Sunday, April 19, 2009

KEEP BELIEVING

Dear Brian,





I couldn't believe it today. I woke ready to face my next milestone date - our 12th wedding anniversary. I came down to a ready-made programmed cup of Starbucks in the coffee pot, sat down at the computer while the kids were still asleep ready to read some comments from yesterday's post. Then I saw it. Look at the blogroll on the right side of my screen. Do you see it?





KEEP BELIEVING





On a day when I ache to celebrate our love together - our triumphs, our struggles, our perseverance and our devotion through it all, I struggle to live our motto - KEEP BELIEVING.





Then I see that so many I have never even met are mourning with me. They are celebrating with us. They are sending me their love and thoughts and prayers and links. This whole blog world that has introduced me to a new kind of friendship - one that has been very one sided for the last 6 months - continues to amaze and humble me.





And I can find the strength to KEEP BELIEVING.





Here is last year's post I wrote on our anniversary. It made you cry. So few times I saw you break down and lose it. This post made you fall into a heap in my arms declaring your love for me and how lucky you felt to be my spouse. I still think I got the better end of the lucky stick. Even now. Even without you here. :





Brian,11 years ago today, I donned my princess wedding dress in great anticipation of becoming Mrs. Brian O’Neill. 11 years ago today, I stood in front of hundreds of people and God and declared my life-long love and commitment to you, and you to me. 11 years ago today, I became the luckiest woman alive.





One month later, we would find out you had brain cancer. The next 3 years, while we were still newlyweds, would bring us despair, surgeries, chemotherapy, insurance battles, abstinence from sex so we could bank sperm for a possible future family, uncertainty, and turmoil. The next year would bring more chemo, a move, a job change, more uncertainty. The next few years would bring infertility, adoptions, another job change and move.





We would spend our 10 year anniversary in a romantic little restaurant in San Francisco with your brothers by our sides sharing our eclectic dinners because you would be going in for major surgery the next day to remove part of your brain tumor, yet again. This time, we would be warned of the risks of paralysis and speech deficits, just to name a few. Your brothers shared our anniversary because, well, everyone wanted to share that night with you not knowing what tomorrow would bring. The next year would bring more heartache, more struggles and more chemotherapy. We would live our lives from test result to test result, dreading what may come next. We would find ourselves here, fighting every day for balance between normal and battling cancer.





There is no perfect balance.





If someone would have told me on our wedding day what would evolve over the next 11 years in our lives in detail and asked me if I would marry you anyway, my answer would be a resounding, ABSOLUTELY.





You see, if I had all the knowledge of what I just detailed, I would also have known that we would be blessed because of each other. I would have known that I would get the shot-gun seat to your spiritual growth. I would have known that because of you, I would become a better person. I would have known that our trials, while surreal and sometimes horrific, would shape our character by the way we choose to adhere to our bond, believe in an all-knowing God, and respond to the trials. I would have known that we would have a beautiful family of 4, just not in a traditional way. I would have known that you would bring me joy and happiness and love and strength - emotions so raw, pure, and true that they hurt. I would have known that as I watch you in anguish fight for your life every day living in fear of becoming a family without you, you would be the one giving me the strength to know we would be okay. You would be the one consoling me. You would be the one continuing to lift me up telling me, “You can do it, baby. You got mad skills. You got it going on. You are beautiful. You are better than you give yourself credit. I believe in you.” I would have known that every life you touch has a new piece of happiness they didn’t even know was missing – the laughter you bring, the sarcasm, the witticisms, the thoughts you provoke, the insight you provide.





I would know all that and I would want it all again.





I love you with a indescribable passion,
Your ever-adoring wife, Angie


I miss you, Brian. I love you.

KEEP BELIEVING

53 comments:

  1. Not one of us know what each new day will bring. Our lives are mixes of joy and sorrow. May you find peace and God's precious hand holding you tightly as you face this day. Your words are inspiring! I know without a doubt the HE has a plan far bigger and greater than any of us can fathom and I know he holds your heart in his grip.

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  2. He was so right--you have mad skills in so many ways. I'll be thinking of you as you conquer another painful first today. I will be thinking of the great love you were able to share with Brian and how that will sustain you through these rough times.

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  3. KEEP BELIEVING because all of us out here in "blogland" still are because of these things and moments you continue to share with us. Lots of love and hugs to you today Angie.

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  4. I have to go find some tissues now. Right after I get a screenshot of your sidebar...

    LOVE YA! Keep Believing.

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  5. Wow. I came over from Motherscribe. I'm so moved by all these posts, yours and in your sidebar. I'm so sorry for your loss, and so inspired by your faith.

    You are lovely,
    Heather

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  6. This is my first visit to your blog. I'm terribly sorry what I know must be a terrible loss.
    Happy Anniversary to you and Brian in Heaven. I know he's looking down on you with love.

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  7. Keep Believing.

    Amen.

    Happy Anniversary.

    Hugs to you and yours today.

    So much love from me to you.

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  8. Happy Anniversary Angie. I know it is a difficult time, but you had such a wonderful marriage and a precious husband that you were so blessed to have known and spent your life with - it IS a day of celebration and I hope it is filled with only happy memories of your love for this wonderul man!

    Kellan

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  9. Happy Anniversary Angie. I hope this day brings you happy memories and not to many tears. You are in my thoughts and pryers today and always!

    Keep Believing!

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  10. I can only imagine your pain. I've gone through the whole, chemo, insurance, move, transplant with my husband (lymphoma). You are living my nightmare that I know is waiting for me. Always at the edge. Anytime he gets ONE symptom he used to have...I am paralyzed with fear. You are doing great!!!! I am reminded of how lucky I am to have one more year with him (we just celebrated our 13th). I don't say this to make your pain worse but to thank you for reminding me of what can be. I appreciate your strength! Bless you and your boys!!!!! You are in my prayers!

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  11. Come back today often when you need a reminder of how much you are loved. We are all here for you today, though I know we are no replacement for the one that is missing.

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  12. Angie, Happy Anniversary and thank you for showing all of us how much you love your husband, how strong you are, and even when you don't feel it, your amazing courage. Peace to you and your family.

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  13. Happy Anniversary.
    KEEP BELIEVING.
    Love to you and your boys.

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  14. Angie, I'm thinking of you today. What an awesome anniversary tribute you wrote to Brian! And your sidebar? It made me cry. So much goodness, so much love! Anna

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  15. I found your blog from a blog I have been following...she is one in your side bar and her blog today simply told you happy anniversary and to keep believing. What an amazing woman you are! Tears are running down my face as I know your sorrow is real. Keep taking each day one at a time and know that his love for you is still super strong. My sister's husband lost his fight with cystic fybrosis and a double lung transplant three years ago and I still get teary eyed for all the anniversaries my sister has to deal with. Each day she gets stronger and sees God even more in all of it. She is going through counseling and helps out in the Grief Share group at her church. And through her experiences, she has been able to touch many lives and remind them of the things that are important as you do with your blog. Keep Believing! God is still true to His word and is working all around you and through you. And I am so grateful for all the people surrounding you that are jumping in to help...especially the children you blogged about before that sat on the garage floor with you. God's provision for us oftentimes comes through children I have come to discover...they tend to be quickest to be there with us. God bless! And happy anniversary!

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  16. Angie, it was an honor to finally meet you beyond the digital realm. It was comforting to see your smiling face. It was also very comforting to see you surrounded by friends, your posse. You are blessed.

    Your writing talent is obvious and has helped Pam (Chemobarbie) and I to pray for you and your family. Please don't stop. Pam wishes she had been there to meet you as well, maybe next time. For now you can click my name and find her at "the ocho."

    You are an awesome caregiver! Brian was blessed to have you.

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  17. Happy Anniversary Angie! Today is a day to celebrate the love you shared with Brian. Keep Believing. Love to you and the boys!

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  18. It's such an honor being one of your blogging friends. Such an honor. I cry with you today as I write this, after having read your post.

    Keep Believing, Angie. Keep Believing.

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  19. Dear Angie & Brian,

    Happy Anniversary.

    Your love has taught me more about faith and possibilities than I could have imagined.

    Still believing.

    Love, Cheri

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  20. Peepaw/peepsApril 19, 2009

    Angie & Brian:
    Your love is an eternal flame which nothing will shadow. It's glow reaches from heaven to this glorious earth. You have shared yourselves with the world and today the world sends our love and wishes for smiles and happiness with the tears. I will continue to hold you up in prayer and will Keep Believing.
    Peace
    Paul

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  21. Life is a series of Hello's & Good Bye's.
    Continue to live life fully as an example for your children and a reflection of your husband, which will reflect a bright light upon your life.

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  22. Beautiful, Angie.
    Thinking of you.

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  23. Megryansmom sent me here, I couldn't not click on the link, Keep believing. Thank you for sharing that wonderful blog with the world. It would have been just as special for him to be just a letter to him, but you shared and through it I think you blessed alot of people. Thankyou.

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  24. Happy Anniversary. I never miss one of your posts and always check in on you my dear friend.

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  25. I came over from Motherscribe and your heart is just beautiful

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  26. Happy Anniversary, Angie and Brian. Please do keep believing. This is such a beautiful tribute to your love and commitment. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us!

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  27. oh Angie, I don't know what to say...I'm an emotional wreck today...I hope to get together with you this week..

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  28. I wonder if you know how much you are teaching us about faith and love and commitment?

    Happy Anniversary Angie and Brian. I will Keep Believing with you.

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  29. Angie, what a joy and indescrible pain to know that you could love so much that it hurts so much. That you loved that man so much that it physically hurts to be without him. That is love.

    You loved him then and you still love him now. Happy Anniversary to a love that even death cannot stop. Because you both believed, He is with the Lord and you will be together again one day.

    I grieve the loss of a man I never knew. Thank you for sharing him with us.

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  30. I found your blog through Jennifer's. Great post. Keep the faith! You are a strong woman!

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  31. WOW..you continue to amaze me with your writing gift...and make me unable to speak with emotion. You and Brian share an undeniable bond...then and now...that even death cannot break. That kind of love and devotion NEVER goes away. You do have "mad skills" and I know you can totally do this...with Brian cheering you on, and totally laughing as he admires you and your boys as you live life (a girlie girl) with two "ALL BOY" boys. You are a champ...and will continue to do this new life you have with GRACE, FAITH, LOVE, HUMOR....and a small army around you when you want us : )

    LOVE,
    Kris

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  32. I have the feeling that you will deny this, but you need to know that you are AMAZING. I know he is still there, whispering in your ear, "you have mad skills", and also "you are beautiful". He will guide you and your boys. Happy Anniversary!

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  33. So beautiful and such your recognition was so wonderfully timed! There will be many difficult milestones but you WILL prevail. We are rooting for you!

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  34. Hi Angie, I have had little time to comment lately, but I still read your blog everytime there is a new post. I still think of you and pray for you and the boys. I love this photo of you and Brian - it is breathtaking and should be on the cover of a bridal magazine!

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  35. Wow...I just found your blog (Texas Holly) and have just read countless posts. I can't imagine the emotions that run through you today. I watched my dad go through similar with my mom and so I am thinking of you but also the boys. There will be many "firsts" and you obviously have so many who love you. I will be back...

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  36. Arrived via Cheri at Blog This Mom. I'm humbled and moved reading your posts. Happy Anniversary. Blessings, Chris

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  37. Thinking and praying for you everyday. Happy anniversary to you and Brian...he is smiling down upon you today and everyday!

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  38. I remember this day. It was a beautiful - a lot of sun and if I remember perfect temp. Off Dorsett for the reception. It was a great day.

    Happy Anniversary

    Hang in there.

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  39. Praying for you through this super difficult time in your life.
    Tressa

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  40. Happy Anniversary, I'm praying for you.

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  41. angie,

    you are inspiring. not only to those who know you best, but also to those who only know you a little.

    celebrate today! what you and brian had was miraculous!

    kate

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  42. Happy Anniversary! What a great support team you have. Sending you prayers from Florida.

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  43. Happy Anniversary Angie!

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  44. What a special day for you both. I'm sorry you are not together physically but I believe he's still celebrating with you. Happy Anniversary Brian and Angie.

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  45. Angie, still praying for you as you remember Brian on your wedding anniversary. Your sidebar made me cry too. You are a beautiful woman and I will be one of the first in line to buy your inspirational book if you ever decide to write one out of your blog entries.

    Thinking of you,
    Jessica

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  46. This is my first visit to your blog. This post had me in tears, from my brief glimpse so far I can see you are an amazingly strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us.
    Happy Anniversary, Angie and Keep Believing.

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  47. I came here from Blog This Mom. Your story is amazing. Happy Anniversary, and bless you.

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  48. Just sending you guys my love. Not that you need it. Yours is one that most couples could ever achieve, even if given a lifetime. I was out of town without my laptop, and I missed the blogroll title thing. So sorry!

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  49. I meant could NEVER achieve... darn typo

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  50. Oh Angie. How many times can I tell you that you are an amazing woman? Your story touches so many people. I am happy that you are so loved!

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  51. Happy Anniversary, Angie and Brian.
    Praying for you all.

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