I promise to love you in sickness and in health. Those were part of the vows we promised to one another 9 years ago today.
When I spoke those vows 9 years ago, I honestly imagined the “in sickness” part would apply to us much later in life. I imagined one of us aging more gracefully than the other and the stronger one taking care of the weaker. I envisioned gray hair, weak bones, and wrinkles. But I was wrong.
Year 9 of marriage was definitely a test of loving through sickness. It’s easy to love in good health. But when one partner has nothing to offer the other, when there is not a mutual giving and receiving, that is the point when real love has the opportunity to deepen and grow yet stronger.
Along with the normal impact giving birth has on your body, I suffered two injuries when delivering Rose in February. This resulted in a very painful, long and hard journey that followed. A journey I did not envision when bringing my newborn baby home. The only thing I was capable of doing those first few months was feeding Rose, and even that was difficult in most positions. But Vitaliy did more than just rise to the occasion.
Going through his own personal challenges of becoming a dad and grieving the absence of his parents in such a momentous time of his life, to say he was struggling would be an insufficient description of his state of mind. So, what do you do when one person is sick and the other is feeling weak? This is precisely why love is not a feeling, but a choice. And why marriage is a solemn vow.
Vitaliy did as he has been instructed by God to do, he laid down his life for me. He put his own needs and feelings aside, and he tirelessly served me and Rose. Morning, noon, and night. Day, after day, after day, he made the choice to love. Never complaining and never asking for anything in return.
Everything I have learned these past 9 years of marriage, I have learned from Vitaliy. From his example. I watch the way he loves me, and I try to push back my selfishness, and mimic him. His love continues to soften and change me. I hope I can love him as unconditionally through the years as he has loved, and continues to love, me.
Vitaliy, though you often doubt your leadership ability in our home, let this be a written and verbal confirmation of all that you do. Jesus was the ultimate example of a leader. One who loved and served and ultimately laid down his life for us. But aside from God’s word, nothing has taught me more what that means and looks like then the way in which you love me. From all that I’ve heard about your father, I can see that he too was an example of this kind of love by the way he cared for your mother. I hope we have a son one day who will continue the line of loving husbands. But for now, I’m thankful to know that Rose will grow up knowing what to look for in a man by watching how you love her mommy so well. I’m one lucky gal. Love, your CP.