19 Years: In Sickness...

...and in health.  That’s how it's supposed to go, right?  The only thing is it seems like for the past 19 years there's been a lot more sickness than health!

It started even before we got married.  (Which I suppose means that I should call this post 20 years:  In Sickness.)  We moved into together in late September of 1995.  (Technically I moved in first in mid-June and then Steve officially moved in the last Saturday of September.)  We'd only been living together for 10 weeks or so when Steve fell in the parking lot of what was then The Bank of New York on his way to work.  He was only a block or so away from the house when he slipped on the ice (we'd had bad weather over the weekend; this was Monday morning) and shattered his ankle.  This was before cell phones were en vogue so he had to wait until someone showed up at the bank to work in order for the ambulance to be called.  (Next on the phone list was my mother, who made sure that he got an excellent orthopedic surgeon.)  I didn't find out about it till I got home from work that evening.  (Just so happened that it was my first day at a new job.  What a way to end the day!)  Steve was in the hospital for 5 days and when he came home, I got to play nurse.  Maybe that should have been a warning that our road was going to be one that was not as smoothly paved as I would have liked.

In the ensuing years, I've had same day surgery (2007), and spent three days in the hospital following surgery (2008).   Steve’s had multiple root canals, broken his arm/wrist and nose (early 2011), been diagnosed with diabetes, had a bout of Bell's palsy (end of 2011/beginning of 2012) and had ongoing eye issues (as a result of the diabetes) which required monthly injections in the eyes.  (Thankfully now we are down to injections once every 2-3 months.)  I think you can understand why after 19 years, I've had it with the whole sickness thing.  I think we've crammed enough sickness into the past 19 (or 20 years) and I am ready for some serious good health.  (Of course I do realize that although we've dealt with a lot of health issues, we have been lucky that we haven't had to deal with anything that was completely life threatening.  And that we've had health insurance [not great health insurance, but health insurance none the less] and enough [sort of] money so that we could get through it all.)

And when it comes to wedding vows, let's not forget the "for richer or poorer."  Like "in sickness or in health," I've stuck to my vow, but I'm ready to move through the "or poorer" and get back to the "for richer."  (Although even when we were both gainfully employed, I don't recall money raining down from the heavens, but maybe that's not what they mean when they say "for richer.")  We've lived on two salaries, one salary, one and half salaries and no salary at all.  While the love of money may be the root of all evil, I wouldn't mind it if evil tried to give me a run.

So, after nineteen years I'd really like it if we were rewarded with some health and wealth.  On the other hand, if we hadn't been blessed in some many other ways, there is no way we would have made it through the past nineteen years.  If we weren't so committed to each other and to our family, I wouldn't be writing about being married for nineteen years.   When we got married that Friday, September 19, 1996, we may have thought life was going to be easier than it has been.  But neither of us has backed down (or out) when the going has gotten tough.  (Although, I will confess, there have been times we both of us have screamed and yelled and thought about it.)  In the end, we are stronger as a pair than either of us could be as an individual.  We have "stuck together" because as a team we are able to forge through the hardships that life has handed us at times.  And now as a trio, though there are plenty of times of tears, there are much more times filled with laughter.  

While I am hopeful that the next 19+ years will be smoother, I accept whatever is to come (with fingers crossed and prayers said).  Here's to a future of good things!

(Note:  As I wrote that last paragraph Steve proceeded to try and hack up a lung!  So much for the health...that's life!)


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