Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Real Life Valentine's Day Story. Beating Cancer Together.

15 years ago, on February 13th, 1995,
I got a phone call in my Virginia dorm room from my mom.
She told me that  a boy from our church, was recovering from surgery.
It was in our church newsletter and they were asking people to send him get well cards/notes.
He was the older boy from church, (the one she knew I thought was cute.)

He was the one I started sitting up front to watch every Sunday singing in the choir.
He was the one who played beautiful trumpet solos in front of the painted scenery
I was forever painting for summer VBS plays.
The boy with a head full of curly dark hair and green eyes who made me blush,
but I was never brave enough to actually talk to.

He. had. cancer.
He was only 20 years old.
He had a malignant brain tumor (an anaplastic astrocytoma.)

He had just had brain surgery over Christmas vacation to remove it
and was back at school in Wisconsin undergoing radiation treatment.

I wrote down his address on a scrap of paper on my desk.
Something told me, a small voice inside my head,
that this was the start of something that would change my life.

I bought a card at the campus bookstore. I wrote a note inside, something along the lines of,
"You don't know me, but we attend the same church and we went to rival high schools..."
"I hope you are doing well, I'm here if you need a friend to talk to." etc.

I put it in the outgoing mailbox, not realizing the date.
The card arrived later that week, it was postmarked February 14, 1995.
He wrote back. (this was before we had email accounts)
We continued writing back and forth for
the rest of the school year, throughout his treatments and recovery.

We became really good friends.
We agreed to meet and hang out when he came back home to Virginia in June.
It was love at first sight. We were both smitten.
We did not know what kind of future awaited us.

We knew we were in love.
We did not know what kind of prognosis he would have.
We knew we were best friends.
We knew we wanted to be together for as long as we could.
We have been married for 11 years.

We have been together 15 years, since that fateful first lunch date....
and really, if I'm being honest, he's had my heart since I mailed that first
Valentine's Day Get Well card.

He still writes me beautiful love letters.
He still gets an MRI every year to recheck his noggin.
He is still cancer free.

He is my best friend, the father of our two beautiful daughters,
the best daddy in the world, my partner in crime, my one and only valentine.

Happy Valentine's Day my love.
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine.


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