So I had aspirations for writing a blog about enjoying Valentine's Day while dealing with a chronic illness, whether spending it with someone else or not, but I never really got that longed-for inspiration.
Then, tonight (technically Valentine's Day since it was after midnight), as I lie in bed wide awake (I at least partially blame the full moon), I had one thought, which led to another, which led to another, and when a thought train like that hits a writer, well, you have to write it down. So I did. And this poem isn't primarily about Lyme, but it is a factor in the message, so I figured what better place to post than on the poetry section of my blog?
This is for you, Rog. Happy Valentine's Day. <3
Valentine's Day is here.
And all I can think about is the poem I wrote you last year--
almost exactly a year, to this very minute--
also written while you were sleeping--
and how much has changed
while everything is the same.
I remember how hopeful we were 365 days ago.
Well, 365 and 1/4th but who's counting?
The very day we drove northward
to the fancy buildings with the big name and so-called experts we hoped were the Sherlock to our
And it was OUR medical mystery--
not MINE, as we used to say.
We know that now because Casebook: Becca, now solved,
is omnipresent in our lives, our relationship, our home.
And never ceases to remind us.
the day where all I want to do is pretend "it" doesn't exist,
the day where I long to be able to undertake some great, creative feat,
proclaiming my devotion to and love for you,
the bright, full circle of light in the night sky would rather I not.
So instead, I lie awake,
desperately wishing a TARDIS into existence,
(Or a Delorean with a flux capacitor--
your lifelong machine of choice),
and that I could pilot us back.
I'd go back to our wedding, but only for a day,
because while it was the happiest day of my life, I want to relive every moment leading up to it.
Every moment that seemed small at the time--
Every weekend you visited me at school--
The countless dates that earned us our "movie wachingest couple ever" title--
Every year we rode together in your car as my family rode in theirs traveling to the beach--
back when I refused to sleep in the car and said it was because I didn't want you to get bored on the long trip, but really it was because I loved talking about everything that came to mind and making you listen to my music (you even tolerated the Beatles, not your favorite).
Talking on the phone every night, usually longer than we should,
and nightly reminding you that 'all that jazz' is a great song, but not as good as Christmas songs, except for that one blasted Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album I didn't enjoy.
Or each time we instant messaged just because typing in l33t5p34k was fun--
back in the "old days" of 6-7 years ago when we had to download and install a messenger on the computer
Because FaceTime wasn't a thing.
Those are things I want to relive because back then, we didn't know I was sick.
We joked about how I was a "sickie" whose arthritis medication obliterated my immune system--
so much so I was the primary target of every illness within 100 miles of the Centre College campus.
We fought battles of the eating disorder and OCD and anxiety varieties more times than are countable,
but we had no idea of the battle I was really fighting--
A battle I probably started fighting, unknowingly, as a kid--
The very battle that is keeping me awake writing this non-poem poem tonight.
There's a reason ignorance, in all its lack-of-knowledge-glory, is bliss.
But maybe it's not the pain or insomnia causing me to turn these early hours into words on a page.
Maybe it's my need to let you know how much I truly believe we WILL have a future full of days not only as good--
but better and happier--
than even the best of the past.
Because God has brought us through so much in the less than three years since that happiest day--
And how appropriate, less than three years,
The universal emoticon of love in the pre-emoji world.
Less than three.
And He blesses me every day in ways others, even you, can't notice.
Every day you wake up and go to work to provide for our family of 5 (the animals count),
I'm overcome with thankfulness that God has given me a man so devoted to ensuring our basic needs are always met--
and after that, whenever able, providing enough for something just pure fun.
Any time you help me with a task I formerly could do but am not currently able,
whether it's walking, reading, cooking, or remembering how to spell my name,
I'm reminded that many are not as fortunate as I to have someone who not only shows love in the usual "flowers, chocolates, promises to don't intend to keep" ways,
but who goes out of his way to do anything he possibly can,
just because he wants to see me smile.
Each time you sit by and don't point out when I'm doing something annoyingly obsessive--
Any time you let me have the last word in an argument even though we both know I'm wrong,
although this is the first time I've ever admitted that possibility--
The patience you show every single time I cry, no matter how insignificant the reason seems--
The joy radiating from you every time you play in the band at church, or practice praise music at home--oh, how that joy immediately fills my soul!
The uncanny ability you have to make me laugh, no matter how hard our battles--
These are only a few of the blessings God uses to reassure me, daily,
that our best times are yet to come.
So this year on Valentine's Day,
even though we aren't able to visit a restaurant,
or see a movie or go ice skating,
know that I love you more today than ever before,
and that I'll be able to say the same tomorrow--
and the next day--
and the next.
Because my daily-growing love is one thing that has never wavered,
even during the valleys we've faced,
and the uncertainty of many things still ahead.
Because one thing IS certain--
it never will.
Copyright Becca Doss 2014
I intend to eventually gather my poems (old and new, Lyme-related and non-Lyme-related, but all from my heart and inspired by my life experiences) and include them here, where they can be read. Stay tuned!