There's nothing like hardship to band people together. To remind ourselves that we need to hold dear to those and that which we love. That life and health aren't guaranteed. That our love can't conquer all obstacles, but it can carry us through the hardest of them.
This past week has not been easy on Ben and I, it has been filled with worry, long days spent in the hospital, and longer night spent worrying about loved ones. But it has also been filled with hope and togetherness. It has been filled with the quiet moments when holding someone's hand becomes their only tether to holding it together. It has been filled with closeness that only comes from facing a challenge together. Of learning how a family worries, comes together, pulls apart, and mends itself.
And yet, this past week has been filled with steps toward recovery. Everything went well on Tuesday and looks to be moving forward in an upward direction. We feel so grateful for the outpouring of positive thoughts - I do believe those travel on waves through the world, touching us when we need hope and strength. And I know his family felt it, reverberating through those rooms, the energy of more people than they could count (or that they knew) pulling for them.
Returning to Portland mid-week was very difficult for us to do. It's so hard to leave a sick loved one when all you'd like to do is sit there and hold their hand, comfort them that all will be well and you'll be sitting there right beside them for as long as they need you. I felt heartbroken to see Ben worry. To see his family sitting alone in a waiting room, exhausted. But ultimately, we knew we needed to give them time to sleep, to heal, to not feel the hovering presence of us in the room when there was little we could do but stand there and worry.
Sitting with Ben in those car rides back and forth, two hours of darkness just to stare ahead at the road and hold hands across the front seats, cemented everything I have known for so long - that he is the one, that we are right, that we are a team that works together in the face of anything, great or small. And I feel, though tired and anxious from this past week of highs and lows, incredibly lucky to have a partner in my life and the family that comes along with him. It is worth more than words, or emotion, can say. And sometimes that confirmation of the love I have for him and for us fill me so full that my hearts feels like it's going to burst.
If you have a moment tonight, hold the hand of the the person you love most for a bit longer than usual. Take advantage of the small moments that make up whole lives and love affairs, and spend just an extra second appreciating that they can carry you in the toughest moments you'll experience and keep you whole.