When we met as early teenagers, it was the wrong place, wrong time.

Back then, I didn’t tell you that your smile made my heart melt. You smelled so sweet in the early morning class. Your hair was still slightly damp from your morning shower.

I could have loved you back then. I wanted to actually. But like I said, it was the wrong place, wrong time.

When we connected at 17, you gave me something I had never had before.

Stability.

You saved me.

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You brought me back to reality—but into a fairy tale I used to believe in. Something I didn’t think was possible.

And then you gave me my purpose. I became a mommy. With our love, we created three lives together who challenge us every day.

Back then, I had no idea our love would create a foundation for the life we have today.

We have something most people, I think, find hard to findfriendship.

You see we live a life that would bring most people to their knees. If I never publicly wrote about our struggles, most wouldn’t see it. They wouldn’t know. Special needs is a secretive world most don’t know about.

We have two special needs, twin sons. They both require quite a bit of care. Lucas, who has cerebral palsy and a feeding tube with speech Apraxia, is growing and progressing nicely at a slower speed than his peers. But he’s progressing.

We have our beautiful daughter Blakely who we prayed for for years. She’s everything we wanted and more. There were years we didn’t think we’d ever be parents. We actually lost our first. And then this beautiful baby girl came into our lives. She has totally blessed us.

Then there is my Jameson. Our sweet middle son, who is Lucas’s twin, and has severe nonverbal autism. He was given to my husband and me directly from God. He has blessed us in more ways than we can count even on his most challenging days.

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Back then, did I ever imagine feeding my baby boy with a tube in his belly? Never.

When I looked into your eyes during senior year of high school in English class, did I picture us protecting our son from banging his head against the wall over 11 years later? Not in a million years.

But you stayed.

We both do every day.

Back then, I knew I loved you. I knew you were my best friend. And you still are today. Without our friendship, our marriage wouldn’t be as strong as it is.

This life we live is HARD. Every day, it’s hard. But with my husband’s hand in mine, I know we’ll make it.

Thank you for not just being my husband but for also being my friend.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Annie Smith

My name is Annie Smith. I'm a stay at home momma to three young children. A 4-year-old girl and twin 3-year-old sons. Both of my sons have special needs. I have a blog that talks about our life raising twins with different disabilities and our journey with Jesus.