you will notice a pattern....)

On June 1, 2003, my "match" with J was created on eharmony.


The way eharmony works is that you fill out a questionnaire about yourself. Then it matches you up with people that are like you. Then you can choose to initiate a conversation. The first step is multiple choice questions. You pick five and send them to your match. They answer and pick 5 to send to you. Then you do a "Must Have/Can't Stand" list. You pick your top 10 of each and send it to your match. They do the same and send it back. Then you do short answer questions. You pick 3 (or write your own). Your match answers and sends you questions. Then you move to actually emailing each other. Yes, it IS a process. You can skip all that if you want but I kinda liked it. And hey.... it worked!


By the time J and I were finally emailing each other, summer was in full swing and I was in Florida for 2 weeks. So we talked a lot on email and decided to meet when I got home. By the time we actually met, we felt like we already knew a lot about each other. Which was nice.



We also found that we had a LOT in common. More than eharmony knew.... Like - we both went to the same college. He graduated in June of '94 and I started in August of '94. We both love sports - and even went to the same tennis tournament the same years - and sat in the same section just rows apart. Weird. We both like amusement parks and thrill rides - and he's pretty sure (I think he's crazy but whatever) that my good friend and I were the ones that hooked him up to the bungee ride. We worked there and he was visiting. There's lots of stuff like that.

On July 22, 2003, we met for the first time at a little park close to his house.

On October 22, 2003, he asked me to marry him at the same little park.

On July 31, 2004, we got married in a little chapel on campus.

On March 6, 2006, our sweet little Sweetpea was born.
And you know the rest of the story....


J -


It's hard to believe that it's been 6 years.... It seems like yesterday and forever ago all at the same time. 6 years ago we said "for better or worse". We've had countless wonderful, joyful times. And we've had our share of rough times, too. 6 years ago we said "in sickness and in health". I always imagined that would be when we were old and gray. Not a mere 5 years later. And NOT in reference to our sweet baby girl.


Diabetes entered our lives like a tornado - turning everything we knew upside down. The world it left behind was different and new. And it seems, at times, like everything changed on that day.
What has not changed is my love for you and for Sweetpea. I love you both more than anything in the world.


Today. Tomorrow. And No Matter What.



Happy Anniversary!

Musical Accompaniment: Love of My Life by Jim Brickman and Michael W. Smith (the song we danced to at our wedding) and God Blessed the Broken Road by Rascall Flatts


Photobucket

15 comments:

  1. Hallie, Congrats to you and J. My husband and I have been married 18 years today. July 31st...an awesome day!

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  2. Congratulations!

    My DH found a list once of the "Top 10 Marriage Stresses" that could make or break a couple. We laughed that we had already been through several- moving, building a house, death of a parent, etc. And yes, having a seriously ill child is on that list.

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  3. I agree that all the stress of this d life can make or break you. There are days that I don't know why Anth puts up with me(and vice versa... believe me!), but we work and so do you and J. You guys are awesome together. Happy Anniversary!

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  4. Beautiful pictures! I loved the truths you spoke about D in marriage......happy anniversary!

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  5. Happy Anniversary! You're a stunning bride!!

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  6. Happy Anniversary Hallie. I love the story of how you two met. xo

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  7. Happy Anniversary!!
    Such a sweet story and the pictures are great!

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  8. HAPPY HAPPY DAY!

    Congrats on 7 blissful years, and here's to a zillion more!

    CHEERS!

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  9. Happy Anniversary Hallie! So very true how D can put stress on a marriage and how it can bring you together or tear you apart...so glad it brought you and J closer together. Hope you have many, many more wonderful years ahead!

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  10. Happy anniversary, Hallie! Your wedding photos are beautiful. :)

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  11. It sounds like you two meeting was NOT an accident! Happy Anniversary!! I am so happy to hear that you have allowed diabetes to bring you two closer together. Gives so much hope to so many. Thank you!! Here's to many many more years!

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  12. Happy Anniversary, Hallie! : ) You have the most beautiful pictures! God made the two of you for each other..you just had to wait till the right time to find each other.

    Sweetpea is a blessed little girl to have both of you. I know how you feel..it's hard on you, but it makes you stronger.
    Congratulations, and here's to 7x70 more! : ) Hugs!

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  13. Happy Anniversary! Beautiful pictures and story!

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  14. Happy Anniversary Hallie and J!! It is so true about chronic illness pushing you together or pulling you apart. My husband and I deal with two chronic diseases (diabetes and hemophilia) with two out of three of our kids. And it has brought us even closer...in fact its brought all of us closer. Our teenager chooses to bring her friends/boyfriend to hang out at our house instead of going out. It's weird but she loves her brother and sister and wants to become a teacher for kids with special needs. I believe that everything happens for a reason (wether we like it or not). So kudos to those of us that can weather the storm!!

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  15. Happy Belated Anniversary to you and J! Loved seeing your wedding photos again :)

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