I've never been strong
Stress always overwhelms me
But I was one of the lucky few who never fell out of love with their high school boyfriend
I married mine
And he's my foundation
I was about to go in for my first ever job interview
Fresh out of college, ready to prove myself
Terrified to fail
I was clutching my resume so hard I thought it'd break in two
Shaking with nerves
But when I felt his hand on my back
My body froze
He whispered into my ear, "Relax, baby."
And I did
I got the job
My first big business proposal
I was sure I was about to get laughed out of the board room
But he laced his fingers through mine
And told me he knew I could do it
On the bus on the way home
Everything went wrong that day
My car battery died
I lost my wallet
I stepped in chewing gum
But when I picked up the phone
And heard his voice
The world righted itself again
Our first baby
His first night home
He cried all through the night
I was sure we were terrible parents already
Not even 24 hours and we'd screwed the kid up
He held me close and whispered in my ear
And I knew that as long as he held me, nothing could go wrong
Our baby's first day of school
I was terrified he wouldn't make friends
But he messed up my hair and kissed me on the nose
And I realized that I could calm down
Everything would work out just right
At the doctor's office
He's 29 years old
They tell him he has cancer
That it's stage 4
That they don't know how long he has
He breaks into tears.
I sit there, frozen.
That night, I wake up.
It's late, maybe 2 am.
I can feel the bed shake with his sobs.
I place my hand on his back.
"Relax, baby." I whisper in his ear
His sobs don't stop, but the shaking does
I lace my fingers through his, running my fingers across his wedding ring
"You can do this." I whisper
His sobs get a bit quieter
"I know it seems like everything is going wrong," I tell him. "But we'll get through this."
He stops crying.
I hold him close
"I love you." He whispers
I mess up his hair
Kiss him on the nose
And whisper back, "I love you too."
A month later
He's writing his will
We'd never thought to do it before
We were both so young
Our lawyer asked him what he was most worried would happen if he was gone
"I used to be afraid that you wouldn't be able to cope. That you'd get up in your head like you always do." He told me
"But I'm not worried about that anymore, baby. You're strong."
I was strong for him.
But I knew I'd be strong for my son too.
And I was.
Through the treatments, I was strong for my family.
Through the hospital stays, I was strong for my family.
And through his funeral, I was strong for my family.
And every day after, I'm strong for my family.
But most of all