Prompt 18: Who was the hardest person in your life to forgive? How did you do it?

I think of this as the most unlikely, not the hardest.

There was always a lot of conscientiousness between by wife’s family and my family. When she faced a life threatening illness it only increased everything because of the stress of the situation having to be together a great deal more than usual

Her sister and brother-in-law never treated me or my family so any respect. Her. Sister threw things at my parents and constantly made comments about my family when they were not around.

Her illness clarified a lot for me. It made realize how much I loved her, taught me to hate someone’s actions but not necessarily the person, and that a time of crisis is not a time for grudges or revenge

With my wife’s life in question, I went to my sister-in-law and said to her “we had some big decisions we might have to make that no one should have to make alone”. We agreed that we would be making the Decisions about her health together.

I should have known better based on pat history and events. We had discussed where condolence calls would be made if she passed away and she told me she wanted to be the tone to make decisions.

I chose to take the high road. That was something I had not always done in the past. Less than two months into her illness her sister and her best friends worked together to get power of attorney behind my back.

I trusted her in a time I am not sure I should have. All I wanted at the time was for my wife to get better and to take care of our children. Unfortunately her sister and siblings always had their own agendas preceded anything that mattered got the family we had created.

 

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Prompt Seven: Write About a Lesson You Learned or an Insight you Gained At the Time, I felt/thought/acted…Now I understand/admit that…

Most of us search our entire lives searching for love, our partner, the person we will share life with and in many if not most cases raise a family with. I thought I had found that in 2001.

All of us have decisions in life that change the course of our life. These are usually big decisions. Where we go to college, where we decide to live, the kind of work we do and who we decide to marry.

Getting there can often involve smaller decisions. Dating was always extremely difficult for me. The advent of the internet gave me far more confidence to date.

In January of 2001 I sat at my computer with my AOL instant messenger box open debating whether or not to send an instant message to a woman. I had grown tired of dating in general and internet dating specifically. I thought what do I have to lose. I sent the message and there was an instant connection.

We messaged for a few days before we spoke on the phone. It would be about two weeks before our first date. I decided to go out on the date with the goal of having fun and not worrying about the future.

My more relaxed attitude probably had a lot to do with the success of the date. We dated for two years and got engaged on the second anniversary of our first date.

We were married for two and a half more years before our first child was born. We went through a lot to get there. She had been sick beginning about eight months into our relationship.

The various illnesses would have changed most people and made them more appreciative of life. It didn’t seem to do either for both us. Ours was the epitome of a love hate relationship.

None of those illnesses compared to what was to come years later.She contacted a life threatening illness. The prospect of losing her made all the fights, arguments and disagreements seem pointless. I cried myself to sleep every night for two months.

One argument that preceded her illness by a month or two seemed particularly pointless.  As we were having a beautiful dinner outside in the summer I had forgotten to boil the corn to go with dinner.

The insight I gained from her illness is that almost all of our of arguments, disagreements and dissension seemed so trivial. Many of us get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life. What class your kids might take, whose family are you going to spend the holidays with or what are you going to eat for dinner.

When she got sick it made everything else feel pointless. In spite of our contentious marriage, I wanted to show her despite her illness I still loved her and hoped we could put the past behind us.

I learned a lot from a heartbreaking situation. Her illness clarified my love for her. More than anything I wanted to show her how much I loved her.

We were not always nice to each other. She would often call me names, particularly in disagreements with her family. I compounded it by teasing her early in the relationship and occasionally saying things about her family that I could have chosen different words for.

It took an inconceivable tragedy for me to realize how fragile life is. The lesson I learned and insight I gained is how fragile love is. What truly is love? How do we nurture a relationship? How do you put your relationship with your spouse/partner first while still keeping those in your life important.

One of the lessons I learned through all this is that the family you create together needs to come first. She would often say in her arguments “my family” “her family” my answer was always what about our family?

The insight I gained is that the importance of a living will, will and life insurance cannot be understated always have a plan in case you cannot speak for yourself.