Thursday, May 8, 2014

From the Shadowland

Ecclesiastes 7:1
 A good name is better than a good ointment,
And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.

Samuel has been home with his Father in Heaven for six years.  To God be the Glory.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer Recap

It's amazing how fast summer passes here.  Mainly because we rarely have a summer that is filled with tons of warm days.  But this summer was that rare one where the warm days have gone on and on allowing for enough outdoor activity that once the rains return, it is a nice change.  A welcome change.   My garden is thrilled anyway. 
Kaysha and Anna began their summer on stage.
The dancing princesses worked hard during the year and gave spectacular performances.  We were very proud of them.  Kaysha had performed in a dance class on this very stage when she was five years old.  Funny how time flies.   This year they are moving away from being the dancing princesses in order to become karate queens.  They are both loving that!
We found much time for kayaking this summer as well.
And then there was swimming and camping too.
And of course, hiking.
Outdoor cooking with home grown veggies.
We made some new friends.
I got some new transpo.
Okay, when Mark rides my bike around the neighborhood with "Blubber" on the back, half the neighborhood comes outside to watch.  Blubber, aka Diego, aka Tubby, (he's really fat now) is one of the not-so baby anymore, babies, from the litter we had nearly three years back.  He is the go anywhere, do anything dog.  He hikes 5-6 miles with us like it's nothing.  He camps happily.  He goes out in the kayak like he was born to.  And he loves the motorcycle as well.  I don't think there's anything he doesn't like.  He even likes baths!  He ended up weighing 20 pounds and that is 20 pounds of pure love and joy. 
Daniel went on the trip of a lifetime, or at least of his lifetime thus far, to California and hit three of the big amusement parks there.  A family who lives nearby took him along on this huge trip.  They refer to him as "the son they never had" even though they have two of their own sons.  Yeah, they love him dearly.  He seems to have been born into good fortune because opportunities seem to always come his way.  Via skype, he has friends seemingly worldwide these days and is quite congenial.  I do believe it is his good nature and trustworthiness that attract such good fortune and I am glad for that.   He has a kind heart and always has.  And for a nearly 15 year old who already stands 6'2" and wears his dad's clothing, he needs to be a gentle giant.  
My kids start school tomorrow while the rest of the neighborhood started today. The house seems quiet compared to usual given that it has become the hang-out spot for a pluther of the kids around here from morning til night.  I am enjoying the silence to be honest.   I like that so many kids enjoy being here but I also like it when my home is more "mine" than theirs too.
Kaysha will be a junior and Daniel will be a freshman this year.  Both are schooling entirely online.  Kaysha has been for the last several years but this is Daniel's first year without me as primary teacher.  I'm sure there'll be an adjustment period.   Anna will be in fourth grade, still homeschooled by me.  I am looking forward to working solely with her.  Of the three, she is the strongest in academics, has the most patience with learning and enough perseverance to excel.    Kaysha has a lot of artistic talent whether drawing, dancing, writing, or acting.  She excels.   Daniel has a more mechanical bent and good computer literacy as well.   He is still quite the comedian so if you need a good laugh, you know who to call.   It's such a treat to watch them grow and change and mature.
It has been just over 5 years since Samuel went to Heaven and not a day passes that he is not mentioned here at home.  As we guide our teenagers into adulthood helping them to determine their place in this world and what kind of a footprint they want to leave on it, it would be easy to feel cheated because we do not have that same opportunity with Samuel.   In a physical aspect, we do feel cheated.  How could we not?  But in a spiritual and eternal aspect, we don't.   His life has made an impact on this world.   There has hardly been a week that has passed since he went to Heaven that I don't get a note from someone who has been inspired by what we were able to accomplish during his lifetime.   Someone looking for answers.  Someone looking for help.   
The most heavily visited page on his web site is the page on feeding real food through a g-tube.  And as time passes, I am clearly seeing that this is the footprint he has left behind; the one that many people have chosen to follow.  People who wanted what we wanted.  To give themselves or a loved one a better quality of life using nutrition as primary medicine.  Whether the ailment is major or minor, life threatening or simply life complicating, people are finding Samuel's site and being encouraged to try and not only try, but succeed.   Most of them are not cancer related at all.  But when they see how much good solid nutrition extended not only the quantity of Samuel's days but also his quality of life given all his medical issues, they are more than encouraged that nutrition can be a basis for healing.  
That is not to say that I don't still hear from families with children fighting cancer who are trying to buck the system.  I do.  But they are few and far between because it is SO hard to get out from under the pediatric cancer cult and of course fewer still who see poison as bad "medicine."  Those who do manage to break away, hope as we hoped, that maybe their child will be one to survive against the odds.  Maybe their child will be the one that makes conventional therapies finally come into serious question.   I wish I could tell you I know of one who bucked the system and cured their cancer without chemo.  But to date, there hasn't been one.   Not yet.  With the total lack of support in the pediatric system, I am not surprised.  It is a rough row in a swamp full of alligators.  What I have seen is quality of life being honored and sometimes fought for if need be.  I see people who have been told by their Oncs that their child will relapse and die within a few months of stopping chemo having that child live happily for years before dealing with relapse simply through nutrition and alternative cancer treatments.  I am also seeing kids live with active leukemia that is controlled enough by alternatives and nutrition that they don't require blood products, antibiotics or hospital stays to manage it.   In short, they are not "blasting off" as one of our Oncs used to call it.   That is HUGE!  
What will eventually be known worldwide about all of this progress, I don't know given that anyone who controls their own child's cancer effectively without conventional medicine is referred to as a "fluke" by their own doctors.  I imagine this minimizing must help ease their guilty consciences.  And when unconventional methods fail, they generally cannot wait to say they told us so.  But of course, they fail to acknowledge that their precious chemo eventually fails as well only with significantly more physical and emotional consequences.   Funny how they never want to "go there." 
What I do know is how I feel in my heart.  I tell these families who venture into the shaky ground that we walked on that at the end of Samuel's life and for all the years that have passed, I have had no regrets about choosing the path I did.   I know that chemo would have both shortened his lifespan and tortured him to his death.  That was something I wasn't going to be a part of as long as the choice was mine to make and thankfully, that choice, once mine, was never reascended.   God help the person who dared to try.  Mark and I were always on the same page about things and never did one thing we weren't agreed on.  This is too hard a path to travel if you are not in agreement and given the divorce statistics of marriages after a child has died, this cannot be overlooked.  The rest is up to God and it helps if they believe in God to begin with.  Samuel's legacy was never about cancer and never will be.  Cancer doesn't reign supreme where he lives.   It was about love, perseverance and building faith in God.  It was about people helping and caring about complete strangers and doing what their hearts told them to do..   From beginning to end.  In good times and in horror.   Those were the best of times and the worst of times but times nonetheless that I would never have chosen to miss.  Samuel has left a huge footprint on a lot of lives and continues to do so and as I look back, I cannot help but be proud of being a part of that.
Onward and upward ever faithful to the call til we meet Him in the sky.

Hope this post finds you all well.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What Happened to the Babies?????

Suddenly, two of them look pretty grown up and one looks a lot like Samuel.
Kaysha, age 16

Daniel, age 14

Anna, age 9
We're still kicking around.  Everyone is well.  Still seems odd to post pictures without Samuel.  Some things never change and this is one thing that I doubt will.  He would be eleven next weekend.  We try to imagine that.   Cannot really.  When Mark saw him in the dream he had just shy of a year after he went to Heaven, he thought he looked more like 12 than nearly 7.  That is the image he saves in his heart. 
Samuel is ever always around.  We still "notice" him and for that I am grateful.
I miss having "the babies," when there were four of them.  But I am enjoying the freedom that has come with their becoming young adults.   They are gentle children overall.   Kaysha is learning who she is as a young adult, making and taking great strides as such.   She continues to be very artistic and in more ways than one.  Daniel is a gentle giant, dramatic to the point that you cannot stop laughing sometimes and then he hams it up more.   He calls me "Mommy," even in front of his friends and I love it.   Anna is still a cross of Samuel and Delma but adds her own flavors into the mix.  She is very cheerful, helpful and mature for her tender age of 9.
Mark is still working at the University and that is going well.  We took up kayaking in addition to our hiking and camping adventures and are absolutely loving it.  I am still doing what I've done for years now.  Loving my family, schooling, sewing, you know, the usual.  
Bud turned 20 this year and is doing the best we've seen since bringing him home in 2008.  He acts like a 5 year old with the digestive tract of a 20 year old, that's all.  I know how to keep him safe from his overeating issues.
The dogs, all five of them, are the best!   It's good to have a "large" family of humans and critters.
We live a quiet life raising gentle, kind children and we enjoy that immensely. 
Hope you are all well.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Girls

The girls are 7.5 years apart.  Seems like they'd have little in common with that kind of spread especially now as Kaysha is nearing 16 and Anna has just turned 8.  Well, age is not an obstacle to love.  Their bond formed from the era when Samuel was still with us is still as strong as ever.  Together they intertwine a wonderful mix of beauty, innocence, and attitude. 

If you are wondering where Daniel is, he's still has camera phobia. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Four Years

The dogs woke me up at 5:30am this morning.  The sun streaming into our bedroom is their alarm.  I really wanted to sleep longer.  Normally, I am not so keyed in as to what day it is so immediately upon rising but today I knew.  I saw the time and thought that four years ago, Samuel had only 28 more minutes to be with us on Earth.  It was at about 5:30am that he woke me up and said so desperately that he needed me.

At 5:39am as I was pouring the coffee into the French press, I noted that he now had 19 minutes left.  About this time four years ago, Mark and I were at his side and he was drifting between here and Heaven, sometimes playing with us for the last time, and sometimes mumbling words in a language we could not decipher.

At 5:50am as I was pouring my second cup of coffee, I noted that he had only eight minutes left.  Eight minutes was probably the amount of time that elapsed between the first seizure that I am sure removed his spirit from his body, and the second seizure where with my hand over his heart, I felt it finally stop it's seemingly endless struggle to keep fighting to stay.

At 6am I thought about how I had lived my first two minutes without him.  We were still talking to him as if he were with us knowing that the spirit may linger to listen and see.  We removed all the medical horrors from his body and dressed him in clothes he would have liked, incidentally, it was pajamas I had two sets of.  One set is saved, one set was worn for the last time ever and is no more.

At 8am, now two hours and two minutes after he went to Heaven, I was sitting in the bathtub thinking it all over.  The way it was, how bad it felt, yet how relieved we were that he had finally gotten out of that body, such impossible emotions to reconcile.  I believe that four years ago at 8am I was also sitting in the tub, in shock and in relief yet in a hurry to get in and get out before the man came to take his body away.  I wanted to sit with him for every last second I could but I also wanted to be cleaned up and dressed for when the man arrived.  I wanted to touch Samuel's body for what remaining time we had left with it, to memorize it, for all the good that did, but I did it anyway because I knew that all too soon all that would remain of Samuel were his things, and a seemingly endless supply of pain.   How was it possible that just three days before he was sitting on that couch coloring me a dozen pictures and for a few hours, we were able to pretend that the inevitable wasn't going to happen?  How was it possible that just a year before that, we thought we had seen an end to the worry of a relapse?  How did it all go so viciously wrong?

I want you to know that in the realm of the soul, there is no remedy for such agony.   There is no thing in this world that can even remotely make this okay.  To watch, no, to help the purest love you've ever known in your life die after you've spent four years trying to help him survive all the while fighting screams inside yourself to do the exact opposite; it's an indescribable torture.

And yet...

As I sat in the bathtub at 8am this morning, I realized that it had been 4 years and two hours and two minutes that I had lived without Samuel.  It was in that revelation that the sorrow for this day turned into praise to God.  Praise because I have learned to live without Samuel and by live, I mean in the abundance that Jesus speaks of in John 10:10.  Life isn't just "hurry up and get done" but instead there is much joy even in the midst of sorrow.  I can live with joy because I know that through Jesus, Samuel also lives and his joy is fully complete.  Not the shadow of the joy we experience, but the fullness of joy.  By God's mercy and grace, I have experienced the evidence of Samuel's life and joy in Heaven as well as his continued concern for us on Earth.  Our love and devotion to each other remains well intact even if Samuel does not inhabit a physical body anymore.  And thus I can attest that only Jesus is the remedy for the horrors we endured throughout Samuel's life, as well as the torturous end to his life and the loneliness we still encounter because he is no longer physically here.  That said, I must also strongly testify that it was my choice to allow Jesus to mend my soul's woes spiritually.  It did not just happen. It took a great deal of effort, sorrow and tears.  It was not an easy process but it was a process that was well worth the effort and continues to be.  It's a process that I will continue on some level until I am with Samuel again.

To have chosen to remain in a perpetual state of grieving for the rest of my life would have taken no effort at all and thus no actual healing would have taken place either.  The wound today would be just as raw as it was in 2008.   I also believe that had I rejected the comfort and healing offered by our Savior, Samuel would not be allowed to "visit" me as he does.  It wasn't until I fully gave all of the mess of Samuel's life and death to God as well as the reins to my own life that He began to let me "feel" the glory of Samuel in Heaven.  Those "gifts"from Him healed my soul like nothing in this world ever could.  I continually chose to hang on to them when sorrow wants to creep in or when a walk down a tribulation lane seems inevitable.  I hang on to them on days like today and as you see, they lift me out of the pit of sorrow so I never reach the point of no return.

For the first year or so after Samuel departed for Heaven, we found fun little surprises he had left behind but those little tangible gifts are not more.  You know, things like the banana peel thrown behind the stereo speakers, a book that was discovered with his handwriting in it after all the rest were packed away, or the best one, his headprint in the wall from where he used to play dinos with Anna.   I think we have finally reached the end of these things until someone rips out the drywall all the way down to the floor in our room where the doorknob put a hole in it and Samuel and Anna thought it was great fun to fill the hole up with toys that would fit.  Ode to those days!  

Similarly, one might think that we have reached an end to the lessons he taught us from birth to death but thankfully this is not the case.  I believe the lessons I have learned, and continue to learn from Samuel will continue until I am reunited with him in Heaven.  For these things I am so grateful.   It would take me another hour or two to list all the amazing things he taught me about myself, about being a mother, about trusting my gut, about trusting God, about love, etc, and you can read the archives of this blog and find many of them in it.  However, again I must stress that a great many of these things were learned after and/or because he died; because I chose to allow Jesus to mend my heart.  Had I remained in grief, these amazing lessons and blessings would be unclaimed, possibly lost forever and my life and my heart would still be a wreck.  And worse -and worse is still possible- the healing that God has done (is still doing) in the parts of my life that have nothing to do with Samuel would also be nonexistent had I not chosen to allow Him to mend my heart because of Samuel.  Samuel changed my life - for the better, in spite of all the horrors and sorrows.   And so Romans 8:28 has been proven in my life.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  

And speaking of blessings, pieces of Samuel's spirit continue to live on in Anna. You might find it most interesting to know that she, the child that has the fewest memories of Samuel, displays many of his personality traits.   While she might not remember as much as we wished she might, the very fact that she literally grew up a few feet from him at all times is evident in her mannerisms.  So we make it a point to point out to her the things that she instinctively does that were learned from Samuel.  A piece of him is surely in her.  That's a pretty special gift, not just for us to witness, but also for her to have within herself.  

The below video is footage of our first hike of the season at Snoquera Falls.  Mark and I visited it last fall.  Anna has been expressing interest in hiking with us this year.  The last hiking she did was with us when Samuel was here and she really seemed to be a trooper.  But then all the kids enjoyed it at that time.   Last year, however, Daniel wanted to go with us but did not enjoy it at all so we weren't sure if she wouldn't do the same thing he did.  Whine way too much....but thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised.  Little hiker Dee is back after about a four year hiatus.  We did this four mile trek and she never complained even once.  She led the way just as Samuel enjoyed leading the way both literally and metaphorically.  There were so many pieces of Samuel evident in her on this hike that I wanted to share it with you.  (I just got the camcorder, still experiementing with settings and a good way to carry it the footage doesn't look like a drunk took it.)

To my baby, just a thought away. 

So many gifts you left behind for us to discover.  Thank you for all of them.  The end of your physical life was certainly not the end of you nor the beginning of a neverending sorrow.  I was so wrong about these things and I am glad that I was.

I'm also glad that you gave Little Dee so many pieces of yourself in your short life.  Though she certainly is her own person, she acts a lot like you.  I cannot think of a better role model for her to have had for the first four years of her life.  Those are some of the most important as you well know. 

I miss you.  I can hardly wait to be with you for eternity.  But until then, it is as I said it would be on this day four years ago, I know where you are and you know where I am. And you have certainly fulfilled your promise to check on us every day.  Thank you for that most.

With more love than can be expressed.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

For Samuel

For My Baby, My Beautiful Cutie,  My Little Nutty.

I miss...

I miss you all playing together.  I miss being a mom to four kids.  I cannot believe how much Kaysha, Daniel and Anna have grown since this video.  You, however, seem frozen in time.  I wish I could have frozen time when you were here but it was bound and determined to move forward to a place where you were no longer in it.  Six birthdays have now passed that we were not able to celebrate with you.  You would be ten today.  You barely got to be six.


Oh, I miss this so much!  So much!  No one can do this.  Anna forgot how to slide down the stairs like this.  Everyone walks now.  Or runs.  Or jumps.  And occasionally when they think I am not looking, they slide down in boxes, laundry baskets or sleeping bags.....right into the washer.  Then I hear them and it's all over.  But no one slides down the stairs on their tummy quick as lightening.  I miss this so so much.


And this.  Your swimming lessons.  I miss watching you learn.  I miss your excitement.  Anna watched this with great delight.  She took swimming lessons in the same pool.  Jumped off the same edge.  I see you looking to see if I am looking after you entered the water.  You know I was always looking.  You always had my eye and my heart and soul.  How do I live without you?  It is often so hard to believe it is possible.

  I miss you just playing as if nothing was ever wrong.  As if nothing ever happened.  I miss you on the swings.  No one enjoyed them like you.  This is the first time I have shared this video of our family.  It is the day after the day we found out you'd relapsed.  It is video taken as if it could be the last.  Video of you enjoying life in the midst of death knocking at the door.  I tried to keep from sobbing at times on this day.  It was just so hard to imagine you would not grow up here.   I miss the "googies."  No one can do that either.  You had your talents, that is for sure.  You made your own language for sheer joy and it is recorded here.  Of course, in this video, we had to remind you to do it so that it was forever captured, but when you were most happy, it just came out spontaneously.  It was a baby thing that you carried until death.  We loved it.  I miss it.

I miss holding your hand.  I miss taking you places and you taking me places.  I still feel naked when I leave the house without you.  Even after all this time.


I miss the songs you sang. The songs you sang and everyone could not help but sing along with you. No one sings now, even still. You used to sing in the van wherever we drove, you had a song. Song may still play when we drive along, but they are not yours.

I watch this and feel like you had to have known your life would be short. "Life is but a dream..." for what was so often, a nightmare. You always found the bright side. That nightmare is but a dream to you now. I am glad for that. Yet, as long as I live on this side of eternity, it will be with the knowledge that your birthday was also the day that two years later your first chemo cast the die that lead to your death. That was and is no dream for us. It was a nightmare of unimaginable pain. Pain that we still can hardly comprehend we endured and survived. Your love and our love for you was more powerful than pain, and even now, more powerful than death. 
Your love raining down on us from Heaven is the only way we can live. 

I miss your hugs and affection.  While I know you are only a thought away, my arms still ache to hold you. My ears throb because they don't hear you speak.  My eyes leak when I look back on our lives since you left and think of all the joys we have missed out on because you are not with us. 


I wouldn't trade this pain of separation for the missed opportunity of being your Mama.   Ever.  Ten years ago today, my life changed for the better because you came into it and I give thanks to God that you are my son and that I am your mother. 


But until then, I miss you.   I wish I was with you.  I wish we were all with you.  We all love you and cannot wait to be with you again, in the flesh.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Adversity Day

Out of the blue a few days ago, Anna said, "I feel really sad."  Mark and I both asked why.  She replied, "Because I didn't get to go to your wedding."  We both laughed a bit and said that it wasn't all that great and she didn't miss much.  Fortunately, a wedding ceremony has no bearing on a marriage's success or failure and this is something we stress to our kids when the subject of our wedding comes up so that they don't make the mistake of equating our disdain for the ceremony with our love for each other and the gift of being married.  

Our wedding was filmed and we did tell Anna she could watch the video if she wanted to but we didn't recommend it.   If you watch the video, you'll get a little sense of why that is. 
Picture little wedding chapel at the Reno Hilton.  It's pretty enough.  It wasn't the chapel that was the issue.  It was the guests.  Not all of them.  Just some.  The first thing that happens in the video is I walk down the aisle as fast as I can walk in heels, alone.  My father attended the wedding, but he did not walk me down the aisle.  This was a big deal when the planning of the ceremony took place.  Who will walk me down the aisle?  Well, let's see.  Should my father who is embarrassed by my pregnancy and feels my marriage will fail in a very short time walk me down the aisle and give me away?   I think not.  I, at least, had the good sense to NOT allow this lie to be a part of this ritual.  Should Mark's father walk me down just so that a father accompanies me, you know so it "looks" right to those not in the know?   No, this didn't make sense either.  So the music starts and I come flying down the aisle.  In the background, you can hear one of my mother's friends calling her attention to this "travesty."  My mother already knew this was going to happen but ignored her.  Mark also was clueless about this until it happened.  He later commented that I should have told him and we'd walk down the aisle together.   It just didn't matter at that point.  The whole thing wasn't about us if you want to know the real truth.  It was about being able to say we were married before people could see that I was pregnant and unwed.  This was a ceremony to keep my parents from being embarrassed by my, their 23 year old daughter's, sin. 

Now, mind you, Mark and I were engaged well prior to my getting pregnant.  In fact, we were planning to wed in his parents gorgeous backyard.  They were very much into gardening back then and their yard was picturesque.  We were even going to figure out how to get Bud there so I could ride him down the aisle.  This was planned for August-ish of the same year.  The pregnancy was cause to move it to April instead, again for the sake of my parents more than anyone else.  To be clear, Mark's parents were supportive of our marriage and wedding wherever and whenever it took place.   Had my parents been like Mark's parents, our feelings about our wedding day may have been much different.  But I digress.  It's in the past.  There was really no good solution.  The "happiest day of my life" wasn't.  I won't lie about that part of it.   I certainly learned a lot from it, more every year that passes.  I put these kinds of memories into the file in my mind that is labeled, "Things I won't do to my own kids." 

The best thing that came out of our wedding in Reno was that Delma was able to attend.  Delma, the one and only person I knew fully supported me, period.  No matter what.  She was well pleased for Mark and I, never once saying a word about the strange ceremony.  I am pretty sure she knew what was up and I am also certain that if she had been in my place, she'd have done the exact same thing.

While neither Mark or I think much of weddings at this point, we are quite grateful for our marriage.  We would not change any part of it for the world.   When we met, we were two broken people who immediately found in each other pieces that began to mend our hearts and our souls.  That mending began the process of marriage well before we ever had a ceremony.  We knew pretty much immediately that we were made for each other.  It was obvious in that we had a hard time being separated.  This is still true today. 

I cannot help but think back to Delma telling me over and over that I just needed one person to truly love me in this life and that is how I would not just survive but also thrive.  At that time, she was the one and only person that fit this bill.  Then I met Mark and for a time, I had both of them.  I had two people I could count on to love and stand by me 100% of the time.  The true hand off for the care of my body and soul at our wedding was from Delma to Mark.  Neither knew it at the time.  This is clear now.  Delma died less than a year after we wed and I believe she went to Heaven certain that I had found the one person who would love me through the rest of my life.  While she may not have believed her time to go to Heaven had fully arrived, while she might have wished to stay a little while longer, she left knowing I was in good, reliable, loving hands.

Sixteen years have come and gone. Some years were sweeter than others as far as the trials and tribulations of life go but one thing that was never in jeopardy was our marriage.  Our love was and is strong and true no matter how disappointing the wedding ceremony was.  No matter how utterly devastating Samuel's cancer diagnosis on this day eight years to the day after the wedding was.  We got through both of those days cleaving together as God intended.  April 20 seems forever marked as a day of adversity for us.  There just is no way around it for now.  But thanks be to God, adversity hasn't broken us.  Instead it strengthens us and draw us closer together.  This is something even our children can clearly see.  Clear enough that one wishes she was able to attend our wedding.   Now there is a gift you don't get every day.

Happy Anniversary "Adversity Day" to my beloved Mark,

I am yours and you are mine.  Unconditional love is all that truly matters in this life.   I'm glad we both knew that from day one.  My heart is ever always yours no matter the circumstance.  I am blessed by God to be your wife.  

With all my love,