Home » Emotion » I Meant It, Even When I Didn’t Know What It Meant

I Meant It, Even When I Didn’t Know What It Meant

(Written Friday night in ICU at Jeff’s bedside, after his surgery)


When I said, “For better or worse,”,  “In sickness and in health,” I meant it. Even when I didn’t know what it meant.

I'm wearing his ring, since he had to take it off for surgery.

I’m wearing his ring, since he had to take it off for surgery.

On that cold November day in our mid-twenties when I spoke those words…you were so humorously nervous about becoming a husband. Me, so in love and so oblivious to just how hard marriage could be. We were so sure we had it all figured out. The older couples around us must have looked on with a curious mixture of fear for us at our ignorance and joy with us at our enthusiasm. The same way we look at young couples now. Years in together, three kids and many adventures later, we are finally all grown up. Or at least significantly on the way.

And look at where we are tonight. You just out of another surgery to deal with the damage cancer is doing to your guts. Me weeping at your bedside, my guts all knotted up too. Who knew this was coming?

Really, no one knows what their vows mean until they have to keep them. I guess we know something about it now.

I look at you laying in ICU. Again.

I see you sleeping, exhausted and pale, attached to beeping machines with tubes running everywhere. Again.

I feel my heart ache, literally, with a visceral spasm that rolls through me from the inside out. My soul must look like angry waves on the front end of a hurricane. Again.

And I know I will have to do all of this again.

And I will.

Because I love you. Because just like on our wedding day, I am choosing to love you. I didn’t know what it meant then. I sort of have a clue what it means now. And I’m still in. Even though I don’t know what we will both have to do in order to keep our vows. I will try my best to love you with all I’ve got, even as it breaks my heart, even as it leads me to places like this. I will hold your hand and kiss your face and honor you until it is time to hand you off to the One who loves You infinitely more than I do.

And that must be a lot – because after all these years together, I’m learning to love you quite a bit.


7 thoughts on “I Meant It, Even When I Didn’t Know What It Meant

  1. Pingback: I Meant It, Even When I Didn’t Know What It Meant | INTERSECTIONS | Marriage Building California

  2. What a tribute! What an example! You are living out the Gospel, the relationship between Jesusmand His Church. My heart is full and heavy. I love you both.


  3. This moved me to tears. God is making something truly beautiful out of the mess of Jeff’s cancer, and I’m in awe of what He’s doing and how you’re embodying it. But I know it’s hard and it hurts, so I’m going to keep praying for His strength, comfort, and love to surround you.


  4. Liebe Deanna,
    Dich und deinen Mann Jeff haben wir in Deutschland kennengelernt und es tut uns unsagbar leid das zu hören. Ich verstehe zwar nicht alles was geschrieben steht, da ich erst 1 Jahr English lerne und die PC-Übersetzungen sind auch nicht so gut.
    Wir wünschen Dir ganz viel Kraft, das zu tragen wenn man nicht helfen kann und Euch beiden Gottes Segen und Beistand in diesen so schweren Tagen. Dietmar und ich werden für Euch und eure Familie beten.Es sagt sich immer so leicht:”Wir können nicht tiefer fallen, als in Gottes Hände” aber wenn es einen dann betrifft, dann braucht man viel Kraft es anzunehmen und verstehen tun wir es oft trotzdem nicht. Aber wir können beten und Gott gibt uns die Kraft zum Tragen.
    Wir grüßen Dich und liebe Grüße an Jeff


  5. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with more big health issues…again.
    We had some health things going on all winter, but not on this scale. I hope the very best for you.


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