Six years ago today, my husband and I tied the knot and, like most weddings, my heart played a big part in the decision…just in a slightly different way to most other pre-marital hearts.
We had never really planned to get married – we had already lived together for a number of years and had our daughter – but I decided to propose to my now-husband (yes, I did the proposing) because of how he supported me through the dark early years following my heart-failure diagnosis.
Like many couples, I wanted to vent about my situation when I was upset, while he wanted to find solutions for me because he hated seeing me upset. This led to many strained and unfruitful conversations, until one day I managed to explain to him that sometimes I just wanted him to agree the situation was hard and give me a hug. And he did! He actually changed the way he responded to my near-constant, but understandable, whining – biting his tongue whenever he wanted to suggest a solution, nodding his agreement with my reactions, hugging me whenever needed – and I actually started to feel a bit better as a result. I was so amazed at the way he took my requests on board, overriding his natural instincts for my benefit, that I wanted to do something to show him how much I appreciated that.
Proposing might not seem like the obvious payback, but at this time I was still struggling to come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t have the family we’d planned as it wouldn’t be safe for me to go through another pregnancy. This was (still is at times) horrendously difficult to deal with and it felt like all our good-news occasions were over while everyone else was still busily reproducing and celebrating and reproducing again.
I thought a wedding would be an excellent opportunity to celebrate our family – a rare good-news occasion to share with our nearest and dearest, and the chance to cement our smaller-than-planned family unit and declare it complete. That’s why my daughter walked in with us, stood with us while we shared our vows, and why we had Three Cool Cats as a prominent part of the wedding playlist. My daughter still refers to that day as “our wedding” and I love that, because it was very much OUR day.
And, as you can see from the faces in the background, our nearest and dearest were very happy to share the celebration with us. The person with hands clasped and a HUGE smile on her face is the same friend I celebrated via haiku recently, who snuck out of work to be with me at the hospital on a particularly tough day.
In case you’re wondering about the ice-cream cones, we got married in Jaconelli’s – our favourite old-school cafe, where we went for one of our first dates, and the perfect venue for us. Our very select group of guests (the cafe is TINY) loved their bacon rolls with ice cream for afters!
My husband forgot our anniversary this year, but I really don’t mind. He still lets me vent and still tries not to solve the unsolvable, so I’ll forgive him pretty much anything! 🙂
This month the blog has a focus on all things Friends & Family, tying in with the theme of the zine. How have your family and friends responded to your heart condition? Do you find it easy to talk to your partner/spouse when you are finding life tough? Has your heart condition changed your relationship in any way? If you fancy sharing your thoughts on this or any other aspect of Friends & Family, perhaps you would consider contributing a haiku to this month’s zine? Full details available here…but you’d better be quick as I’m about to start putting the zine together!