About twenty years ago I moved out of home whilst I was doing my HSC and moved in with my Uncle Paul. My house was noisy and his house was quiet. The perfect place to study.
I finished school and scored myself a full time job at Telstra. I had only just turned 18 and one night was home alone when the phone rang. Paul’s best mate who he worked with, was calling to talk to him. His name was Saxon. I explained Paul was not home and this guy Saxon asks me if I’m Paul’s new girlfriend.
“Umm NO. I’m Paul’s niece.”
Saxon replied, “Ohhhhhh.”
From then on Saxon and I began to talk frequently and send emails. It was quite some time later before we actually met. I thought he was old and he thought I was too young.
Somehow we began dating and became inseparable. Three months after that Saxon proposed. A year after that we got married.
I was a month off turning twenty when we got married. If I had a dollar for how many people told me I was too young, I’d be rich today.
Last night we went out to dinner together. We laughed as we remembered the past seventeen years and delighted in the journey we’ve been through together and how much we have accomplished.
In our first year of marriage I got cancer. Saxon was by my side when the Professor called me to tell me this devastating news. This should be a memory of the worst day of my life, but it isn’t. It’s one of my favourite memories. He touched my arm, lifted my face and folded me into a hug. We didn’t need words. I knew he would be there, all the way, holding my hand.
Later that afternoon he told me he would go to the shops to pick something up for dinner. When he got home he went and got a sheet and laid it down on our living room floor. He then brought inside three massive blank canvases and all sorts of paints and brushes. You see, we had this wall in our new home that needed some artwork, so we created it together. We painted all afternoon, all night and for the next few days. We laughed and cried. We talked and we were silent. We loved those paintings and the memory they created.
Then there was the day I was in hospital hoping our first baby wouldn’t be born prematurely. Four days earlier I’d been admitted and they had stopped my labour. On this particular day they had stopped the medication and my labour started all over again. Except this time they weren’t stopping it. They told me to call my husband.
Me: Hi Hun, it’s me. So, I’m in labour can you please come to the hospital.
Saxon: Honey, you’ve been in labour for four days. I’m in Bunnings, do you think you could wait?
Me: Sax, leave your shit in Bunnings and come to the bloody hospital. We are having a baby today.
He finally arrives covered in paint and dust. He’s wearing a t-shirt that says ‘Schlongs Hot Dogs’ and when the porter tells him he needs to change into theatre pants, he announces he’s not wearing any underwear.
The look on his face when Orlando was delivered and placed in his arms was one of total adoration.
When I went into labour with the twins at my work, I called him on my way to the hospital. Repeatedly. I couldn’t get hold of him. You’d think he’d have learnt seeing as though this was our third time around. I finally called his Personal Assistant who finally tracked him down.
I received a call from him delighted that he was able to get out of the most boring six hour superannuation meeting. Five days later I was still in hospital hoping to keep those tiny babies baking and I was a wreck. On the Monday morning I had worked myself into a frenzy and was delighted to see him right by my side as they wheeled me in to have another ultrasound. He told me he woke up and thought he should stay home from work and make sure I was okay.
A few hours later our very premature twin daughters were delivered. I was anything but calm. Saxon was a pillar of strength.
Two days later our lives were crushed when Charlize died in our arms. There is no one in the world I would want more, to help me through those days than Saxon. He never left my side, for a whole week. He got me food, he got me tea, he got me pain relief, he brought me the children to keep me smiling, he put me in a wheelchair and took me up to the NICU and we spent hours gazing at Lucia and willing her to keep on breathing.
He got me through the worst two years of my life. A depression so deep with grief that I struggled to stay afloat. He was patient, he was loving, he was kind and I was none of those things. He told me repeatedly how much he missed his wife, how much he loved me and willed me to stand up and start living. I looked into his eyes that day and saw the deepest fear and sadness. I felt guilty. He had lost his daughter too. We needed eachother to get through this.
We were told a few days after Charlize’s death by the social worker, that over 70% of marriages do not survive the death of their child. We were not only going to survive, we were going to thrive. I stood up and cried into his chest for hours. I knew at that moment that we were all going to get through this.
I am forever grateful for this man. My one and only true love.
He is my happy when I am sad.
He is my stable when I am crazy.
He is my strength when I am weak.
He is my patience when I have none.
He is my biggest supporter.
He is a brilliant Dad.
He can’t say Charlize’s name without a tear escaping.
I have heard so many people say that marriage is hard. I feel like we are the lucky ones. Our marriage isn’t hard. Life’s journey has created hurdles and we have had to learn how to navigate them even when there’s nothing left to jump.
For every day that we are lucky enough to open our eyes and wake up we choose eachother. There is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’. We are one in the same. We need eachother to parent and to love.
Life is all about relationships. You need them to survive.
Sax, you make me smile. You make me laugh. You have made me love you more today than I did yesterday.
Seventeen years and counting Baby!
You’re pretty lucky to have me too!