I met my husband in the spring of 1981. I was 23 and he was 29. We courted for almost two months and became engaged on the 1st of June. We married in August and he swept me away into a life of happiness and sorrow, joys and trials, good times and bad times, peaceful sunsets and troubled storms.
We wanted children and because he turned 30 only a few days prior to our wedding, we felt it important to begin our family. Our first son was born ten months later. We were a happy family. Our second son was born 17 months after that, only he was born terminal. Still we were happy as a couple and as a family. The first 15 years of our marriage were challenging but we had each other and we were best friends. During those years we were blessed with four healthy sons; however we faced the trials together of several miscarriages and the loss of our son Jacob and the death of our thirteen year old son Kason. These experiences brought my husband and I closer together in many ways yet pulled us apart in other ways.
As a couple we had much stress. Finances were always a problem. Because of our second sons poor health my nursing career was put to use at home and I only worked outside of the home during times when my husband was between jobs and he was a Mr. Mom for short time periods. As our son Kason’s condition worsened and his death was eminent my husband had a need to distance himself and so he took a job as an over the road truck driver and was gone for a month at a time. This is when our friendship waned.
The year our son Kason died my husband, my once best friend, and I went separate ways. It is sad but we had become each others worst enemies. I became a single mom of my remaining four children. My youngest was thirteen months and my oldest son was 15, the other two boys were five and eleven. For three years we stayed separated thru which time we made several failed attempts to make our marriage work. Our oldest son ended up being the transporter of his siblings between me and my estranged husband; having had to get a restraining order against him due to the fact that he was no longer my friend but my enemy. In the fall of 2000 I filed for a divorce. We had joint custody of the children and he kept the house. I kept our dodge caravan. Sometimes I had all the children sometimes he had all of the children. In the end the oldest two spent most their time with him and the youngest two spent their time with me. Life was a mess and no one was happy.
In 2002 my ex-husband told me that because of the child support he was paying he could not make his house payments and the bank was foreclosing on him. Neither of us was seeing anyone else and though I had dated a couple of times and he had also gone on a date or two neither of us were interested in any relationships. So he asked me if I would re-marry him so the state would not make him pay child support. He figured that way he would be able to keep his house. I agreed to marry him on the condition that we would stay separated. I knew that the property was important to him and would one day be my children’s inheritance so we went to the courthouse and had a judge marry us without telling any of our family or our friends. We didn’t even tell our children for we did not want them to think that we were getting together. I knew that without the child support life would be challenging and meeting my children’s needs would be hard. Somehow the boys and I got by.
Four years later my husband and I started going on a date once a week and by this time we had let our children and close relatives know that we had remarried. However we still kept separate households. In 2007 my husband’s health declined and I accompanied him to many doctor appointments. We also began seeing a marriage counselor on a weekly basis. In December of 2007 after one of his doctor’s appointments, my best friend and I wept together sitting in the car. We spent Christmas together as a family that year. The day after Christmas we received the sad news that my husband had stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
During Christmas vacation my sons and I emptied our apartment and moved home to care for their Dad… my husband, my best friend twice over, the man I married two times. He went through two months of chemo and then lost the battle in March 2008. I am grateful that I remarried him even if it was for the wrong reason. Through it all I learned that I indeed loved him much more than I ever thought possible. I learned what true love and commitment is and how to forgive. If I had to do it all over again I would do it just the same.