Archive for ‘Middle Years’
In the fall of 2011, my husband Patrick and I had been married eight years and our family was rapidly growing. Our oldest child had just turned six and we were expecting our fifth child in December. John Paul was born on December 6, 2011. We knew immediately that something was very wrong.
My wife and I were expecting our third child. It was a very exciting time and to make it more special, I thought it would be best to keep the sex of the baby a surprise until delivery. I enjoyed going to the appointments when I could and made it a point to go to the ultrasound screening when that time came.
Michael’s alcoholism didn’t exhibit the usual signs. He didn’t lose his job or get arrested for driving under the influence. When Michael entered treatment in 1995, however, he knew that his marriage and family hung in the balance.
Andrew and Anna, married for nearly 10 years, face one of the biggest challenges that any marriage can confront. In June 2006 their daughter Rose was born with DiGeorge’s syndrome, a serious genetic disorder caused by the deletion of a small part of a chromosome. Because the condition is rare – 1 in 4,000 – Rose’s prognosis is uncertain.
After almost 10 years of marriage, my husband decided to quit his secure government job and start his own business. I was scared. We had two children, ages 2 and 6, and could not maintain our simple lifestyle solely on my salary. Tom had no clear idea of what kind of business he wanted to start. He just wanted to be his own boss.
Before children, I remember feeling starved from never being ‘touched’ throughout a deployment. I longed for a simple hug or physical connection that reminded me I was more than a job-commuting and gym-frequenting being.
His plane was just taking off for a week long meeting in San Francisco when my husband’s secretary called me. She wanted to know who our family photographer was so that she could get a professional photo of my husband. A legal journal would be covering the news about his appointment as president of a national organization. I was stunned. What presidency, I asked?
My son and his wife experienced a real challenge at a time that should have been their greatest joy. My daughter-in-law fell victim to post-partum psychosis after the birth of their first child. Through the year that followed both families supported the young couple as best they could. I came to help take care of the baby for a time.
I’ll never forget the look on my Dad’s face the first time he saw my husband, Joe, raise his fist at me.