Happy Ten Year Anniversary, Jeff! Never did I imagine how two wedding receptions, three cross-country road trips, two submarines, four addresses, four military moves, three homes bought, two homes sold, two master’s degrees, four middle schools, two dozen fabulous trips and travel opportunities, a hundred new friends, one rescue beagle and two miracle baby boys could bring our marriage so much love and laughter. Never did I imagine how much more I could love you more today than when I said “I do” ten years ago!
Jeff and I dated for four years and our relationship before we were married was all long distance. The longest period of time we had spent together before we were married was no more than two weeks. So, getting married, moving away from my friends and family and the life I loved so dearly, moving into a hotel on the Naval base where Jeff would finish sub school for three months…the beginning of our marriage was a little complicated. Put on top of that the fact that we were married on September 15, 2001 just 3 days after the tragedies of September 11 and our adventure of a life was going to require a little more trust, faith and teamwork than we had originally imagined.
I have thought many times about the vows Jeff should have had to recite at our wedding. He had learned everything he could about Type One Diabetes before we were married. Actually living in the same time zone, not to mention, room, would prove to teach him a little more. On the day we were married the vows he recited he has held close to his heart and provided me with all that I could have asked for and more. Here are a few of the vows of the things Jeff promised to do that day, but didn’t know he was exactly promising. A few of the zillion things he has done with patience and kindness and compassion to ensure my good health.
As a groom marries his diabetic bride…..
I promise to be your kind, generous, compassionate, dedicated, hard-working, funny, smart husband and to make our life the very best I can.
I promise to help you find a doctor every time we move that will help you take good care of diabetes.
I promise to request and take our military medical records with us, three times, across the country, each time the file getting a little heavier.
I promise to ask you to check your blood sugar when your behavior tells me that you are high or low.
I promise to bring you juice in the middle of the night after pricking your finger and checking your blood sugar for you when you are too low to comprehend what I am saying.
I promise to bring you water and insulin and pump supplies in the middle of the night when your pump alarm wakes me up, instead of you, to change your site.
I promise to speak up for you, to be your supportive, proud husband in the security lines at the airport, in a different country and especially in our nation’s capitol so that your pump does not set off any alarms, so that you feel comfortable being yourself.
I promise to happily share a bite of my ice cream or a tiny piece of my cookie, a sip of my drink knowing that it makes you feel loved and that you appreciate just a taste of the things you know you should not eat.
I promise to do a thousand things before and while you are pregnant to keep you healthy: doctors appointments, nurse appointments, 8-10 blood sugar checks a day, helping you change your insulin measurements as the baby grows, talking through your worries and fears and joys.
I promise to help you find skittles and a granola bar when your blood sugar is dropping away from home. I promise not to complain about low blood sugar when this happens in an airport, at church, at a concert, in the middle of a parade, while standing in line, on the way to a show, at the end of the fourth quarter in a football game, at the Sistine Chapel, in the middle of Gettysburg, at the beach, in the pool, while hanging pictures, while cleaning, while wrapping Christmas gifts, while taking care of our children, while I am driving, while you are driving, while you are just trying to live normally.
I promise not to complain about how grumpy you are when your blood sugar is high, when your pump doesn’t work correctly, or when you just get tired of it all.
I promise to support JDRF with you in all the ways possible and walk with you and wear your team t-shirt and ask my friends and family for money so that JDRF can find a cure.
Thank you, Jeff for all you have done to help me be healthy during the past ten years. Thank you for holding me accountable, laughing with me, holding me when I cry, comforting me when I am sick or tired or worn out. Thank you for all you have done to provide me with great medical care and for being right next to me (in body or in spirit) through it all. I look forward to the next 50 years as your wife!
Here’s to my Jeff and all the spouses of those living full lives with chronic illnesses! Thank you!