Friday, October 9, 2009

In Good Times and Bad

Yesterday, Brian and I celebrated our fourth anniversary.

It was a quiet, brief celebration at the end of a busy day for both of us. In years past, we might have cooked dinner together, but this year I shopped and marinated and chopped. He grilled and steamed and cleaned up the kitchen. We finally sat down together to surf and turf and local potatoes and broccoli from our own garden. Then we both went back to work. Just before bed, we reconvened for warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and a peach lambic toast. The lambic is our special drink, the one he brought to a mountain top when he proposed, the one the restaurant brought in special for us to toast with at our wedding.

Four years. Somebody asked Brian how long we had been married, and he said "Four years, but it feels like longer." Living a lifetime in seven months will do that.
Shortly before Henry died, when I think I knew but could not quite yet admit that I knew Henry was going to die, the priest from Brian's parents' church came to pray with us. He did not ask for Henry to be saved, for him to live, not that I remember. He did ask that Brian and I lean toward each other and not away from each other.
When you have a child born with a disability or health issue, people like to cite divorce statistics. I'm not sure why. Should we be on guard? Should we just give in to the inevitable? What they didn't realize was that statistics no longer meant a thing. We got on the wrong side of the odds. There was no comfort in them, but also no fear.
For our first anniversary, we had dinner at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception. Brian even made a reservation for the specific table where we sat on that special day. No lambic toast that night, though. I was already pregnant with Henry.

For our second anniversary, we had Thai food in a crowded restaurant in Boston, within walking distance from the hospital. We could not have imagined on that rainy, rainy day in October 2005, that we would be living on opposite sides of the state on our second anniversary—me in Boston with Henry, him at home in Western Mass. But there we were. Brian brought a lambic with him, but I think I wasn't in the mood to drink it.

For our third anniversary, we were 10 months out from Henry's death, still raw and tired and sad.  I was pregnant with Kathleen and had just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. No bread, no dessert, no lambic.

And now, here we are. Almost two years since Henry died. Almost a year since Kathleen was born. Four full years since we said "I do."
We are still here. Still together. Still working on the in good times and bad. Still that other side of the statistic. Still loving, still happy despite the deep sorrow.


  1. Happy fourth anniversary. Must be the year for it. We celebrated our fourth in January. So happy we both didn't become statustics (in that sense, even though we did in another sense) and that our marriages are much stronger for the experience.
    Mmm, peach lambic. That sounds right up our alley. If I could, I'd have one for you tonight. Simon would have one, too. Or five!

  2. Happy anniversary. I completely understand the 'lifetime in seven months" though of course for us it was five and a half. I'm near the end of my pregnancy and still, this feels like such a short time compared to what it was like with Jordan.

    Those divorce statistics scared the hell out of me. Why people had to add to our stress I don't know. It was cruel.

    Congrats on your fourth anniversary. Peach lambic sounds nice. I wish I could have one.

  3. Happy 4th anniversary. I am glad you two pulled closer together through the pain. We too were advised of the divorce statics after Liam died and we are thankful each day those statistics were not part of our fate. But I don't believe in statistics anymore either.

    Glad you could eat a yummy dinner with your hubby with fresh grown veggies and a toast with your favorite drink!

    Cheers to your love!

  4. Happy anniversay. I hope you enjoyed your dinner, it sounds delicious.

    I think I know what you mean, how it feels like longer. As though time kind of got compressed.

    I don't know about the statistics. At the moment, I tend to think that the chances of everything and anything are 50:50. They will either come to pass or they won't. xo

  5. Happy 4th anniversary! Like you, David and I look back and can't quite believe where this journey has taken us. Our 4th is in May, and I can only hope we'll be able to celebrate with a peaceful Sunflower asleep in the nursery.

  6. Happy anniversary, and I hope you have many, many more of them. It feels like longer for us, too.