It’s been two years since my husband died. My life is so different today because of his death and because of his life.
Let’s rewind to the beginning to when we met. It was August 2010, and we were just two people on Match.com, sitting behind our computers and looking for love. Little did I know then that my life was about to be flipped upside down and put through more than one person could ever imagine.
Our first date was perfect, he was so handsome that he made me blush sitting in the booth across from him. I went to work the next day and confessed to my co-worker that I would marry him. The next seven months were a whirlwind. We had our ups and our downs, but nothing prepared us for his cancer diagnoses in May 2011: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Philadelphia Chromosome Positive. He required a bone marrow transplant to survive. I felt my spirit weaken.
August 2011 we were married, he had a bone marrow transplant in September, and he was in remission in October. We began fertility treatments and found out I had a condition called Diminished Ovarian Reserve. My heart broke. How much can one person take? A few months went by, and we finally had good news. We were so blessed to find out that we were pregnant and due with our first baby together on Christmas Day in 2012! We talked about baby names, what would we have, and planned for our future. Just a few weeks later, I suffered a miscarriage and a pain I thought was the worst heartache I could ever feel. We also found out his cancer was back, and he would have to endure more treatments. I felt my spirit weaken a little more.
A year went by, and so did remission and another pregnancy. This time it would result in a healthy baby boy born in 2014. Unfortunately, my husband’s cancer just kept returning, and I became his caretaker. Changing chemotherapy bags, cleaning ports, taking him to the hospital in the middle of the night, filling pill dispensers, and helping him battle depression, among others things. All while being a mom and full-time project manager for a defense contractor to the federal government. I gained 45 lbs, my hair thinned, my face aged, and the light in my eyes was gone. I felt my spirit weaken even more.
In July 2016, we found out we were pregnant, August his cancer was back, October we found out we were having twins, and November he passed away. All of a sudden, everything we fought for and everything we yearned for was gone. I was a pregnant widow with a 2-year-old. I was mad, lost, and confused. I felt my spirit disappear.
I remember everything about that day. I was angry with God, angry with George that he gave up, and I was scared. I was so scared. I spent every night talking to both God and George, asking questions, yelling, and crying. My faith was shaken but don’t mistake that for a loss of faith because I feel those moments strengthened my faith more than anything. One month after his death, I sold our house in Maryland, quit my job, and moved home to Michigan to live with my parents.
In March 2017, my identical twin daughters were born 10 weeks early and in the NICU for almost two months. The level of sadness I felt was overwhelming, and the thought of delivering my twins without my husband was more than I could take. I changed the day my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I changed the day he died, and I changed the day my daughters were born. I have changed so much that I soon forgot exactly who I was. That time was so difficult on me because I tried so badly to become someone. The horribly heartbreaking thing about that is I had absolutely no clue who that someone was.
The only thing I knew for sure was that God never left my side, and with Him, I will be OK. Since August I have lost weight, started a new business venture, and I finally feel a little closer to finding myself. My real self. I am spending genuine time with my children, my family, and my friends. I realized that returning to the corporate world will not make me happy, that getting into another relationship is not the answer. The answer was me. My happiness starts with me. After all the pain, I am putting all of the pieces together, and I am a few steps closer to being Allison again. The Allison that loves to decorate, loves fashion, and loves being a mom. I decided to go back to church, join a MOPS group, and become a writer for Detroit Moms Blog. Those were little steps I took to find myself again.
My spirit was strengthening.
With unfortunate circumstances, I have experienced personal growth I am so thankful for. Don’t get me wrong, this is a growth I wish I never had to experience, but I am so blessed I have.