Happy Mother's Day to the Strongest Woman I Know

Debbie and I have been together for 21 years this year, and at some point I want to write a memoir of everything we’ve been through together, particularly over the past 10 years of our lives. If you think I’d mostly be writing about my cancer fight and journey starting six years ago, you’d be wrong. That memoir has basically already been written on my website and it’s what I’m open about, but there’s so much more than that. Cancer is just the tip of the iceberg at this point. If and when I write this memoir, a lot of people will fall out of their chairs, say they had no idea, and would be left shocked and speechless. Everybody has challenges in their lives, but the things we’ve had to face and overcome in ours have been unthinkable, unconscionable, and not what “people like us” should ever have to deal with. I’ll say that both Debbie and I have experienced periods of depression, and that we’ve both developed posttraumatic stress issues from all that we’ve been through. The fact that we’re not both war veterans but are dealing with PTS just goes to show how crazy and fucked up our lives have been at times over these past 10 years. (Yes, I just f-bombed in a Mother’s Day tribute to the woman I love. Shut up and keep reading.)

I know what it’s like to be a completely broken person inside - cancer had me there more than a few times. When you’re at that point where you’re just completely broken and have nothing left to give to the world, you reach a point where you can go in one of two directions. You can either turn into a very dark and destructive person, and become a completely lost and broken soul that will perhaps never find their way back again, or if you’re lucky or just that strong, you can manage to hold onto that single frayed thread of humanity that you have left inside of you, pull yourself away from that, and begin the long and painful climb back up into the light. Some days, I had to fight with everything I had to not let go, and to not become that person. When I made it through the day and I was still hanging on, that had to be considered a great victory, and I know Debbie has been here too.

And here she is, this absolute beauty in Barcelona just a few weeks ago, loving on our kids, loving on me, being an awesome mom, being an awesome wife, continuing to enjoy life and each day that we have, and continuing to be an amazing human being every single day. The fact that Debbie is still the same beautiful woman that I met and fell in love with 21 years ago, despite all of the crazy and fucked up shit we’ve been through, just goes to show how strong she is, and the resiliency of this amazing soul that I get to call my wife. Life has succeeded in breaking both of us at times, but breaking a soul is harder than that, and this beauty in the Lilly Pulitzer dress is tough as nails on the inside. I love her for that, and we’re all better off for it.

I love you, Debbie. You are perfection. Happy Mother’s Day to the strongest woman I know. ❤️👩‍👧‍👦