For Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and in Health

Syndicated

I could never have imagined the power behind the vows I was uttering.

I could never have fathomed that each line would come to fruition in fewer than six years.

For better…

We were three people who were once two, alone in a hospital room. A family.

Me drowsing–belly sore, limbs bloated, womb empty.

Cort resting–eyes closed, feet up on the little couch, head back, a small bundle on his chest.

Eddie sleeping–warm and dry, breathing in the world.

…or for worse…

All eyes on us–the poor children–as we lead the procession into the sanctuary.

We sat alone in the second row–behind only the widow, the preacher, and the eulogists.

Cort, me, Cody, Liz, Kenzie… and mom squeezed in from back in her row up to be next to her daughter to hold her hand and catch her tears. To be there for her kids.

The rest? Is a blur.

…for richer…

We have each other.

We have a sweet boy.

We have a house.

We have two vehicles.

We have love.

…or for poorer…

We thought it would be me losing my job.

Every year the cuts got closer.

So close I actually saw MY name on a cut list while Eddie kicked happily and obliviously inside.

But it never happened.

I continued to work.

But he did not.

…in sickness…

Cort has a three scars–none even an inch long.

He doesn’t have an appendix. It left him the same day his dad left this world.

I have one visible scar–probably around close to seven inches long.

It was the best way to become a mother and still stay in this world.

Cort has scars you can’t see.

Battle wounds from a verbally abusive, mentally sick wife.

I have invisible scars too.

Etched on my heart from mastering the art of losing.

…and in health.

Cort lounges sleepily on the couch only slightly aware that a curly-haired toddler is barreling toward him.

Eddie throws himself at the couch and climbs clumsily and awkwardly grabbing at Cort.

Once on the couch he steamrolls his daddy and monsters his way into position next to him.

Not to be left out, I pounce across the room and join the snuggly, giggly pile.

I do.

When Cort leaned in to kiss me for the first time as his wife? We didn’t feel what happened… but we would soon find out.

Our whole world shifted.

Katie Sluiter writes about life as a working mom at Sluiter Nation, writes creatively at Exploded Moments, and reviews books at Katie's Bookcase.

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