So I have been out of the blogging mode for awhile even though I do continue to write…I just haven’t shared much. So, I thought why not get a little sentimental and wish my husband a late anniversary.
Last week Tim and I celebrated eight years of marriage. Grandma and grandpa took the kids for the night so we ordered in dinner and watched Alaska the Last Frontier. Exciting right? Ha! But, he ended up working late then I had to be in Iowa City the following morning so our options were limited. But really, I love that show so it was not a night wasted! Haha! We had a nice night celebrating regardless because we were together…something we have learned to never take for granted.
Because, if I’m honest…I must say that the last year was by far the most difficult for us individually, which has also made it challenging for us as a couple.
I was down most of the year due to my severe back issues that resulted in two back surgeries within three weeks apart. Several months of horrible pain, which eventually led to me not being able to walk…literally crawling if I needed to move. Excrutiating physical pain like I had never experienced before!! Can you imagine how fun I was?? Not to mention, on top of my bad attitude, Tim had his hectic job to do while juggling almost everything at home for me and the kids!
Once the back was manageable…I had to play catch up with all of my fm, eye and diabetic appointments…which has only led to more procedures and more doctor appointments. It has been a very long and hard year for me physically. But I would go through it all over again in a heartbeat if things could have ended up differently for Tim…
Because my physical pain cannot even begin to compare to the emotional pain my husband has had to endure from losing his older brother Aaron to cancer at the age of 39, back in November. And while I can’t write this without crying, I cannot even begin to comprehend what Tim is feeling. Watching the man I love most, struggling every day with anger, bitterness, sadness, trying to figure out how to go on with life…when such a huge piece of his life is missing…his big brother.
The strain on our marriage has been tremendous from one extremely gut wrenching circumstance to the other.
Eight years ago, this was not what our life was going to be like. Tim and I were all smiles, so madly in love with each other…
Our nights were filled with me laying my head on his chest discussing our dreams and our hopes…thinking about the new life we were starting together. We were going to have several more kids on top of Skyler and Nathan, talking about our careers, trips we were going to take, where we were going to build a house and the list went on.
We always took the kids to church together when we were dating and we were going to continue to do that as a family. But, as I was reflecting this last year, it made me realize how much our dreams have changed and how different we want things to look in our lives going forward.
Health issues prevented us from having as many children as we were planning to have…but we were blessed with four amazing kids!
And all the other stuff I dreamed about…it was just stuff. I never dreamed about joining a small group, getting more involved with church and like I said, we wanted to make sure we took the kids to church…but my ten year life plan did not include me reading the bible more and actually growing in my faith, having a more personal relationship with Jesus…but it should have.
Eight years ago I fell in love with an idea of Tim and what being married to him was going to be like. Our idea of marriage was so completely different and we couldn’t have prepared ourselves, even if we tried, for what the few short years being together were going to throw at us. Deteriorating health, loss of jobs, kids and sickness, financial stress, more bad health, the deaths of grandmas and grandpas and hardest yet…a brother…all of this in our first eight years.
And now, instead of laying on Tim’s chest dreaming about the little cabin we were going to put up in Minnesota, we often sit next to each other in silence, trying to absorb the day’s events, reviewing what appointment is coming next or we cuddle up to watch a movie because we are simply exhausted and just don’t want to think about anything…these are on the few nights I feel good enough to stay up after the kids go to bed.
So how does a marriage survive one slam after the other? I mean, every time I go to Iowa City…I know they won’t be telling me all of the tumors throughout my chest are gone and I don’t have to go back. I will always have procedures and tests.
And Tim will still face things every day that will be a constant reminder that Aaron is no longer here…
It it by the grace of God that Tim and I are still married. And, while we love each other so much, we have both had to learn how to ask each other for forgiveness as well as accept it and then start over again…one day at a time.
Throughout all the hardships, the pain, the suffering and the sorrow…we have also been showered with blessings and we still find something to laugh about…no matter how dark our season is. And I always say it but I love how my husband can still make me laugh, even through all the pain. I am able to see a little more how God is shaping my husband in to the man that he is today…a hard working man…
Each circumstance is an opportunity for us to grow….and each situation has its own pace to work through but we still push forward…together.
And don’t get me wrong, we still dream, we still have our bucket list and we talk about how amazing the next family trip to wherever would be as well as our dreams for our kids but we are also finding joy in everyday life…good or bad days, we try to smile regardless.
While we would love to get away on a crazy fantasy family vacation, we cherish just being with the kids. We appreciate each day given to us and we don’t take time for granted. But ultimately, having Jesus in our own lives and praying our kids have a relationship with Him as well are the things we focus on. Take nothing for granted because it can all drastically change in the blink of an eye.
So yeah, this might be on the sad side to most of you but to me…this is our life and it is absolutely beautiful.
I love everything about you Timothy Lalk. God knew exactly what I needed and He has made you so amazingly better than what my idea of a great husband could ever be…happy anniversary.
And yes hon…this is our wedding song! We went for some non traditional music!😉