Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

On this day.

Four years ago.

We became man and wife.

I’ve cried hard many a day.

This.

One of the most tearful of my life.

You were so sick.

The pain extreme.

You couldn’t stop throwing up.

A true nightmare.

No fairytale. Or dream.

You were in the same clothes.

From three days before.

The experience of our union should have been beautiful.

Instead.

More like a horror.

The happy couples.

Laughing. Smiling.

All around.

I teared up silently.

And hid my eyes.

I refused to let my sorrow be heard with a sound.

They finally called our name.

We headed to the back.

Most couples smile and hold hands.

I held you up.

So your fragile body wouldn’t fall to the ground.

The officiant was taken aback.

“Cancer,” I whispered in his ear.

Quietly.

To ensure that she did not hear.

Your mini-me we had not yet told.

I could see him tear up.

A good-hearted man.

Anything but cold.

He led the vows.

You jumping around from the pain.

I lost my composure.

Tears flowing down so hard.

My heart broken.

My soul scarred.

For eight years.

We were apart.

Only to be reunited.

Cancer.

Threatened to once again take my heart.

“I now pronounce you man and wife,” he said.

We left the building.

Straight to the ER.

“We just got married,” I told the nurses.

As I somehow cracked a smile.

“She’s my wife.”

They brought us wedding cake and soda.

Tragically beautiful.

But all worth it.

Because I got to say those three words.

About you.

The love of my life.

Originally published on the author’s blog

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

John Polo

John Polo is a widower and step dad. He is also an author, blogger and speaker. John met the love of his life, Michelle, at a young age, and the two dated for a year in High School.  After eight years apart the two reunited and planned to spend their life together, alongside Michelle’s amazing daughter.  Two years after their reunion Michelle was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer.  So rare in fact, that the two were told when you consider what type of cancer it was, and where it developed, there is only one case a year in the world of what Michelle had.  Michelle fought valiantly for two and a half years before taking her last breath on January 22, 2016. It was no easy feat, but while Michelle was in hospice John had a moment that would forever change him.  He was able to rid himself of the bitter, and find his better. John is currently a contributor to a handful of blogs and websites; including Good Men Project, Hope for Widows, The Grief Toolbox and The Mighty. He also serves on the Hope for Widows Advisory Board, is a speaker for the National Cancer Survivor’s Day Foundation and is a member of the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors. John has co-authored a journal entitled ‘Hurt to Healing, The Journal from Life to the Afterlife’ and his first book, entitled ‘Widowed: Rants, Raves and Randoms’ will be released on November 11th, 2017. John’s true passions are writing and speaking about love, loss and hope as he tries to help others honor their pain and see that a hopeful tomorrow can indeed exist. You can find John’s blog at www.betternotbitterwidower.com and on Facebook 

We’re Modeling Marriage For Our Kids

In: Marriage
Husband and wife in workout clothes, color photo

This is eight years. A picture taken in the few minutes of pre-dawn quiet before toddler chaos ensues. A few moments of reflection that eight years ago, we chose each other to do this life with.  This day will not be like past anniversaries, or future anniversaries when we’re able to get away from it all and focus on just us. But it’s still our day to celebrate this life we have created together. This messy, crazy, busy, and wonderful life. When we sat in our Pre-Cana class all those years ago, we were asked to share what we believed...

Keep Reading

Blake Lively’s Tribute to Ryan Reynolds Has Us in Tears: “Daddy Always Comes Home”

In: Living, Marriage, News

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are Hollywood couple #goals, and over the years, we’ve delighted in watching their fun, light-hearted, and endearing romance play out. What makes them so likable is that they genuinely seem to adore each other, but they’re not above trolling each other publicly and on social media, which almost always results in some hilarious antics. (P.S. Remember Reynolds’ hysterical ad that paid tribute to the dumpster fire that was 2020?) The couple has gone back and forth on Instagram and Twitter with jabs at each other’s acting roles . . . View this post on Instagram...

Keep Reading

My Husband’s Love Notes Are So Much More than Words

In: Marriage
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

About 10 years ago, my husband used to travel frequently, and he would often leave notes for me to find around the house. Sometimes they were on the kitchen counter, sometimes they were on my car, other times they were scribbled across the bathroom mirror. RELATED: My Husband Doesn’t Tell Me He Loves Me on Facebook, He Shows Me His notes were different every time, but typically, they were meant to tell me how much he’d miss me when he was away. I would eventually file the notes away, often forgetting what they said, but always appreciating how he made...

Keep Reading

Planning for Life after Divorce Saved Our Marriage

In: Marriage
Couple walking down tracks in a tunnel

They say each marriage goes through seasons, and mine is currently in transition after a biting, years-long winter that neither of us could say with certainty would ever end. Each storm brought the same predictable pattern of conflict, and by the time we could shovel ourselves out, a new blizzard was already in the forecast. Our cycle of conflict was frozen on repeat, our patterns so deeply rutted, that salvation from the bitter cold felt impossible. He yelled at the sky. I went into hibernation. He chose fight. I chose flight. The problem with flight is that eventually, you have...

Keep Reading

Marriage is About Compromise, Not Sacrifice

In: Marriage
Husband and wife, smiling, color photo

This past August, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. There was no champagne, flowers, candy, or special date. In fact, it was just another Thursday, a pretty unremarkable day. The symbol for the 15th year of marriage is a crystal. A symbol of clarity and durability. A fitting representation in our case, if I may say so myself. Long gone are the days of courting and the need to put on a show. The need to impress one another long dissipated to be replaced by quiet contentment. Our relationship has evolved in the 20 years we have...

Keep Reading

Why Can’t Love Be Enough?

In: Living, Marriage
Couple sitting apart on couch

As we grow up, we experience all different types and versions of love, and in turn, we experience very different things when each of these relationships ends.  For me, as painful as they were, breakups were always relatively simple. Intentions were clear. Feelings were hurt. Betrayal. Lies. The love, gone. You know, the kind of breakups people always talk about. RELATED: Playing Chicken: A Marriage on the Brink of the End Young love. We were clueless. Some would say stupid. We thought we knew everything, but we really knew nothing at all. It hurt, unlike anything we’d ever experienced, because...

Keep Reading

Some Days I Miss My Old Life Before Kids

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife in tropical destination, color photo

Some days I miss my old life. You know, before kids. I am not sure I am supposed to say that out loud. Please don’t judge me. I know I am not alone. Just because I miss my old life, does not mean I do not love my current one. However, confessing this kind of guilt is not easy, mostly because it opens the door for mom shaming, like so many other guilty mama confessions. A new mom recently confided in me. She said, “I knew about the sleepless nights, diapers, screaming babies, etc. But I had no idea that I...

Keep Reading

Our Love is Like the Best Country Song

In: Marriage
Husband and wife holding hands, color photo

I don’t write country music, in fact, I can’t even read music. But if I wrote a country song, it would say something about the sun dipping low over the cornfields on the way home from Nana’s house. It might mention how he always drives and always holds my hand over the center console. In fact, he always holds my hand, as we walk down our street behind our kids’ bicycles, under the covers, and in prayer each night.  I would write something about how gosh darn good he looks when he hasn’t shaved in six straight days. If I...

Keep Reading

My Husband Is the First Person I Want to Call

In: Marriage
Woman texting on phone

The first person I want to call is my husband. When I have good news. When I’m ridden with anxiety or frustration. When I’m giddy or over-the-top. When the kids are acting like dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. RELATED: To the Husband of the Overwhelmed Wife, She Needs a Hero When something has broken down (which usually means it’s a fire department day.) Yes, even when I’m mad at him. The first person I want to call is my husband. When I’m anxiously awaiting test results. When my kids do something amazing. When God reveals something new. When I see a...

Keep Reading

No One Prepares You for When Your Husband Has Cancer

In: Baby, Cancer, Marriage
Family sitting by window

No one ever prepares you for the moment you hear your spouse has cancer.   More so, no one prepares for you to hear this when you have a 5-month-old at home. “Mom, they said the tumor is cancerous, and they need to enucleate his eye on Thursday,” I say quietly into the phone as I pump in a dirty bathroom stall at the eye hospital.   Whir. Whir. Whir. Whir. Gosh, I hate pumping.  Today is my first day being away from my daughter. My mom is watching her while I made the trip to the eye hospital with...

Keep Reading