Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Stockings are Hung
It is Christmas Eve and everything is ready. The stockings are hung, the Christmas trees are done, the presents are wrapped. We have told the girls that they cannot get out of bed before 7:00am. We'll see how that works.
I have had a difficult time figuring out what to give to Larry for Christmas. It was no problem for me to find gifts for the girls, but have chosen and discarded several ideas for my husband. In part, it is because he is difficult to buy for. If he wants something, he buys it. He doesn't wait for birthdays or holidays. Mostly though, I can't possibly come up with anything that feels adequate. What do you buy someone who stands by you while battle cancer; a tie? A coffee mug? A flat screen?
As with other marriages, ours has had its ups and downs. It has not been a perfect marriage and has taken work. If you would have asked me 16 years ago when I met him if he would have been the best person standing by me should I ever have to go through a battle as serious as cancer, I'm not sure what I would have said.
But he was the best person. He didn't come in like a knight in shining armour and take over. He didn't talk to my doctors or try to make decisions for me. He didn't treat me like I wasn't able to make my own decisions. What he did was allow me to be strong and make my own decisions and he stood by each and every one. On those days that I ran out of strength (and they were many) he gave me his. He remained rock solid for the girls and for me. He did not waiver in his determination to keep our life as normal as possible. What he did was allow me to fight cancer in my own way but stood behind me the entire time in case I should falter.
He has told me many times that he wishes he could take the cancer for me and be the person who was sick. While I know this comes from a place of love, I wouldn't give it to him. I could never be the watcher. I am a terrible back seat driver and am too much of a control freak to not be in charge. I could not do what he has done. I think it takes more courage and strength to be the person who has to stand by someone than it is to be the person who takes the action.
What I have learned is that I love my husband without a doubt-and he loves me the same way. We are the right people for each other. He is someone that I am grateful to have in my life. I am proud of him and I am proud of us. We are a very powerful team. We are raising amazing children and in the face of something pretty devastating, we know how to stand by each other.
So does Larry have presents under the tree? Of course he does. But none of them will ever be adequate enough to thank him for what he has done for me this year. None of them will be good enough to explain to him how very much I love him and how glad I am that I married him.
May your Christmas bring you the kind of love that I have and may you feel blessed in whatever gifts come your way. I know what my gifts are and they don't come in a box.