In the past, Rob was never the type to make a big deal out of girly holidays. You know, birthdays, Mother's Day, and the big one...Valentine's Day. I tried to be the strong silent type and suck it up. Usually I cried myself to sleep after he fell asleep so he wouldn't know how disappointed I was. I tried hints, I flat out told him what I wanted, it was just that it wasn't important to him, and as the years went by for us, we grew further and further apart until our own personal wants were being fulfilled before we were considering each other.
Then Tommy died. Even though we have other children, and they are important to us, Tommy consumed us. He was our world and everything in our lives revolved around his beaming presence. Life with Tommy was chaos. Everything we did had to fit with his needs. Whether it was going to the store to buy groceries or just taking a nap. Everything had to be coordinated and supervised. Forget holidays. We were lucky to remember our names after a hard day with Tommy. The first half of the year was hard enough by itself. Surgery and bronchs for his esophagus to try to correct his swallow. Illness that landed him in the ICU. More surgery, this time on his trachea to open his airway. More bronchs. Tommy was hospitalized for something once a month.
Then came the second half of the year and we were slammed with Rob losing his job and the death of our beloved Tommy. Our marriage suffered. We stopped living as husband and wife just to deal with Tommy's needs. I had not slept in our bed for over a year because I had to sleep next to Tommy in case he stopped breathing or needed suctioning at night. His room was too far from ours, so I slept on the couch outside his door. When he died, our marriage had nothing left to hold it together. I truly felt I lost Tommy and my husband on the same day. Rob was suffering as much as I was, but he could not turn to me in his grief. So we both grieved alone. It was the most heart wrenching time I have ever been through in my life.
We did briefly separate. We even looked into a divorce, but in the end, we found our way back to each other. We started grieving and healing together. We put the broken pieces back together. Life became different for us. So very different. Life didn't feel like it was hopeless anymore. We had lost everything and yet, we found each other again. We shared the heart walk together last week. We hold hands every day now. We've decided that life is too fragile and precious. We don't take anything for granted anymore. Every second of our lives together and with our boys is a gift. Rob has asked me to be his wife again. We never officially separated or signed any papers, but his asking was an affirmation that we still want to spend the rest of our lives together. I said yes.
Two days ago, we got into an argument. I had been looking for a small touch lamp for our bedroom for weeks and could not find one that I liked. I finally spotted it at a flea market and was prepared to buy it. As we walked around the building, I asked him to stop and look at something with me and he told me no, he didn't feel like it. For whatever reason, I got my feelings hurt and told him to forget the lamp and that I was going to wait outside. I started feeling that maybe it was too good to be true, that our marriage was in trouble again. I was scared and angry. We had a flat on the way home and working to get that fixed added to my already stressed out mood.
The ice storms had knocked out power here for 10 days and we had been on our way home for the first time since. We stopped at his grandparent's house to pick up our things. Rob went ahead to our house to turn on our main breakers so our heat would come on. We went out to get something to eat with his mom, and then we were headed home. By then, I felt better, but still had that lingering doubt about his love for me. Until I walked into our bedroom. It only took 11 years, but I finally got a Valentine! Yep. He's a keeper.