Our first year of marriage was not filled with the normal ups and downs of a newly married couple. It was filled with losing my mother.
She had terminal cancer. We learned it was terminal the day before Nate proposed. Our entire engagement was shrouded by a cloud of sadness mixed in with the joy.
We would have a bridal shower the day after learning the chemo wasn’t working.
On our wedding day, I couldn’t relax and enjoy the day because I was managing mom’s medications and was constantly watching the clock for her next dose.
We would learn on our honeymoon that the chemo plan B wasn’t working.
All the joyous occasions were accompanied by sadness and fear of losing my mother.
I was too young I thought to lose my mother. I wasn’t even married yet. Who was I going to call when I had questions about life, marriage, house cleaning and cooking. Well google and I have become friends for sure!
Starting a life with someone is a huge adjustment, but we didn’t argue over the normal things newly weds argue over. All that stuff seemed so trivial in the face of death. We were forced to mature quick.
Dirty clothes on the floor? Whose turn is it to wash the dishes? None of that mattered.
Honeymoon phase? Where the world revolves around the two of you? What’s that? Ours was full of chemo appointments. That giddy in love feeling? Gone before we were ever married. We had to mature up. Can’t face death like that if you don’t.
We went from dating to an older married couple with a deeper love that the giddy new love of a marriage. We skipped right to the deep stuff.
Nate holding me as a sobbed every night for months.
Nate holding my mother up in his arms so she could take a drink of water, because she was too weak to sit up and I was too weak to lift her.
Nate lifting her out of her bed and into the hospital bed when it was time to transition.
Nate sitting with my mom when my emotions got the best of me.
Nate holding her hand, telling her about Jesus even though she was unresponsive, because we didn’t know where she stood with the Lord.
Nate staying and watching as the funeral home took my mother away…. when it was too hard for me to watch.
I wouldn’t have survived that storm in my life if it wasn’t for Nate. God put him in my life just two weeks before my world turned upside down. God knew I needed his quiet strength and his happy go lucky nature to make it through that sadness with my soul still intact.
We have a deeper love. We had to, to survive that first year. We just got there quicker than normal couples.
This post is in honor of my mother Sherry Grahl.
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