When Cody and I were first together I felt the need to justify our relationship, to make the good exponentially awesome and pretend the bad didn’t exist. A lot of people (pretty much everyone who had ever known me) expected us (specifically me) to fail. I had gone from a wild and reckless existence to married in six months.
Most anyone will deny the possibility of knowing you were meant to marry someone in one single clarifying moment.
But that’s exactly what happened with Cody, three weeks after our first date. In one moment I saw us getting married, me having his babies and us growing old together. I can remember it with perfect clarity.
Cody often tells me how hard that first year was…I don’t remember much of it. Because it was also the first year that I was forced to face my emotions without drugs or alcohol. Of course it was hard for him, he had to watch his new bride fall apart and (at the time) he felt there was nothing he could do for me.
But he never gave up on me.
When I mentioned divorce in passing he always responded with “Ending will never be an option.”
Years went by, jobs came and went, apartments came and went, our waistlines came and went and finally I ended up pregnant with Addie. Again, he had to sit on the sidelines and watch as his wife crumbled around the tiny baby growing inside her. He was within feet of me as my body tried to get rid of all the pills I had taken to end not only my life, but his daughter’s life as well. When I woke up he asked if I wanted to watch Oprah and when I was finally released if I wanted to go to the baby store to pick some things out.
Unfortunately I was transferred to an inpatient facility for the next three days where there was no Oprah, baby stuff or Cody.
The night I was released he was never more than an arms length away from me.
More time went by, me falling back on him through postpartum depression, moving and finally going to law school. He always caught me. Law school wasn’t kind. I was forced to fall other places, Cody had to focus on school. It was for our future, for our family. Unfortunately one of the places I fell more than I should have was onto credit cards. By the time school came to an end I think we had both forgotten how to love each other. We both made mistakes. We both acknowledge them.
Love cannot be shown in deed and duty alone.
By October of 2009 we were on the thinnest ice possible. I was ready for the end. 8 years…we did good. We tried. It was going to end.
But Cody stayed true to what he said our first year. “Ending will never be an option.”
He promised me that from that day forth I would never go a day without knowing just how much he loves me.
Once again I was washed over with clarity and this sense of peace, we would make it through this. We would grow old together. We would be okay.
Getting back to okay was hard as hell. For once we both had to lean on each other when each of us were at our most weak and vulnerable. But we made it. Some days hour to hour, until it became day to day…and now. We are just us, we will always be us, for time and all eternity.
His hands make me melt. His smile causes pitter patters. I get giddy when he walks into a room. He has become the safest, strongest most reliable thing I know. Of all the things on this earth he is my most prized possession. And our babies are a tangible extension of two people so in love that if the rest of the world fell away we’d still be complete because we have each other.
Oh how I love him.
(photo by Kim Orlandini)