10 years

Yes, that's right. Richard and I have been married for ten years. Hard to believe, sometimes it doesn't seem that long but when you reflect back on all that we've done and all that we've gone through in those ten years, we've packed a lot of living in! I think it is pretty safe to say that on October 24, 1998 we had no idea what life would really be like on October 24, 2008.

My darling husband doesn't get much press time on this blog...I'm definitely a selfish blogger...it's all about me, my grief over losing Zoe, my adventures with Avery and Lily, my life as a triplet mom and then a bereaved mom who still thinks of herself as a triplet mom...not much about the man behind all these women! So let me tell you just a little bit about Richard.

We met in college and Richard will tell anyone who will listen that we met three times before I remember meeting him. He will tell you exactly what I was wearing at the Furman/Davidson soccer game. He will tell you who I was with and would probably tell you how many times I laughed that day. The night I remember meeting him was Parent's weekend at Furman in October of 1994. My parents had recently divorced, just a couple months before I graduated high school and this weekend was going to be the first time I'd be with them together since they split. Needless to say it was not the best weekend of my life. Always the consummate hosts, Richard's fraternity had one of their parties which I gladly attended! I hadn't been there long when he came up and said "You're shoulders are up to your ears (I was pretty tense) what's going on?" So here is this totally hot, good looking Senior (I was a freshman) asking me what was going on with me and he actually sounded sincere...so he probably got more of an earful than he actually wanted, but he never made me feel like I was divulging too much or wasting his time. It was this sense of compassion that had me head over heels in no time!

Things progressed over the next couple of months but we actually didn't really get too serious. I left Furman after only one quarter (I was miserable) and moved back to NC to take a semester off. We didn't stay in touch until my 19th birthday 3 months later, when I got a phone call from Richard saying he'd like to come to NC to take me to dinner. And he did...and we've been together ever since.

We were never one of those couples full of drama that break up and get back together all the time, we never took a "break", we never saw other people just to make sure we wanted to be together....we just always knew we would be together forever. Richard is fiercely loyal, anyone who knows him will tell you that. He doesn't have hundreds of friends, preferring to stick very close to the few he really cares about. He is always truthful, he never lies, not even a tiny white lie. His ethical and moral standards are set very high and he always thinks of his family before himself. Not one decision is made without thoroughly thinking through the ramifications, good or bad, on me and our girls.

His capacity for love is tremendous...my favorite thing to do since the girls were born is to catch him with them when he doesn't know I'm watching. I love to hear how tenderly he talks to them, how engaged he is with them, when he is with them he is thoroughly in the moment...he absolutely adores our little girls. He laughs with them, he kisses their boo-boos, he teaches them all about burping and football (lovely!), and he'll do silly dances to make them giggle. He's not a work 12 hours a day during the week and then golf all weekend kind of a guy, he is always with us, he likes being at home with his family.

Losing Zoe has been just as hard on him as it has been on me, make no mistake about that just because he doesn't openly grieve the way I do. His heart was ripped from his chest when mine was and he feels that emptiness in the pit of his soul as deeply as I do. I think in many ways my pregnancy was harder on him than it was on me because he couldn't do anything...it was all me growing those babies...he did everything he possibly could like making me nightly chocolate/banana/peanut butter milkshakes! When I got so sick and had to deliver, I was pretty out of it, being sick and in shock he was the rock. Until I recovered from the preeclampsia and the c-section he spent all day every day at the hospital. He'd leave early in the morning to go to the hospital to try to be at the girls' bedside when the docs roudned on them, come at lunch to pick me up to spend the afternoon with them and then bring me back home before shift change and then he'd go back again to "tuck the girls in". But, I've never seen fear in his eyes like I did two nights after they were born and Lily got sick all of a sudden. I was still in my state of shock but he knew exactly what was going on with each of them and he knew something wasn't right with her. She ended up being ok, an infection cleared up with antibiotics...but I saw the core of his being melt at the thought of being so close to losing one of his daughters when all three were just barely hanging on. I don't think I saw that look again until those last few hours we had with Zoe. He felt just as helpless as I did with them in the NICU, but he was also one of the people that kept me pumping milk for the girls...he was so supportive and encouraging, especially in the middle of the night when I'd get up to pump and many times he'd get up too and wash my pump parts for me :)

He was and has always been involved in caring for our babies, especially when we had all three at home, three babies on feeding tubes and monitors needing medical care outside the "norm" of a newborn...he always helped. Granted things weren't always rosy every single day...but he did help a lot...and he continues to enjoy helping with the girls in all of their activities and daily care.

Richard has always been my biggest support...no matter what drama was going on with my family (we've had plenty) he is always the calm voice of reason...and he's always right (yes I have now admitted that in print). His intuition is always spot on and he has this way of listening intently and completely and figuring out a solution to just about any issue that could ever arise and it is always in a way that makes all parties involved feel good. He was the one that encouraged me to go out on my own when I became disheartened at my last job and he has continued to support me in whatever capacity of work I choose. He wants to hear how I'm doing, he wants to hear what crazy thoughts go on in my head, he wants me to be happy...that's all he really wants is for me to be happy and for the girls to be healthy and happy.

I have never once doubted his love for me. I have never once questioned his loyalty and fidelity...he is my best friend...even when I haven't exactly been his best friend. He secretly likes my quirks...he may not admit it, but I think he likes the fact that I have conversations with myself! I have the perfect husband, the perfect friend, and the perfect father to my children.

Have I mentioned that he writes poetry? For our first anniversary he wrote an incredible poem for me and had it matted and framed with my favorite photo from our wedding. He's written poems for holidays and big events...when we started fertility treatments and things weren't going so well he wrote an inspiring work of prose, and he's written poems to our girls and for me for no real reason at all. He always gives the best, most thoughtful gifts and boy can he plan a vacation! He loves to surprise me with things he knows will make me smile. He is an amazing chef and encourages me to indulge in things that I enjoy (yoga, massage, girl time). He's also quite an athlete...he swam, played tennis and soccer in his youth and another thing I love watching is when he plays "soccer" in the yard and does some little fancy footwork with our blow up beach ball the girls play with...so cute and so sexy. He is everything a woman would ever dream of having in a husband...I'm so glad he's MY husband.

It's been said that the divorce rate when a child dies is 90%...we had a less than 1% chance of conceiving triplets, we had an 85% chance of a good outcome with the triplet pregnancy (read 34+ weeks gestation at birth)...so I'm betting, since we seem to always fall in the smaller portion of the odds that we won't be a part of that 90% divorce rate...we'll be in the 10%.

Happy Anniversary darling...you are my heart, my soul, my love forever.


Taryn Temples said...

What a sweet tribute. :) I can attest to some of that... he was there at the girls' bedsides 1st thing in the morning and knew all 3 phone numbers by heart so that when he was finished visiting with one, he would ask us to call so he could go visit the next one. He always changed up the order in which he visited because he didn't want to show too much "favoritism" to one girl. He's definitely a keeper! :) Happy Anniversary to you both!

rachael said...

that is such a sweet post keira, you can just feel the love you have for him radiating off of the page! happy anniversary!

Cassie said...

Your husband is exactly the kind of man I want my boys to become! Can I talk to his mother? :) Happy Anniversary!

Karen @ Chez Perky said...

This is such a beautiful tribute, Keira. Richard is so perfect for you - and you for him. I'm so glad that you found each other and that you have each other for the very high highs, and the very low lows. You've been through so much together, I can't imagine that you could be anything but that 10%.

Happiest of anniversaries to you.

Denise Wheeler said...

That was an amazing tribute to an obviously amazing man! Congrats on 10 years. May you be blessed with many, many more.

nancy said...

It was wonderful to read about Richard and your love for each other. Happy tenth anniversary!


All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31