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Props to my husband, yo!

“In most marriages there is a 50% chance of divorce. In marriages where there is a child with a life-threatening disease the rate goes up to 80%.”

Peter and I were sitting at our very first cancer group meeting of any kind at an American Cancer Society R.O.C.K. weekend in Orlando. At Disney World. Oh yes, we were sitting in the happiest place on earth being told there was an 80% chance that by the time we got our child to the 5-year survival mark, our marriage would be on the negative side of that statistic. Hubby leaned over at that point and whispered in my ear, “Please don’t leave me.”

As IF!

Not to say that there hasn’t been points when either one of us wanted to just reach over and slap the stupid right out of the other.

He’s been whiny, complaining and unhelpful at times.

I’ve been a horrific excuse for a wife mean, demanding and overbearing at times. (Shut it!)

And that was BEFORE we got cancer dropped in our laps. Yes, it all got worse.

There was a conversation between the two of us. I don’t remember exactly when, but it was early on into Peyton’s chemo treatment and I realized that I was being an absolute…well, there’s only one really direct word for it and I swore to my mother I wouldn’t swear on the site, so I can’t say it…but I was being THAT word. I felt so tired, so guilty and too tired to deal with the guilty.

I remember telling him that I was exhausted, petrified, overwhelmed, always on the verge of freaking out and losing it completely. I told him that I was giving 90% of myself to Peyton and her never-ending needs, 9% went to Nathaniel and Rachael and reassuring them they still had some semblance of a mother in their lives (although I’m pretty sure my brain was so fried at that time I was beyond being able to use any multi-syllabic words, so this is all paraphrasing)…that last 1% was for me and if I didn’t keep that 1% I would be nothing. I was going to be crazy and angry and because I couldn’t take it out on anyone….not the kids…the cancer didn’t care…I only had him. I warned him that he was going to take the brunt of all my frustration and emotional upheaval without getting anything back from me, because I was tapped out.

Do you know what this man said to me? With his 80% right to tell me I’m a lousy wife!

“It’s ok, I can take it.” That’s it. That was all he had to say. Just that.

This my marriage makes. Can I just tell you that for all his human flaws, the moments that he didn’t give me what I needed, the times I wanted to bury his head in the drywall in irritation, the arguments, the fights, the frustrations…THIS is my perfect husband.

I can’t tell you number of times he held me while I cried, shared his fears with me, listened to me go on and on and on about whatever. He’s held my hand through painful moments that threatened to break me, he tries his best to soothe the angry part of me that has to accept that this is the life we have. He makes me laugh when no one else possibly could. He lives with my crazy need to control everything, he forgives my mess-ups that trying to control everything causes. He accepts that we live 400 miles away from each other, endures life without his family in his home because he knows my fears and anxieties about a move at this point in our lives are more than I can handle. We share the heavy burden of parenting in crisis and we’ve made it this far.

So when people ask me how it is being a single mom with Peter not here, I have to think that I have more husband than most women who have a male body in their home every night.

25 Comments on “Props to my husband, yo!”

  1. #1 Dawn
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 3:28 am

    I’m stunned. That has to be one of the most moving tributes to a husband I’ve ever read. Pete, I would feel very proud if I was you. And I don’t mean that in any kind of patronising way either.

    Whenever a ‘crisis’ family has ever been shown on TV etc., my husband has often said to me he doesn’t know how ‘their’ marriage would survive the trauma. It’s usually followed by ‘I hope nothing like that ever happens to us’! Does this fill me with confidence? Well I hope we’d be ok but, lets face it, no-one really wants to have to find out. Everyone wants plain sailing. Bit boring really, but certainly no-one wants to be facing having their child diagnosed with cancer. I suppose it depends in which direction you start pulling – together or apart. You two are so obviously together even though you’re miles and miles apart at the moment – but that won’t be forever. Shining example I’d say – and I’ve never even met you!!

  2. #2 Sarah Clapp
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I’m speechless. This is was beautiful, and thought provoking. You seem to be a special wonderful couple that falls out of the realm that is “Norm”. I have every confidence you won’t be in that %80 stat.

    xoxox S

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..The Perfect 20th Reunion Outfit! Thanks Susannah and Trinny!

  3. #3 amayhew
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Dawn, trying something new and YOU are my test rat…pls don’t take that the way it sounds. 😉

    Thank you so much for your awesome comment and out of the “norm” is the nicest way you could possibly describe us.


  4. #4 Kelsey
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Wow! I have really just started to real your blog and I am so impressed but your writing. Your husband sounds like a great man and I know you marriage will make it those 5 years!

  5. #5 lori astacio
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Hey A,

    I am doing things a little backwards here. Making a comment before I catch up on weeks of post’s. Kid’s are napping and I have been thinking about you and your family so much lately. I keep Peyton in my prayers all the time and hope she is still kickin butt. (I’m sure she is) Are the kids enjoying their summer? More importantly, How are you enjoying the summer? I will bet my life that you are keeping extremely busy. I know you wouldn’t have it any other way.
    We are doing well. Chicago is a great place in the summer. I miss you and the gang so much and think of you so often. I was able to get on for your chat the other night for enough time to just to say hello. Next time will try longer. We are heading to the conference this weekend. Looking forward to it.
    Pass my Love on to everyone. Miss You!

  6. #6 Holly
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Oh my goodness! It must be so hard to have your husband so far away. I didn’t know that. He sounds like a keeper, though — even if he’s away.

    Hollys last blog post..A night of "cooking"

  7. #7 Natalie
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    ROCK ON, GIRL!! I love your honesty ~ and you too!!

    Natalies last blog post..Sneak Peek ….

  8. #8 GoteeMan
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I can so totally relate… difficult circumstances (especially the chronic illness of an immediate family member) brings out the best and worst in us, don’t it????

    Somedays, it’s all love, compassion, grace, peace..
    and some days, it’s – well – Shit… just the absolute worst – the stuff we wish wasn’t there at all…

    I know it’s better if I can keep my stupid mouth shut sometimes, but ugh! sometimes I just gotta say it… ugh! and then deal with the fallout.

    Still, over the long haul, we are stronger for it, and healthier as individuals and as two united who have become one…

    Still, through it all, I am very thankful (most of the time)… We are blessed in so many ways, in spite of the fullness of the disability we are faced with daily…

    Keep on keepin’ on…


    GoteeMans last blog post..Waiting for My Real Life to Begin… and Resting…

  9. #9 AnissaM
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I hear ya, Gotee! That’s what I’m talking about, there’s no right way to do it, it’s just a matter of remembering that you’re in it together. And I so agree, these are the times when you see each other at your very worst, if you can still hold it together, then you’re good for anything.


  10. #10 AnissaM
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 9:46 pm


    Love back at ya!

  11. #11 Rhonda
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Anissa-I too am blessed to have a husband who carries me; he carried me through the 2 hardest losses in my life-my Dad and my brother. He took care of our teenaged daughter when I spent countelss nights at the hospitals, driving back and forth, he took my terminally ill dad ( who, due to brain tumors was not the most rational man) for one of his last trips to his beloved lake getaway in South Ga. He then helped carry my father to his final resting place. He was always ready to listen, hug and/or just hold me when that’s what I needed. What did we do to deserve such wonderful men?? Much love to you and Pete-our prayers will carry you through!

  12. #12 Lori
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Hey Anissa,
    What a beautiful tribute!! It’s pretty obvious you two have what it takes to not only survive but to THRIVE–both as a couple AND a family! And…in your spare time (haha) you really ought to write a book! Hugs and prayers, Lori

  13. #13 Beverly
    on Jul 17th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    It’s been amazing to me how our son’s illness has actually made our marriage a better deal. We still have our moments…but it is so much easier now for one of us to be the patient partner while the other is losing it. (Old days…maybe we both would have “lost it”…UGH!). Anyway, I often talk about the gifts that we’ve been given in this journey, and thank you for helping me realize that the changes in our marriage has been one of those gifts!

    Beverlys last blog post..Magic Math

  14. #14 Jane @ Kidzarama
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Fortunately, neither of our two angels have any health problems (touch wood), but my own health is terrible, and very unpredictable.

    I never know how I’m going to feel when I wake up of a morning, and it puts a terrible strain on WonderHubby.

    He gets the children up, dressed & breakfasted 3 days out of 5 each week, then goes to work for 9 hours and comes home to cook us a lovely dinner most nights, unless I’m feeling particularly well.

    My hubby truly is wonderful. 🙂

    Many marriages would not survive what we have been through, and I can really relate to the good days and the bad.
    Having someone beside me who totally accepts me is what makes life worthwhile.

    Jane @ Kidzaramas last blog post..While You Were Sleeping…

  15. #15 Dawn
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Don’t know what new thing you were trying, but I got the message (twice thro email and thro here!). But I don’t know about being your test ‘rat’, an elephant might be more apt! Haha. I need to lose at least a stone – even 10 pounds in American speak would be great, 20 pounds and I’d be ecstatic! But lets get real here, I don’t think pre-baby weight is ever gonna be seen again – not considering they’re three thumping teenagers already! Anyway I noticed from recent phots you look like you’ve lost some weight. So what’s the trick? I bet not having to cook for Peter during the week has something to do with it. And if you turn round and say Pete did all the cooking I shall think he’s a saint!! From what I know of your computer loving geek of a hubby I’m not sure I’d believe you anyway! LOL.
    Have a great day. Dawn.

  16. #16 Musing
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 6:56 am

    You guys are awesome. I’m so glad to have met you.

  17. #17 Brett Elizabeth Spore
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I don’t easily shed a tear, but your write up caused one to fall. I can feel the love you and your husband have, and it stirs me. I too am truly blessed with the perfect husband for me, and I thank God for him even when things aren’t going so great. You are a great writer, and I look forward to stopping by your site again. Perhaps next time, you will again encourage me to pause a moment and see the beauty we’ve been granted.

    Brett Elizabeth Spores last blog post..Women of Faith (Polka Dot Girls) 101

  18. #18 AnissaM
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 9:03 am


    I can only imagine the guy I would have ended up with if I got what I “deserved”! LOL Horrifying. I’m so glad to know that you’re also blessed to have someone who truly loves you. Stay happy with each other.


  19. #19 AnissaM
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Oh, Jane, I’m so sorry to hear how you health impacts your lives. When I had my stroke I remember feeling very empty that I couldn’t be there for my family and be what they all needed. But it sure sounds like you have a man who loves you for YOU, not for what you can accomplish by the end of the day. Bless these strong, loving men.

    I’ll have you in my prayers for healthy days.

  20. #20 AnissaM
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 9:09 am


    I thought that, seriously, I don’t know if I’d have had the chance to really talk to you like that at the party, so the situation made for a great intro.


  21. #21 AnissaM
    on Jul 18th, 2008 at 9:11 am


    You encouraged me right back. That’s one huge lesson the past 3 years of struggle have taught us, we are thankful to God in everything. We never take these moments for granted. Thank you for your wonderful words.


  22. #22 dug
    on Jul 19th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    that ROCK weekend was our first group too. got to know peter at the breaks. he is darn cool.

    we love you guys and miss you. angela is a single mom for 3 weeks as she travels with sis, bowen and nathan, uh i mean mason. definetly check out the siblings at CCC. his name is MASON… not nathan….

  23. #23 always home and uncool
    on Jul 19th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Props for both of you. Double-teaming is the only way to go. Cheers

    always home and uncools last blog post..What To Do With a Dead Dog: Meet the Passed On

  24. #24 Rhonda
    on Jul 20th, 2008 at 8:19 am

    What a great post. The two of you are blessed to have each other.

    Rhondas last blog post..We Have A Winner!

  25. #25 ciara
    on Jul 22nd, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    your husband most certainly does rock! wow, what he said to you made my eyes a little watery. i’m sorry you all are going through tough times, but i think with him being there for you, it’s going to be fine.