But I got the best gift in return...
He made me laugh and I came to appreciate the Minnesota winter. He got me boots, a hat and some mittens, and we tromped around and made snow angels and wrestled each other to the ground.
We had fun getting to know each other.
The problem was that I was on a student visa, and would likely be back to Canada after I graduated in a few short months.
So one spring day, we happened upon each other on the library steps.
Right then and there, he popped the question. Would I marry him?
I don’t know if he thought about the question before he asked. I know I didn’t think before answering, “yes”.
We were both impetuous that way. It’s what made it fun.
Certainly, there was a part of me that wondered what I was doing. The other part forged ahead.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college anyway. I felt dismally unprepared.
Marriage seemed like a good alternative.
Our first five years were a mixed bag.
We had lots of common ground, worked well together on projects, communicated relatively well and both loved to travel.
There was, however, volatility as we pushed each other’s sore spots.
We ran away together to Canada. It wasn’t much better, perhaps even worse.
And when we reunited, we conceived our son. It brought us back together.
We were closer than we’d ever been. We had a respite of happiness. Satisfaction and a coming-together in a shared vision for our future.
More challenges came. Our son didn’t sleep. (Another story, another time.) That meant I didn’t sleep, and I don’t do well without sleep.
I was depleted.
My husband, however, was a fantastic father.
It gave him purpose, and he stepped in beautifully to the role. He got up in the middle of the night when I couldn’t. He brought our son on errands so I could rest.
It was amazing ... until it wasn’t.
A few years later, I was recovered and I wanted to reconnect with my husband. But it was too late.
We went back to therapy. I wanted to rekindle and deepen our relationship.
Our son was old enough, and it was time.
I was not prepared for more battle, so I walked away.
It wasn’t an easy choice. But I knew what I wanted. And there was a gift in leaving, something I didn’t realize I didn’t have.
And that was a true relationship with my son.
Yes, he was mad when I left. He was 7 years old, so he kicked and screamed and cried. And I cried with him, and held him.
We healed, and we grew closer.
Today he is a remarkable young man. He is independent, thoughtful and loving. He has a great relationship with both me and his dad.
So yes ... I lost my husband when we had a kid.
But I GOT a kid.
And he’s a great kid!
And I appreciate the husband who gave me that kid; the silver lining in that gray cloud.
Michele Brookhaus RSHom(NA), CCH, is a certified classical homeopathic practitioner with 18 years experience helping children and adults heal from symptoms as broad as eczema to depression and creator of Yoni's Bliss, a homeopathic lubricating gel.