Last week Paul and I were talking with a friend about parts of our story, in particular, some of the details of having a child with special needs. She asked a lot of questions and we told her much of the challenges, the medical emergencies and the crises. At the end I was in tears and we all sat quietly, absorbing it.
She looked at us, “That must have been hard.”
We both nodded.
“I would think on your marriage, especially.”
Again, we nodded.
For several moments no one said anything and then the conversation continued and we spoke of other things.
I was thinking about this tonight, how important it was to me, how meaningful, for her to acknowledge that. I am clear that having a child with special needs has been arduous for me and for Paul as individuals and obviously for us together, but to have someone say out loud that it was a hard hit on our marriage was profound.
In that moment and tonight, thinking about it again, I can see our marriage separate from us, as more than us. It is before me, an entity, composed of our love and commitment to each other, our years together, our hopes and dreams, of our losses and sorrows. I am looking at this thing, this creation, to borrow from Madeline L’Engle: this Two-Part Invention and it is so beautiful. It has weathered so much.
I want to celebrate it.
This is me lifting a glass to our union, to us.