Monday, December 07, 2015

Love and Illness: One Year Anniversary

Us: On My Birthday at One of Our Favorite Parks

Happy One Year Anniversary Baby!

It's difficult to believe that one year ago today--on December 8th, 2014--Kiernan and I went on our first date at a cozy local bar with a fireplace and chatted easily for 2 1/2 hours. We had met just a few days earlier on November 30th. For our next date, we went to our favorite Thai and Sushi restaurant in town. 

This evening, we plan to return to our favorite restaurant and possibly, if energy allows, make a trip down memory lane to the cozy little bar and sit by the fireplace and have a drink. 

October 10, 2015

On our one year anniversary we find ourselves in a little different place than we expected to find ourselves. Having been out of the dating scene for so many years, I let my expectations for a perfectly linear relationship get in the way of what blending two adult lives can really look like.

We're not engaged right now. And we're not ready to be. And we're okay with that.

Instead, we found ourselves hitting a low point, facing our biggest challenges yet, and deciding that what is best for us is focusing on the journey that is us; focusing on right now; focusing not on what the future holds, but cherishing our hopes for it; and most of all focusing on making ourselves the best partners we can be for each other.

Life is rarely, if ever, linear. And Kiernan's steadiness is what keeps me together when I freak out. 

We've found this reset to be a period of renewal, and I've found myself falling in love with K all over again.

I have learned so much over this past year with Kiernan. I've learned that, while my illness certainly makes our relationship more difficult, challenging and unique when it comes to everything from sex to children to the activities in which we can engage in and share, it is not ultimately what causes us the most difficulty.

Instead, we struggle just like any couple does--with the same issues I hear all of my friends talk about or read about in articles. How do we be the best partner to each other? How do we communicate well? How do I learn to speak up with my needs?

This realization that, in so many ways, we are just like every other couple navigating a love relationship, helps me to see that love and illness are indeed possible. More than possible. Just a lot harder sometimes.

I find myself at this one year anniversary with Kiernan feeling grateful for the journey--all of it. The ups, the downs and the in-betweens. 

I am grateful to this man who shows me grace, patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, tenderness, humility and a willingness to work hard at making us the best we can be. 

Kiernan is what one calls 'a good person', which is the greatest compliment we can give someone. He is also my favorite funny person. And since sense of humor is a sign of intelligence, we can now declare that Kiernan is way smarter than I am. :) 

Pushing Me in the Rolls

He continues to journey with me through this illness, which has thrown me a major curveball the past six weeks. My illness affects our relationship, but it does not define it. I am chronically ill, but I am not my illness. Kiernan plays the role of caregiver sometimes, but it is not his only role. He continues to teach me what is possible.


I hope that my journey with this man continues for a very, very long time.

Thank you, Kiernan, for the gift of this year together with you.

 I love you very much, babe.



Jean Kuhn said...

Kiernan is a mensch. You are so lucky to have found him. You are an angel and he is lucky he found you. Love is always a bumpy road and only time smooths it out. I know these things because I am old now and able to look back on life and see how I got here.

Rachel Lundy said...

Wow - one year already!! I'm so glad that the two of you found each other! I hope and pray for many more years together for you. I hope that this journey will continue to be a blessing for both of you. May you learn and grow and love for a long time to come!