This post I wrote over the course of the last few weeks prior to Danny getting lungs earlier this week. As he is in the ICU without family and sometimes too weak or in too much pain to talk – this sentiment continues to hold true. Having to keep our life upright alone has been hard – but I am pretty blessed for a husband that believes in me so much…. long before I knew I needed it… even if it’s not what I wanted to hear!
One of the parts of the wedding planning process that I was most excited about was our wedding website. It was still sort of a new fad to weddings and I guess it was probably the first hint that I would enjoy blogging (something I knew nothing about at the time). I wanted to capture every detail of our story, our wedding party and day we had planned.
While selecting the layout and content there was an option for the bride and groom to describe what they loved about the other person. This was such a cute contribution and an easy place for Danny to get plugged in on the process too.
As a bride to be with lots of expectations on what this experience should feel like and head over heels for my husband to be, I had a lot of anticipation for what Danny would write. He is not a person to gush or spew emotion out all over the place… but he also was the most romantic guy and had truly created this love story that made me feel like I was in a movie. Emotional and flowery – no…. but thoughtful and purposeful in how he created an us out of a guy and girl- yes!
A HUGE part of our story had included musical playlists (actually burned CDs back then), often specifically curated by Danny. Romantic for date nights, upbeat for drives to our adventures, great dancing songs for pregaming before going out, and a really awesome one for dancing in the rain – that we did (even most recently a song for our daughters welcome to the world video). So it was no surprise when his website entry started with a song reference. Before I even got to the end of the sentence of what song he would use, I had a lot of ideas of what he should be using. A few songs that had really important meaning to us, or a song I really loved, or maybe even the song we had planned for our first dance… and then it was one I had never even heard of: “How Bout Them Cowgirls?” by George Straight. What in the world?
Being so confused I searched for the lyrics and read them while also listening along to the song. Ummmmmm ok…. it was all about cowgirls who didn’t need a guy. WHAT?? As any young reasonable bride would do … I got MAD. A song about a girl that doesn’t need a guy?? I mean shouldn’t we sorta be going the other way on this? In fact, isn’t he my official knight in shining armor at this point? My happy ending and my perfect match?? How would people know we were made for each other if Danny’s view of me is that I don’t need him??
Trying to make sense if it, I read his entry and he had focused on the line about how they don’t need a man or anyone to help them, guide them, love them… but if they choose you anyway, they will “love you like no one else.” This got my intrigue up enough to keep going … and Danny would go on to explain how he sees me as this strong woman who didn’t need him, but choose to love him and did so well. Hmmm the sentiment was really sweet and I appreciated the message…. but shouldn’t things on wedding websites be all about sweeping someone off their feet, can’t live without you love?? So I decided to talk to him… you know, really make sure this is what he wants to write….
So we talked and Danny explained how he felt this song was exactly right. I didn’t need him- I was strong, smart, successful, and having him in my life did not change that… but my choosing to love him was what marriage is about. Not a need or requirement or necessity- but a choice that enriches each others’ lives. Hmmmm it was a good perspective… true I guess, but still I was looking for the can’t live without you love. But it was his contribution and he felt strongly about it, so I left the webpage as is and moved on.
Over our 10 years of marriage I have reflected back to that conversation and webpage and it truly has held up. Danny has always encouraged me that I am stronger and more capable than I would give myself credit for. He has reminded me that my strength and being brave has given us a whole life. This sounds like I am bragging – but really the truth is he has always seen these things in me that I have not seen in myself. In fact I have often desired more the protector role or wanted to be rescued – but in the end not really needed it. And thankfully Danny has been able to both encourage me to believe it and see how it has played out.
But truthfully, I have not needed that perspective, this webpage or his honesty more in my life than now. Danny is really sick. In fact with each day and week his ability to do anything but breathe becomes more and more our reality (this post written before lungs were received this week!). It’s not what he wants but sometimes he isn’t even awake enough to be a partner…. and even when he was available, like FaceTiming at the birth of our daughter or answering my new mom middle of the night tear-filled phone calls, still wasn’t the same as being a full present partner. I am having to make decisions about our life, our child, our future alone. And it’s hard not to wonder if it is a sign of what’s to come…. but it is in those moments Danny’s voice fills my ears, touches my heart and ignites my spirit to keep going – I am brave, I am strong and I am capable of doing this on my own. And Danny trusted me to do so before I even trusted myself. That conversation was 10 years too early …. and honestly, not well received… but in the end it may be one of the most powerful moments of my life.
Danny, since I forgot to say it spring 2010- you were right and I am so glad you knew my strength before I did … and you helped me find it. I hope I am still making you proud everyday until we are back together in this life. I love you.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!