Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Anniversary To Us

"You're awake" she said, "Drink this, you will need all the energy you can get today".

I thanked her and sipped my orange juice. She looked at me intensely and then crouched next to the uncomfortable chair I had just slept in and said:

"I see people come and go from this ICU a lot. I've watched you two. You are the reason people get married, in the hopes that someone will love them no matter what. It is obvious you love each other a lot. You are lucky to have that, you are lucky to have each other".

I don't claim that Derek and I had/have a perfect marriage. What I do claim is that love was always in abundance. Through awful bad news, financial troubles, infertility, depression, and cancer, we could always turn to one another for support, friendship, and love.

Unable to speak, Derek wrote me this note.
I think of this day five years ago as we promised to be together forever. Even though we didn’t know it was cancer, we knew something was wrong and time was of the essence. So instead of crying tears of joy on our wedding day, I felt relief that I had made him mine forever. 

When he came home with hospice that day, I pulled our couch next to his bed and we held hands all night. It seemed an appropriate and necessary gesture that would have to hold us over until we could be together again. It is comforting to know that the love he gave me in 5 years is enough to last me a lifetime. 

I miss my partner in all things, the father of my child, and my best friend in the world. So on this day, the day we planned to be walking the beaches of Maui celebrating him being cancer free and our anniversary, I will honor our love in the best way I know how: by hugging our child extra tight and being grateful that our family is forever.  


  1. I'm so sorry Kaela. What wonderful memories. It's a great idea to document them. We think of you often and are sending you love and hugs today.
    The Tulikihakau Family

  2. Seriously you amaze more and more each day that goes by. Your faith is so strong. Families are forever and one day you and Derek will be reunited! I am so grateful that we have become sisters through marriage and I would not want it any other way! Love you sis!

  3. This is beautiful and heart-breaking. You are amazing Kaela and I am so happy for you that you are sealed forever, that is such a blessing. Keeping you in my prayers!!