In Sickness and In Health

Marriage is harder than they let on to. When you stand before your friends and family, and God if you believe that, you vow to stand by this person no matter what comes. And you trust in that same promise being made to you. The vows are written around the very fact that we can’t possibly predict the future.

I think I believe most people do the best then can by their partners. I certainly want that to be true. However, I also know many marriages don’t work out. 50% or more. I have a number of theories about that, but the ones that devastate me most are the ones how fail to live up to “…in sickness…” There is a particular phenomenon of husbands who leave their wives in the face of serious illness. I have seen it among women I coach, and it is a problem that rises to the level of Oprah addressing it.

All of this is a very long-winded opportunity to share how awesome my husband is. John and I are approaching our 25th wedding anniversary. They have not been easy years. We met in college, got through graduate school together, and have moved back and forth between Chicago and Los Angeles a couple of times. We live 2000 miles from “home” without the resources that an extended family provides. John’s job is demanding, and he is excellent at it. He won’t ever tell you, but in 22 years of being a litigator, John has never once lost a case. Together we have a magnificent son, and while our family is small, we are very, very close.

For nearly half of our marriage we have lived with breast cancer. It really isn’t enough to say that John has been there “every step of the way.” He has done so much more than that. I have often said that I would much rather be in my shoes than in his. I can’t imagine the powerlessness he feels in the face of knowing all he can do is support my cancer-related decisions and pray for the best. While I can take an active part in my healing, he holds a support role. I don’t mean to minimize in any way the profound importance of his support – there are days when he was the very reason I got out of bed at all. He does all he can…joins me for doctor visits, keeps me company on scan days, helps make sure we are all eating well and exercising regularly. He pushes gently.

More than that, John supports me in my advocacy and writing, giving of time that is rightly his in order for me to push my agenda forward. He makes it easy for me to travel when I need to, to write when I can. He takes on extra burdens at work to cover our medical expenses, which are huge. And he lives with the sense that in the face of my mortality, he must be all the more immortal.

I am very proud that tonight is John’s night. After about 20 years of involvement with the Beverly Hills Bar Association, tonight John will be installed as their President. With 5400 member, the BHBA is an organization dedicated to the betterment of the legal profession, to legal aid, to supporting the courts, to educating consumers, to mentoring young lawyers, and to advocacy on behalf of those in our communities whose voices are least often heard.

John, I am so proud of all you do, and grateful to take this moment to honor you. I am also very blessed to have you, and to have kept you, for more than a quarter of a century. I know you’ll shake your head, but you are a remarkably special person, and a daily blessing in my life. Thank you for choosing me…I love you very much!


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DrAttai
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 06:16:34

    Congratulations – to all of you!


  2. Susan Zager
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 06:23:44

    Lori, I am so happy for you, John and your beautiful son. This is definitely worthy of celebration. Congratulations!


  3. Laura Temkin
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 07:41:00

    Congratulations to John and to both of you for staying married for 25 years, thru thick and thin, despite the rough times. My husband has also been my rock for 30 years, even more so since my cancer, but I know quite a few men who have walked away when their wives needed them most. I try to remember how lucky I am.


  4. Jackie Frager
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 08:09:29

    I’ve have always know that The Esquire was amazing! As you know, I like to refer to him as The Executor. That’s how much I love and trust him. You really do have an exceptional husband. I love him so very much.


  5. Jan Baird Hasak
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 09:49:13

    Lori, congratulations on your 25th anniversary! That’s a huge accomplishment. I’m sure you are very proud of John. I’m among the statistics of the 50% divorce rate.My husband didn’t leave me immediately after my second bout with breast cancer, but it clearly affected him in negative ways and eventually he felt he had to find a new love outlet because my libido waned. It’s very, very sad. So to hear your story is very encouraging. Keep on keeping on. xox


  6. Bonnie
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 11:49:20

    Congratulations on your marriage milestone, Lori! Although it takes two to make a marriage work, it sure helps when you are blessed with a wonderful husband and father. 🙂 I am honored to be John’s colleague and am looking forward to the special opportunity to honor him at tonight’s installation dinner. I know he will be a terrific BHBA President.


  7. Facing Cancer Together
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 14:32:41

    That is absolutely wonderful. Congratulations to John – may you all enjoy his night and the celebration. A man who stands by the one he loves during sickness, with all the hardship that comes with that, is most certainly a man to admire.


  8. Jo Ann Leeds
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 16:55:37

    Enjoy every minute of this special occasion tonight and enjoy the special feelings that you’ll share together!


  9. Nancy's Point (@NancysPoint)
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 12:26:16

    Your man sounds fabulous! Having someone stand by you through thick and thin is a wonderful gift. I have been so blessed as well. We are indeed lucky. Congrats to your entire family!


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