Cheers to Ten Years

Friday, May 15, 2020

Today marks ten years that Tom and I have been together.

I never thought that a picnic in the park and a The Adventures of Pete & Pete DVD would change the course of my life, but here we are, ten years later, showing that they did.

I couldn't have imagined that a few months later, we'd be moving in together. Or that less than a year later, we'd be married. That we'd adopt a dog, and then two cats, and then, after years of heartbreak, two wonderful little boys who turned our lives upside down in the best way possible. That we'd be able to buy a house that we absolutely adore.

The past ten years have been a whirlwind, but we almost didn't make it there. I'm sure plenty of our family members didn't think we would (our relationship was a bit of a whirlwind).

But like many couples, our communication was not great for a long time. There have definitely been a few times where we've almost fallen apart. But last year, we sat down and were completely open and honest about what we were feeling, what we'd been keeping inside, etc. And since then, things have been better than they have been in years. Learning how to express yourself to your partner and communicate in a healthy way is so important, and I'm so glad we've finally gotten there.

But the true test of whether or not we'd hit this ten year mark came out of the blue a few weeks ago.

Tom came home from work on a Thursday complaining that his eye was itchy. Friday after work, he came home and it was a little puffy. He has allergies, and this happens when his allergies get bad, so we just assumed that's what it was.

Saturday, he woke up to find his eye was completely swollen shut. At this point, we started to suspect pink eye, but the usual remedies weren't really providing him with any belief.

Sunday, he was screaming from the pain, but he was nervous about going to the ER and didn't want to. He called in to take the next day off work, because he knew he wouldn't be in any shape to go in.

The first thing Monday morning, I set up a virtual appointment with his doctor, which he had around 11:30am. At noon, we were leaving for the emergency room because she wanted him to get a CT. Because of the rules at the hospital due to coronavirus, I had to drop him off. The kids and I headed to our old rental house to pack some stuff, but I was distracted and worried. around 1pm, he texted me that he was on morphine, everything was fuzzy, and he'd be getting his scan soon. At 3:30, he called me to tell me he was going back for emergency surgery on his eye.

We had no idea what was going on.

The surgery went well, but he had to stay in the hospital to receive antibiotics through an IV. The release date kept getting pushed back, and they ended up doing a second surgery to remove excess fluid on Friday. On Sunday, he was finally able to come home, and we were elated. In the ten years we've been together, the longest we'd ever been apart was a few days. Since we've had the boys, they'd never known what it was like for one of us to be gone for more than a night. And let me tell you -- I've always respected single moms, but I have SO much more respect for them now; that week kicked my butt.

They're still not fully sure what was wrong with Tom's eye. He ended up having a tumor of some sort, but they can't figure out why it suddenly blew up the way it did. But if we had waited even one more day to take him in, not only could he have lost vision in that eye, but the infection could have spread to his brain. I very easily could have lost him, and making it to ten years never would have happened.

I'm immensely grateful that we've made it to this point (and that Tom is still here for it!). All the things we've faced together in the past decade have been worth it to have him by my side.

I can't wait to see what the next decade holds for us.

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