On the evening of June 15 Joseph asked me to take him to the ER after a few days of increased difficulty breathing and some developing chest pressure. We thought he was having an asthma/heart attack. Due to his connective tissue disorder (Loeys-Dietz Syndrome) CT imaging was performed to rule out aneurisms – a common complication in patients with LDS.
Joseph’s cancer diagnosis came as a shock to us.
Hospital Dates and the Souvenirs of Life
We do believe that suffering has a divine purpose, and we’ve been gifted with the opportunity to pray and discuss this together as a couple over the past weeks. It is painful for me to watch Joseph suffer in such a real way. It is also such an honor to witness him working through the faith he holds as he discovers it in reality and not as a hypothetical.
Life Is Beautiful
Like all great stories, ours is a chiasmus. A pattern, a circle that starts again and again. Like the rings we wear as a symbol of our marriage. Patterns are used in storytelling because they can bring us comfort and reassurance. They can also terrify us and scare us straight. We’ve had a season or two in our life where we’ve felt like hamsters running on a wheel. Giving life all we’ve got just to go nowhere.
Life After Death
Joseph is my life, so I don’t know how to live without him, and I keep forgetting to do so. I continue to order his favorite sandwich when we go through a drive thru and keep asking who is missing when I do a family head count. Once I realize what I’ve done I melt into a puddle of embarrassment and misery. Such an error cuts so deep it feels like I’m learning this is our story for the first time all over again.