Everything is upside down again this morning. An internet that has gone nuts again and Adam at home, but awake, rather than snoring on the settee. This is not a normal weekend in any way that I can think of. Mind you, this weekend is also Adams 38th birthday and our 17th wedding anniversary. I’m not too sure how happy Adam will be about me telling you that, I do mean his age, not our anniversary. He is one of those odd people who doesn’t like his age being really known, especially as the years tick by. I have to admit, that one of the things I have loved about being with him, has been watching him mature, and getting him to admit that he now understands, that things I said years ago. I was 38 when we got married, we had been together for about a year when we tied the knot. Last week I pinned him down on one of those things I had said, and I knew the instant that I asked him, simply from the look on his face, that he now more than understood.
I quite honestly didn’t have the slightest idea of his age the night we met in a nightclub. Even in the dim lights, I knew he was younger than me, but by how much, I didn’t have a clue. For some reason that at the time I didn’t understand, I always seemed to attract people younger than me, I don’t think I had a single friend who wasn’t at least 10 years my junior. I know I didn’t look or act my age, but where the magnet was located, I wasn’t sure. Mind you, I was terrible at working out how old people were, but I had made a stab at it and had incorrectly put Adam about ten years younger than me. It wasn’t until we were out on the street and I could see him clearly, that I questioned him. To my horror, he was 17 years younger than me. At that second, I started what was a three-hour conversation as to why, we, were not going to happen. The age gap was so wrong to me, that I was refusing to have anything to do with him, but he argued and argued about it. I eventually gave in and agreed to meet him the next day, but just to talk. It was this that I pinned him down on the other day. I asked if he could now understand the problem that I had with his age when we met. As I said, the smile told me, everything. I asked him to imagine himself single and with a twenty-year-old female badgering him to go out with her, just how he would feel. He was both mentally and physically squirming and admitted fully that he would feel like a some sort of “child snatcher”. The whole situation was something he felt more than uncomfortable with, as to him, a 20-year-old girl would now be just a child. I told him he was only close, I had felt like a “cradle snatcher”, after all, I had a son, just a year younger than him.
Clearly, I did get past it, but it was incredibly difficult for the first few weeks, then slowly, the age thing just vanished totally, we were a couple. It is totally true that love is blind, in our case in a good way, as once I loved him, he was my partner, not anyone of any age, just the man I loved and who also loved me. 17 years on, I think we have more than proved our doubters, and trust me we had many, were wrong. If there is one thing that will test a relationship to its breaking point and beyond, it’s chronic illness. It doesn’t matter what your age is, it is going to pull your relationship into places that most never go. I don’t think there is a greater test that I can think of. It doesn’t matter if you have been together three years, as we were when I was first diagnosed, or twenty years, just that diagnosis, has broken many couples.
A diagnosis of any chronic condition means a total belief in your marriage vows. It’s easy to say in sickness and in health, it’s far harder to live it. For some reason, it is harder knowing your future, than it is to head into a life of mystery like most do. True, I don’t know for sure what will happen today, far less tomorrow, but a diagnosis means life for both of you, isn’t going to be the great fun adventure life is meant to be. That picture of having to care for someone, of having someone who’s entire life, you, will one day be responsible for 24/7, makes many run. Those who run, I believe, do so because, they can’t face the responsibility, not always as some think, because they didn’t really love them. Staying is a commitment far beyond just love. No, I’m not saying that love doesn’t come into it, of course, it does, but it’s a commitment way beyond years and feelings, it’s a commitment to give up their lives, for ours. That is a huge thing to do for anyone. Yes, I know that is what you could say, that people do every day when they choose to have children. The difference is, children grow up and leave home. Someone who has either a degenerative or terminal condition, do the exact opposite. Which is why I, along with millions of others, had that conversation that went somewhat along the lines of “I would understand if you want to leave”. I might have understood it, but I would have had my heart broken in a way it had only been broken once before.
The few of us who are lucky enough to have that person who will do such a thing, are way beyond lucky, we are totally blessed. Yes, I would have totally understood if Adam had chosen to leave, especially as he was so young at the time. He had an entire lifetime ahead of him, his life was really just starting, but he committed it to me, and at the time, he did it with the same apparent ease, as he has done to anything that I have needed from him. Just as age didn’t matter when it came down to it over us being a couple, age has never been an issue when it has come to him caring for me either. It doesn’t matter if it’s your partner, or your carer, if you have the right person with you, them they are the right person and that is all that matters.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 24/04/2014 – Reverting
15 years ago today, Adam and I got married. I have to say that it doesn’t feel anything like that amount of time has passed, my first marriage only lasted 10 years, but it feels as thought it went on for what felt like ever. They say that when you are happy time fly’s, well I guess I have the proof of that saying, as despite all the things that have gone wrong for us, I still honestly don’t know where these last 15 years has gone. If you have read any of the posts I set links to at the bottom of each post which takes you to the same day two years ago, well you will have read a about how we came to be together and the problems that we faced with adapting to my illness only diagnosed a couple of years after we married, so I am not going to go over all of that again. What I will say though is that I honestly actually love……