A couple of times early on after my diagnosis, Don called me from work to say he’d lined up a sitter for Theo and that he’d like to take me out to dinner. Just the two of us.
Sounds romantic. And it is. Except.
Except that I was gripped by this terrible, irrational fear that he was going to tell me he couldn’t do this anymore, go along with me on this journey.
So, when we got to Carrabba’s and I was looking like a deer caught in the headlights rather than a wife out with her husband on a Friday night, he was confused.
“What’s wrong?” he asked once we were seated in our booth. “Did you want to go somewhere else?”
I stared at the table for a moment, then worked up the courage to say, “I’m afraid you’re going to tell me you can’t do this anymore.” And how could I blame him, really? This, my second cancer diagnosis in five years, the first coming when Don was just 32, me, 37.
Don reached across the table and covered my hands with his.
“I just want to have dinner with the woman I love,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
It isn’t all that irrational if you look at the statistics — as many as 50 percent of marriages dissolve after a cancer diagnosis.
But we all know that when you’ve got the Real Deal — a hubby like mine — statistics are bunk.
It was silly. But I was scared.
A few days ago, Don sent me the most beautiful music video by Martina McBride that captures what this whole journey is all about. Then, this morning, my neighbor, Sue, sent it to me as well.
I just watched it. Again. And cried. Again. But they were very happy tears and a reminder that while the journey is tough, so much of what comes out of it can indeed be beautiful.
It is amazing. But a word of caution before you press “play” — grab a box of Kleenex first. (Click on Martina McBride’s name, above, and it will take you to the video.)
Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson