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Tomorrow marks a decade of marriage for me. Yes, for those of you that did the math, I got married very young. I was just 19 when I walked down the aisle, my handsome groom the same age. We were exactly a year removed from high school, just kids. Some people thought we were crazy, we obviously knew what we were doing though. Sure I admit we could have been a little more financially secure, or even have a little more college, than my 1 semester, under our belts but looking back I would’ve done it the way we did in a heart beat.

My parents were 100% supportive from the very first day. They loved Mark from the instant they met him. How could they not? He was by far the best looking guy I had  dated, polite, treated me like a queen and he even played the guitar. I got very lucky. I never had to convince my Dad that Mark was good enough for me, didn’t have any fight about us wanting to get married, it was just meant to be and they knew it. As any gentleman would do, Mark asked my Dad for my hand. I’ve been told it went very well. So after a year of dating, Mark finally proposed to me at sunrise, during a camping trip at Strawberry Reservoir. Later he told me that he had been carrying the ring for quite some time but every-time he went to pop the question, it just didn’t seem perfect. We were engaged for another year. Our wedding was perfect. I had the outside wedding I always dreamed about and couldn’t ask for anything more. Since we were so young and totally broke, our Honey Moon was not anything fancy. We went to Vegas for a night, then to spend a week in St. George. May seem like a silly place but all I really wanted was to go somewhere that had palm trees. That was 10 years ago and still every detail is burned into my memory. So are thousands of other moments in my marriage.

We have had some spectacular times over the years we have been together. The summer where we went to concert after concert. The summer we were just married, and had season passes to Lagoon. The time we went camping out at Lake Powell and packed up early cause it was way too hot. When we found out we were pregnant the first and second times. When we got the keys to our home. Our road trips. I could go on for pages and pages, but I think you get the idea.

 

I cherish all the good times, however in any relationship the length of ours there are going to be some rough patches. We’ve sure had our fair share. Im stubburn, demanding, blunt and a bitch most days. He forgets things constantly, procrastanates, and has the worst time communicating.  In so many ways we are pure opposites. Besides our personalities getting in the way, the cards were stacked against us because of our age. We have both had to work really hard at this marriage, and it hasn’t been easy. There have been plenty of times where I was so mad at Mark I wouldn’t talk to him and I know he has been that mad at me.  However, every struggle, every argument, every tear shed, we have been able to rise above and come out stronger because of it. For that, I cherish the bad times just as much.

The past 4 years have probably been our hardest. No one expects that they are going to be held to that silly “In sickness and in health” vow. It is a real test of love when one spouse gets sick. Sure Mark would look like a total jerk if he left me now that I am ill, but everything he does isn’t out of obligation. Mark has been my knight in shining armor since my diagnosis. I recall the first time he had to help me take a shower after my surgery. He was so tender, and kind. It made me realize what a good man I had. He never complains about having to take care of me, or watch the kids extra when I’m not feeling well. I take my pain out on him more than I’d like to admit, not to mention the crappy attitude I have when I am feeling frustrated. I know it tears him up inside to see me in so much pain, or watching me have to go though so many failed  treatments. He has been so wonderful with it all, that I always feel guilty. I am so filled with guilt that sometimes I nit pick at the silliest things, making him not so perfect, in order not to feel so bad about the hell I have put him through. This isn’t the life he chose, I am not the same person he fell in love with, I feel like he has been cheated out on what should have been. Chiari has challenged us more than any obstacle we have faced. I just hope like everything else it makes us that much closer.

My marriage is far from perfect but it is real. I’m still in love with the same man that kissed my hand before sliding on my wedding ring. I still look at my husband and get butterflies in my stomach. I still miss him like crazy whenever we are apart. He still makes me laugh at all his stupid jokes. Although easily bored, he still holds my attention. He still impresses me. He still makes me feel like a better woman just because I am with him. He still makes me feel complete. I love him more today then the day we got married and can not wait for the next 10 years together. I love you Lever Face, Happy Anniversary.

 

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