Those who accompanied us were standing quietly inside our church, just looking forward as the minister asked us to stand together facing our guests as he presented us as a newly formed family. We were joined into the Quintana-Martinez family that day. For better or for worse we had become a unit, a whole number.
It was 1988, the year we married. As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife for the very first time in my life, it wasn’t about me. The brief moment where we stood there together, facing everyone passed, and to be honest it was scary as hell to have that responsibility on my shoulders.
Little I knew that five years along the road of marriage we would need to stand together facing the challenges Carlos’ illness would bring into our marriage.
“Life is about adapting and moving on.”
We stood together for some time, but somewhere between his stomach surgery and his constant gastrointestinal bleeding I began to stand alone from time to time. It would have been so easy to just walk away.
It would have been so easy just to say, “Hey, you know what, I can’t really help, I have three children to take care of and just can’t deal with this, let his parents take care of it.”.
Nevertheless, the silent stares of those standing as we were introduced as new family played in my head. Taking a giant leap of faith I embraced whatever circumstances I had and moved on.
It didn’t matter if longing, sorrow, doubt, or problems were always holding hands with happiness, joy, faith and resolve. Life waiting for a transplant to happen does that to you, bad and good cohabit together like good old pals.
After all, It was fine if I was the only one standing because he no longer could stand by me! Life is about adapting and moving on, never dwelling in the past, instead looking with hope towards the future.
Time moved on like it usually does, and hits like “Scream” (Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson), “Always” (Bon Jovi), Waterfalls (TLC), “Have You Ever Loved a Women” (Bryan Adams), and so many others were playing on our radios; movies like Batman Forever and others were big box office hits during 1995. The year he finally got his transplant.
We had made it through a two-year wait and finally the moment we had been waiting for arrived.
The year where we stood once again together facing family and friends as we re-owned what being the Quintana-Martinez family meant, as those same silent observers smiled approvingly of what we had become. A family that would stand by each other no matter WHAT!
A couple that made it through a very difficult time standing tall above it all as a unit.