First Comes Love
I started dating my husband 11 years ago, May 11th, 2007 to be exact. We met through a mutual friend that thought we would make a great couple. Our friend, Kelly, had been trying to set us up for a while, but timing never really worked out to all connect. Before we started dating, when we did finally connect, we all had fun and ended the night with a glass of wine at a local wine bar. I left thinking, “he was nice” while he left thinking, “I think she would be good for my friend.”
I guess the next morning when the alcohol wore off his feelings felt different and he decided that he would call me to join him for a birthday celebration and maybe keep me for himself.
The Short of our Part 2 story
My parents lived in a senior community. Every time I would visit, my parents on the weekend I would always make time go visit their dear friend Louis, she was one of a kind. A soul and spirit that can light up the room and had a way to make you feel so special. I did not have a grandmother growing up so as an adult and she was the closest thing to it. Before I went to see my parents as I usually do, I had to make my pit stop at Louis’s house. She immediately jumped right to the question, “so who are you dating these days? Remember I told you about my great nephew who lives in Delray. I can still set you up if you’d like?” I had the same response week after week. “No Lou…I am doing just fine in the dating world.”
Then Comes Marriage & The Baby Carriage
Would you believe that her Nephew is now my husband! Aunt Lois’s great nephew was Michael Gustman, that same Michael Gustman I that I met through our mutual friend Kelly!!! On October 16, 2012 we were blessed with our first daughter born on our second wedding anniversary date. Our second daughter, Savannah Emma, was born June 6, 2014. What we call this in Yiddish is the word Bershert, which means meant to be or destiny.
NOBODY INCLUDES CANCER AFTER THE BABY CARRIAGE
These monumental moments will always be imprinted in my memory. Such as the morning of January 5th, 2018 where the doctor who was doing my biopsy sat us down in an “office” looked us both in our eyes as said, “I just want to prepare you both for what I feel is about to happen.” It was that exact moment I looked into my husband’s beautiful green eyes with a look that we are about to walk into a place we have never been before.
I remember that night being home, holding each other so tight, praying together, kissing our children and really feeling the most unknown fear together. It was that night that and more frequently than I have before this diagnosis I decided to relive and really in script these powerful words from my ketubah into my every day with my amazing husband next to my side no matter what life throws at us.
I promise to stand by you always to be a joy to your heart and food to your soul; to bring out the best in you always, and for you, to be the most that I can be; to laugh with you in good times and struggle with you through life’s challenges, May we strive to bring to fruition both our shared and individual hopes and dreams. Let us build a home on a foundation of respect and generosity guided our values. May our lives be embraced by warmth, peace and love. When we grow old may we walk together hand in hand, still feeling the sweetness of our wedding night.
Cancer is now a part of our marriage, but will never define our marriage
As in life, these monumental moments do not always come with manuals on how to become a husband, wife, parent, cancer supporter or cancer patient. Together since my diagnosis we have identified feelings never felt before together, it has shined a light that has bursted a deeper love connection than I could have ever imaged. I can honestly say I would never EVER have choosen cancer after been blessed twice by that baby carriage, but I can thank you cancer once again. As I bite down on my teeth hard when I write, thank you. What you have done to me is you have shown to me that I married a man worth more than anything else I could have ever imagined. You have intimately entwined us in a way that is indescribable. You have put us a new road in front of us. One that has never not traveled down yet, but has only been to be paved.