My husband and I just celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. Just writing that sentence takes me back so many years. To those very young college kids from two vastly different backgrounds and places who met by happenstance one summer day in 1993. At our summer jobs in a Steakhouse. A hostess and a dishwasher.
Who chose to date each other long-distance during our last 2 years of college. Before the invention of emails and cellphones. We’d write each other actual letters and set up “dates” on our landlines maybe twice a week because of the high cost of long-distance calls. Yes- that long ago. My dear dad generously donated his airline miles to us so we could see each other every now and again.
We chose each other after graduation when we both decided to move to my hometown. Well, I made it clear that I would not EVER live in a COLD place EVER.
We chose each other on a very cold Saturday in 1997 when we said “You are my beloved and these rings consecrate us to each other” and then celebrated in typical Jewish Wedding Style – so much food and dancing and singing. People still tell us that our wedding was one of the most fun experiences- Thank you, Mom and Dad!
We have continued to choose each other all these years. Years of learning about ourselves and each other ( because what 24 year olds really know who they even ARE, let’s be real), and conflict, and annoyances, and figuring out our love languages( and how to relate and receive love and “speak” each other’s languages), and acceptance, and laughter, and raising children, and agreeing to respectfully disagree, and silences, and forgiveness, and talking, and compassion, and humor, and hugs, so many hugs, and PARENTING ( parenting is the BEST of times AND sometimes the WORST of times – you know it’s true), and affection and kindness and gratitude.
We learned to choose to let ourselves have independence and autonomy and to grow as individuals. To be whole humans – not buying in to the ridiculousness fictional notion that we are responsible for making each other happy. Disney movies are not always our friends, y’all…We figured out along the way that it’s up to each of us to provide fulfillment and find purpose and meaning for ourselves and to support each other’s paths. This has been an evolving process over years and years AND it will always continue to be evolving-I am the first to admit that the struggle has been real for me-So many limiting and false beliefs I had to unlearn.
This man that I am fortunate to call my husband shows his love through his steadfast strength and strong devotion and protection, his acts of endless service on behalf of me and our family. Through all sorts of different caretaking ways that I never even thought would be a part of our story. I am continually overwhelmed and grateful for his deep sense of knowing what I need to take care of myself even before I do sometimes-his ability to be the reasoning voice of suggesting rest days and staying in my pajamas days and not over doing it days and conserving my energy days. MS has effected him just as much as it has me- just in different ways. Ways we are still discovering and processing.
This year we chose to try a Near/Far Infrared Sauna at a lovely local spa place. Not only do some MSers use this (with caution) to manage pain symptoms, and to sweat and for relaxation, most middle aged folks- especially hardcore athletes like my husband- have some kind of pain at all times somewhere in their aging bodies. If you are interested in learning more about this type of healing modality, Google it!
As much as I enjoyed being in that sauna, I noticed after about 20 minutes that my quirky arm was making itself known very loudly- all the numbness, tingling, weakness that let’s me know my time is UP. My legs were also becoming symptomatic. And I was barely sweating- Google MS and Thyroid issues if you care to learn more about this issue. So anyway, I got out and put a cold towel around my neck and sat down. I don’t think I would have been able to drive myself home- so fatigued and relaxed at the same time. So having a home infrared sauna would be FABULOUS!
The rest of the Anniversary day was spent on the couch binge watching Curb Your Enthusiasm together. We Love Larry David. And each other.