It’s hard to know where to even begin. Our second year of marriage posed us with the most obstacles, the hardest challenges, but we came out better people in the end. This letter has been running through my head most of this year, wondering if I could find the right words to describe how you supported me. In my mind, these letters should express my love for you, but I’d be amiss to not address the hardest time in our relationship (and maybe my life) and how you got me through it.
I guess the best place so start is at the place where we last left off, October 3rd, 2016, our first wedding anniversary. We took the week off to spend time together, a staycation as I was shooting weddings on both weekends surrounding our anniversary. We made the plan to go for walks, enjoy time together and then we would go away to Tofino together in November to really celebrate. October 4th was when this year took its first hard turn. It’s one of the dates from this past year that I’ll never forget. Taking my mom to a specialist appointment and hearing the words, we need to run more tests, it might be cancer. The “C” word. We had to wait two weeks for the results but we all knew what they would be.
I went with my mom to her appointment and sure enough the diagnosis was what we all expected, it was cancer. But in the doctor’s words the best possible form of cancer, because once surgery was completed there was a good likelihood that no other treatment would be needed. No chemo, no radiation. Her surgery appointment was booked for two weeks later, the day we were to leave to go to Tofino to celebrate our anniversary. There was no question about cancelling our trip as we both wanted to be there for my mom.
The next two weeks were the worst. I didn’t want to cry at home and for the first time in my life I was compartmentalizing every emotion I had. I would cry the whole drive in to work and home, but at home I was just emotionless. You begged me to talk to you, but I couldn’t, I just wanted to be strong. To prove to myself I could be strong. I could see how hard it was for you to see me in this state but I was completely incapable of doing anything differently.
The day of mom’s surgery you were at my side. I remember sitting with you at crescent beach waiting, what seemed like forever, to get the call that mom was ok. I remember offering to go home and you refusing to go any further away from the hospital then where we were. You will never know how much that meant to me. Well the call came through and she made it through the surgery like a champ. We were lucky, they got everything with the surgery and it hadn’t spread! Mom was cancer free! From initial appointment to getting the all clear it seemed like an eternity but it was only 6 weeks.
While I couldn’t express how I was feeling and couldn’t talk about it knowing you were there for me was all I needed. I knew if I could find the words you’d listen, if I needed a hug you’d wrap me in your arms.
But unfortunately for us this wasn’t the only challenge we were going to face. I knew from early on in our relationship how important it was for you to have a family, and I wanted that too. I wanted nothing more than to be a mom and the mother of your child. But like many people have faced we tried with no luck. After 8 months of trying I knew something just wasn’t right and begged our doctor to run some preliminary tests. Three days after my mom’s surgery we got the news, I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and was in the beginning stages of Type 2 Diabetes. The doctor needed me to make immediate lifestyle changes so that I could be healthier to possibly be able to one day give us the child we wanted so badly. In the moment, I felt terrible about the situation but as the days passed and I learned more about PCOS so much of my weight struggles made sense, things I had felt made sense. Being diagnosed with PCOS and potentially Type 2 diabetes was a blessing not a curse. I had answers and I had actions I could take. I was going to own this, it wasn’t going to own me. The strength you gave me in this time was the reason I knew I would overcome this.
You made it through the hangry spells as I eliminated certain foods from my life. You went on walks with me and encouraged me to stay active. You made meals for me that were “Morgan Friendly” and really came with me on this journey. You even made me my own Easter egg hunt with sweets I could eat. This wasn’t a diet to lose weight, it was a complete lifestyle change, for us, for our family. You joined me on this journey and I have loved seeing you become happier and more confident along the way!
We knew having a child was off the table for a little bit until I was healthy enough, so we grew our family by 4 paws instead, welcoming Buddy. It’s been so much fun raising him with you together, and celebrating his milestones. I love that you share photos of him with your friends as if he was your child. He was the turning point in what was a challenging start to our second year of marriage.
I remember at New Years being so happy that 2016 was behind us and we could focus on making 2017 a better year for all of us. You started off by surprising me with an idea for our vacation to go to Disneyland. Knowing how much I loved all things Disney you said you wanted to make me happy. Knowing how much you didn’t like Disney it meant the world to me that you would take me there. It was truly one of the most amazing trips and really made our relationship stronger. I’ll never forget the look on your face when you met Darth Vader and Chewbacca, it was an absolute highlight for me to see you so happy.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I was worried about providing enough for our family, only having a small number of weddings booked for the year. But reflecting back that was a blessing. It allowed me to spend more time on bettering myself and spending more time with family and friends. In a year that I couldn’t be the rock I normally am for everyone else I needed to have my family and friends at my side. I needed that time.
Looking back on all this year has brought us I really focus on the best parts that made this year amazing and think about the things we learned from all the challenges. Someone once told me that a relationship is a combination of two people to get to 100%. Most time the two people both put in 50% but sometimes, when one isn’t able to the other needs to put in more. You did that, you put in more for me this year when I was not capable of putting in 50%, sometimes I think putting in almost a full 100% when I was falling apart.
I know this year was hard, but we had so many new memories together from it. We now have two wonderful dogs that fill our lives with laughter and love, amazing memories from our first road trip down the west coast of the US, so many moments of happiness spending time with family and friends, and most importantly I think we learned the true meaning of being partners in life. I know this year was hard on me, but I know it was also hard on you, but yet you still kept me going each and everyday. I want you to know how much the little things you do for me make each day brighter and I’m so glad to have you at my side each and every day. I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 2nd Anniversary my love!