“I shouldn’t have to pick up his death certificate at the same time I pick up our marriage certificate.” It sounds like a drama filled Hollywood line and I wish it was. Instead it was what came out of my mouth as I sat there, in a bleak conference room that I have come to hate, as the doctor was listing all of my husband’s injuries. The list seemed endless and I had just asked him to stop talking. To please stop saying all those horrible words, as if stopping them would somehow make the injuries go away. My head was on the cold conference room table and when I looked up into the doctor’s eyes, I realized the horror of what I had just uttered. I asked him if there was any hope. He told me that it was my job to hope and his job to help save my husband’s life. I played those words over and over in my head. My job was to hope, and I took those words to heart. This wasn’t just my husband, this was my best friend. We had been friends for over 20 years and had only been married for a little over a month.
During our wedding ceremony the month before, Kevin had written his vows to me on the back of my vows. We’ve always been connected, and it looks like having separate pieces of paper for our vows would be too far apart and just wouldn’t be us. His vows spoke of his love for me, had an occasional joke, and also spoke of a strength he was convinced I possessed. I had never considered myself to be strong, but now I had to believe in those words. I was going to have to be stronger than I ever thought I could be. I had Kevin and three kids depending on this strength. I had vowed to him to always be by his side and support his dreams. Since he is lying there in a hospital bed, in an induced coma after undergoing emergency brain surgery, I stuck by those vows. I would stay by his side, even if that meant walking through hell with him. It was him and I, against the world and I just had to wait and see where he took us. I just needed him to wake up first.
We are now a little over a year out, and Kevin is definitely awake now. I am sharing our journey as we figure out this unpredictable world together.