Sunday, 13 November 2011
Today is my 5th anniversary, it’s been a truly amazing, wonderful and life changing 5 years. While this blog mostly focuses on me, and I do appreciate the support, I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you about the woman behind the man.
So now, allow me to introduce you to Natalie, my wife of 5 years.
Cameron’s birth was a truly wonderful time in our lives… we became parents and learned what life was really all about. As Cameron started missing his milestones, we began to learn what Autism was all about too.
Shortly after though, we discovered that we were going to have a second child… only this time, we learned what struggling was really all about. An early childhood accident and her second pregnancy triggered in her, what we would later discover is Fibromyalgia.
3 months into her second pregnancy, Natalie ended up in a wheel chair. 6 months in, she was on bed rest. The final month was spent in the hospital. During this time, I learned some very valuable lessons.
You see, I had to care for a newly diagnosed boy with Autism, plus care for a pregnant woman that was stuck in bed. The last month saw me bundling up my son for a 40 min drive to and from the hospital once or twice a week. All the while working 2, sometimes 3, jobs if I could find extra work.
I learned how to be a better husband during this time. To really care for those I loved, to help out with chores around the house, to do what ever needed doing simply because it needed to be done. Many people thought I’d have a nervous breakdown before it was over but I realized just how much you can accomplish when you simply have no other choice. And learning just how much I could do helped me to realize just how much I could do even when I did have a choice.
I learned how to be a better husband and father. As much as I hated it, at the time, it was a very valuable lesson to me.
After Tyler was born, there was some recovery time but Natalie got back on her feet and then the real magic happened.
No Respite For Me Please
Natalie was the type of mom that never needed a break, she never needed a babysitter and she certainly never needed time away from her children. She loved being with her children and felt uncomfortable leaving her children with other people. Not because she didn’t trust other people but because she loved having every minute she could with her children.
When we discovered that Autism services had wait lists, some as long as 3 years, Natalie refused to accept it. She would track down everyone she could, find services where she could and even went so far as to get Cameron into nutritionists to ensure that he was getting everything he needed despite only wanting to eat 3 different things.
She managed to beat some of the wait lists and get Cameron in for help in some places. For most people, this would be a great accomplishment and enough to start with but not for Natalie.
When the therapists asked for Cameron to go in, Natalie would join them… not only to be involved but to learn. She learned what they working on that week, to continue it at home. She also learned everything else she could from them too… often convincing the therapists to give her full binders with tons of information.
Natalie has read them all.
If services were going to be limited, she’d learn how to do them at home. And she did… every day had school time. She’d sit down at a little table with Cameron and work with him on everything, including counting, letters, shapes and more.
When Tyler was born, Cameron barely spoke… by the time Cameron started school, he was counting over to over 40.
Who I was without her, who I am with her
So most of you that read my blog or follow me on social networks know me as a pretty positive guy. I try to be inspiring, I try to be uplifting and if I can help, I most certainly will.
I wasn’t always this way though.
Before my wife and I took our relationship beyond just friendship, I was a live alone, in the dark, eat fast food, have no friends, sleep irregular hours kind of completely depressed hermit.
I had no interest in doing anything for anyone (although I couldn’t say no when someone asked for help, even then) and I was quite the opposite of inspiring… I was down right depressing to talk to.
Now, a lot of the change in who I am is accountable to my boys… children have a way of making you see a very different side of life that you just can’t otherwise.
Still though, it’s not just because of my children. It’s Natalie. She not only filled a very very huge void in my life but she really did complete me.
Without her, I didn’t care what I ate. Now I do. Without her, I never cared to leave my house. Now I do.
I have helped her with being able to let go a bit, to relax, go with the flow and not have a heart attack if the house isn’t perfectly cleaned every day of the week… but she has helped me care about myself, care about the state of my house, to organize my life and try to stick to the schedules and plans that I set… especially the ones that “we” set.
You have to understand that what ever it is that you or any reader sees in me, what ever it is that I can possibly inspire someone else to do or to feel, it’s very much due to my wife.
It may be me saying or writing the words, it may be me having the ideas that I have now.. but it’s all because my wife discovered it in me, brought it out of me and continues to make me the person I am today.
My boys teach me what is important in life, they teach me what life is about… but Natalie inspires me to live my life, to make my life as wonderful as it can be and to use my life to touch other lives.
Together, we’ve been through a lot… my son having Autism, giving up our house and moving with nothing, her having Fibromyalgia and all the challenges that come with it and so much more… and even though we’ve had our own disagreements and even struggles through all of that, our marriage has always been good. We’ve always been good.
My wife and I are soul mates, of that I’m certain. So we’ll always be good so long as we always work at it keeping it that way, which we’re both determined to do.
The future I see is that of my children… who with and without Autism, will turn out great. They will be strong, positive and inspirational in their own right because I see my wife bring that out in me and I see her bring it out in them too.
I am a very lucky man to have Natalie for my wife… I’m even luckier to have her as the mother of my children. One day, I know they’ll realize just how lucky they are too.
Not many people could make things work despite Fibromyalgia, a child with Autism, financial hardships like having to sell our house at a loss and giving up everything we had, rough pregnancies and worst of all… putting up with me.
But she does it. And she brings out the best in all of us while she does it.
To my wife, Natalie, it’s been a short 5 years, a very long 5 years and a very wonderful 5 years all at the same time. I am very lucky to have been able to share these 5 years with you and I look forward to many, many more. I love you!