Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Sam, with love

It's 530 am and I am awake sitting on the couch again. I figure for a while this will happen. I actually woke up around 430ish and began to cry and shout for Juliette. Sam quickly turned over from his sleep and just held me, letting me know it was ok, to let it out, he was there. I am seeing that the greater capacity there is for love, the greater capacity for pain. Many people have said to me...if I could take away your pain, I would. I actually don't want that because then you also take my love for sweet Juliette and the brief yet significant time we had with her. Time will heal this and I am trusting in God's timing for that, not my own.

In times like this I do think its important to find the blessing, and for me that is my Sam. I remember being in my early 30s wondering if Mr. Right would come along....EVER. And then I walked into a bike shop in Austin, TX and what began as a high five ended up being the absolute love of my life, Samuel Legge. On December 25, 2009 Sam asked me to be his wife and on April 10, 2010 we had our wedding day. Now don't get me for the Legge's hasn't been this easy walk in the woods. We had our own days/weeks of seeing us fail one another as we continue to figure out being married, but I can honestly say we have never strayed from being a team through it all. Through a lot of laughter and many tears, we have made every decision together, with one another. From our wedding day we began to dream and plan what our family would be. He willingly adopted and accepted my sweet pug Eloise and then we started to talk about the possibility of children. Would I be able to have my own? Would we adopt? We looked at both options. In July of this year when we found out I was expecting, we were more than excited. When I made it to the 12 week mark when we felt we could let people know....we burst with excitement in sharing the news. And man did it warm my heart to see him share the news with others.

As I think about what we both have faced in the last month, I think about what our wedding invitation said. "There are 3 things that last, Faith, Hope and Love. And the greatest of these is Love." I Corinthians 13:13 If you could see how Sammy is walking us through this time right now clinging to this truth for us, you might understand a little more of why I love him so much.

Sam has been above the standard of "this is what men do" since I met him and we started dating. One of the best things about him is how he continually surprises me. After 5 months of dating, I had to go on a work trip to Philadelphia. I arrived at the hotel, walked into my room and a beautiful vase of flowers was waiting for me. Oh, did I mention it was his birthday? Yes, that's correct. Not MY birthday...his. He sent me flowers on his birthday letting me know he was so proud of the work I do and couldn't wait to celebrate when I got back. Yeah, I know ladies, send this link to your significant other. Some other things that he does consistently that make me know he cares. When I travel I ALWAYS come home to a cleaner house than when I left. I mean spotless, clean floors and bathrooms. New sheets on the bed because he knows I love coming home to this. He always washes the dishes after dinner. Always. He sends me to the couch to rest and he cleans everything up. He says he likes to see me relaxing and that he doesn't mind the cleaning. I was told by many a lady that would all change when we got married.....well, it has only gotten better. In fact, for our one year anniversary I had a vase of flowers that were the same flowers from my bridal bouquet with a note saying, I will never forget seeing you walk down the aisle. Never. With Sammy there have never been games with him. As quiet and introverted as he can be, trust me when Sammy has something to say, you should listen. He is quiet because he is a great listener and has learned the art of knowing when it is necessary to talk and voice your opinion. I know, as many of you may have already noted, this is not, nor has it ever been a strength of mine. He has pushed me to slow down and enjoy the moment and maybe just maybe....think before you speak. I love this about him.

In hearing the news about sweet Juliette, Sammy and I were given the option to terminate our pregnancy at least 3-4 times because our specialist had said, this will not end good for your baby, she is in danger. Sammy and I stood firm on choosing life as we always will. I was not going to be the person to stop the heartbeat. Did that make it harder? Yes. But we both talked that the right decision is rarely the easy one. We knew what the outcome could possibly be. It gave me more time to cope and to grieve and it gave time for Sammy and I to prepare and pray our hearts through what would happen for us. Our genetic counselor said to us that she was so encouraged to see a couple united in their decisions so firmly because this is usually the toughest battle for her. We gave our decision and we moved on to how we would deal with the outcome and how we would love and support one another with what would be our toughest obstacle yet. Although Wed and Thursday of labor and delivery were very tough on me physically, we got to say goodbye. We would never trade that for a decision that most would consider "easier."

And finally my Sam is someone that grieves and allows me to grieve. Over the last few weeks Sam has been handed many a pamphlet on men and grieving and what I should expect from him. It's one of the few things we have been able to laugh about as a couple. In fact, the pamphlet he got at the hospital he didn't even bring home with him. It started with.....MEN DON'T CRY. Now, I get it. They have to put those things together. But I watched my husband hold Juliette in his arms and not cry, sob over her. And the hospital wasn't the first time this happened. We held each other at home and at Dr.'s appointments crying out for Juliette. Sammy has proven just about every stereotype wrong for men and grieving. He is spending an entire week with me, not going back to work until after Thanksgiving as I don't want to be alone. (stereotype says men will return to work or spend time away from home to keep their mind off the loss). He is constantly talking through my feelings with me. (stereotype says that he won't want to talk about the feelings with you and will want to quickly move on) And most importantly, Sammy is allowing me to be ME right now. He knows my emotions are extreme, he knows I function in the black and white of reality, he knows that when I love it's complete and fierce. He married me for all those reasons. And when the load seems very tough to carry, he steps in with his mercy and carries me to the next place. Sammy points us back to our Faith and Hope that in time our story will have a different ending. Right now, it is hard for me to see that but Sammy hopes for both us and takes that burden away from me as I grieve Juliette not being inside of me any longer.

To my Sam. Meeting you in April of 2008 and walking the last 3.5 years with you has been nothing short of amazing. Walking through this tragedy with you makes me realize the gift that God placed in my life when I just trying to get my bike fixed for an upcoming race. You have accepted this fiercely independent, stubborn and strong willed girl with a large amount of patience, mercy and love. You have taught me how to dream and hope much larger than what I thought possible and I know that in 20 years you will still cause my heart to beat fast when you walk into a room. No matter what People magazine may say, to me you will always be the Sexiest Man Alive. I love you so much and I want others to know that men like you do exist.

Together we will see this through and we will hope again. Colleen


Suzpotts said...

Love, love, love this. Thinking of you two and sending you more faith, hope and love. XO

Lisa Anderson said...

Can't wait to someday meet this man, Colleen! :) So glad you have such an awesome guy to walk this road with. Continuing to pray for you both!

Tracie said...

In a world where women so often complain about their husbands, this was a beautiful tribute to the love you have for each other. God knew what He was doing when He brought Sam to you, Colleen. Never doubt for a minute that was His plan for you both!
I am so grateful you have this precious man walking this with you!

Love you!

Kirsten said...

How beautiful, God does bring beauty out of pain. I can only imagine what God has in the works for you precious people but it must be something amazing. Obviously what you share is unbelievably unique and not taken for granted. Colleen, again thank you for sharing so honestly, it's inspiring and encouraging. I will continue praying for you and Sam, there are no quick fixes but you guys are going to make it. Lots of love to you both.

VRain said...

I read this in your wedding - seems appropriate now as well...

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime. Therefore, we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history. Therefore, we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone. Therefore, we must be saved by love. (Reinhold Niebuhr)

Brendan said...

I hate the fact that I don't know Sam better, but you choosing him should have been all the indication I needed. My heart aches for you both, but swells knowing how good you are to and for each other. Once again, you set the bar high and give me something to strive for.

Love to you both.