Today (Monday) was Memorial Day and our 24th wedding anniversary. We were married just days after graduating together from the same medical school. I had spent the last days before our nuptials, spending as much time as I could with my Granny, who was in hospice. We spent our time embroidering a message for Gary and I to hang in our home through our life together. We based it on a doily her mother had embroidered. It said: Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. I can see it from where I sit writing this blog. She passed the day after we were married.
Frankly, I don’t know how we plowed through the first year. Gary’s mother died the day after we got back from our honeymoon…breast cancer. Gary’s favorite grandmother passed that summer. I lost my Dad to a years long illness that Spring. AND we were struggling interns.
Being an intern just means you graduated from medical school. It meant stay out of the way and do no harm. It meant stay alert and stay awake. I started sleep walking after being on call because it was so stressful to see children sick in ways that were so critical and emergent. Gary recalls whole conversations where I would tell him, in my sleep, that I was checking the blood pressure and urine output of…the clothes hamper in our apartment. I still have zero memory of that event, but Gary swears it is the truth.
We have buried two children and adopted (with our whole being) our beloved son, Brian. We have traveled and seen the beauty inherent in this World. We have survived more ups and downs than we can number anymore. We are two very different people whose lives have grown together and become intwined in innumerable ways…much like the Scotch Broom and Red Rose Bush next to our front door. I can no longer see where one starts or the other ends. They support each other through the heat of summer and protect each other through our wind blown winters. We have become the same. We are so very lucky and grateful to have come so far through so much. Now we know we can survive anything together…even when we feel cranky with each other, this surety remains.