Write about what you know? What do I know after thirty years of marriage?

Everyone says: write about what you know. The trouble is the answer to the question, what do I know?

I suppose I know about being married.

We celebrated thirty years of being married last week. When you say it aloud it sounds like  a long time but truthfully it passed in a head rush of coping.

First there was Pat’s job  – lorry driver. It is not a 9 to 5 job. Or a five day a week job. At it’s worst, it became a two evenings out of a fortnight at home and one complete day (when we were lucky).

The knock on effect of his job was learning to cope with being pregnant and constant morning sickness, then one child, then two. When Niall was born, Pat was working on the continent and often we didn’t see him for weeks.  I made the best of  those days he was with us.

The next coping bit evolved from discovering I had a chronic asthmatic baby son.

For the first four years of his life he, and I, lived in dread of a sniffle developing into a wheeze, or an attack.

I rebelled at this point and decided I could continue with a life of steroids, pills, nebulizers etc or I could learn as much as I could and find a way to make his and my life easier.  It wasn’t easy for his older sister either but she proved to be made of stern stuff and rarely was ill or sick.

The solution came from a doctor with a calling.

Dr. Carson, drew up a plan which involved getting him as strong as possible , building a strong immune system to help his body fight back. It wasn’t easy as we discovered when he was allergy tested.

He was allergic to a lot.  Also there was a strong history of asthma on my husbands side of the family which was another contribution to this fight.

A dirty carpet could leave him vomiting. Mould would start him wheezing.  Certain E numbers would lead to a violent attack. So we lived the life of the cave man, no processed food, loads of swimming, exercise and fresh air.

Happy to say he was never hospitalised and he did get stronger. Turned into an athlete, who played every sport he could, eventually settled on athletics was running great times until life kicked him again, epilepsy, which ended his athletic career but he fought back and became a fitness trainer.

Sara didn’t escape either she had a rough time at school but in true Sara fashion turned her life from being a victim to being a champion and I am really proud of all she has achieved.

After fourteen years of crazy marriage life, Pat changed jobs. I got a job and life settled down to a strange routine as he was suddenly around and involved in everything.  It was tough for him in the begining as the two kids always came to me with a problem, out of habit but gradually that has changed.

Looking back on the last thirty years has made me realise that we packed two types of marriage into those thirty years but having worked our way through it makes me realise that we were lucky, we had no time to bicker or quarrel we simply did our best and kept talking as much as we could. It’s still true today, we don’t bicker or fight . If one of us has a problem the other is non judgemental but offers support and advice.

When Mum was sick and I was at a low point I visited a woman who didn’t claim to be a medium or spiritualist but simply was here to help if she could.  Pat, as usual hid his sceptisim at this visit but when I returned smiling and crying he too was amazed at all she had revealed to me. Simply truths about my past and present and above all she gave me hope for the future.

When he asked what she said about him, I couldn’t help but smile. “You married your soul mate, your best friend, you are one of the lucky few” were her words.

My reply,  as all women will understand, was a censored version, “I married my soul mate. I did great.” I told him.

Deep down I know it is true and whatever else is thrown at me, I know we will cope together.

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