I met my husband Kevin in college. We were best friends for about a year; as time passed, it became obvious that we had feelings for each other. From very early on in our courtship, we knew we would end up getting married. We knew we had each found the one who was God’s perfect match for us. Kevin proposed during my senior year, and the following August we got married. While our marriage has been far from perfect, we had had a fairly easy time for the first five years.
During that time we had three children; Dominic, Lucy, and Simon. Although having children definitely changed our marriage and made life harder and more stressful in general, we were still living a happy and generally peaceful life, and our marriage was as solid as ever.
On August 8th of 2017, a few days before our fifth anniversary, we ended up taking two-year-old Lucy to the Emergency Room. She had been very lethargic for a few days and wouldn’t eat anything. We were completely blindsided when she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Kevin and I were both in complete shock. It is the kind of thing that you think will never happen to you until it does.
The next few days were an emotional whirlwind of new information, surgeries, chemo, and hospitalization. Two days later, as we celebrated our anniversary in the Operating Room waiting area, I remember thinking and talking about our marriage, and how this was something we never could have planned for.
In our vows we say “in sickness and in health,” but we never really thought seriously that we’d have to deal with real sickness, or what that would look like.
That day, we talked about how grateful we were to be going through that together. To have someone else who knew exactly we felt and who loved our daughter just as much. Although this is never where we thought we would be, five years into our marriage there is no one else I would want to go through this with. Over the past few months, Kevin and I have grown closer than ever, and I think our marriage is stronger than ever. We have had to lean on each other and learned to love and support our spouse even as we deal with our own pain. That has given us a bond we could never have imagined.
This journey with cancer is far from over, yet we feel our family is finally in a good place again, and everyone has learned to adjust to the “new normal” that is our lives. We already feel stronger as a family and as a husband and wife from having gone through this. Although this time of our lives has been the hardest yet, we feel confident that if we can get through this, we can get through anything.
Annamarie’s words of wisdom for brides:
Don't be afraid to be dependent on each other, rather than trying to work out problems on your own.
Pray for each other.
Don't take the little, everyday things for granted.
About the Author: Annamarie Hamilton is a stay-home-mom from Baltimore, Maryland. She is married to her best friend Kevin and together they have three children: Dominic, Lucy, and Simon.