On April 10, 2004, Erick and I pledged before God, our families and our friends to love, to cherish, to respect, and to partner with one another in everything.
Ironically enough, 11 and a half years later neither of us can remember whether or not the standard "in sickness and in health" part of most normal wedding vows was in ours. We're pretty traditional, so probably it was. We were both healthy (and thinner) in 2004. Sickness seemed so far away, it didn't seem significant. I guess it doesn't really matter now, we both signed up for doing life together on that day, no matter what.
What we do remember is that Erick took his sweet time to pronounce the word individuality, which was in our vows. It made everyone giggle. We remember the highly inappropriate toast made by the best man (which he will NEVER live down). It made me blush. We remember our Pastor coining term "Team Soderlund" for the very first time during the ceremony. It made me smile. Mostly, we remember the people who were there to celebrate with us, the people who knew the two of us before there was an "us". They are the OG's of #TeamSoderlund (even though we didn't have hashtags way back in 2004). They made us feel loved.
Since that beautiful spring day, #TeamSoderlund, has continued to grow. Law school. Church. New jobs. A move overseas. A trip to Haiti. All the places and passages that have put us into relationship and community with so many smart, funny, creative and loving people. Little did we know that God was constructing an incredible support system that we'd need to draw on more than ever as we learn what "in sickness and in health" actually means (assuming that was, in fact, in our vows). Marriages are meant to be supported by a community, however big or small, not just on a wedding day, but ever after. Now I understand why.
Over the last month our marriage has changed, deepened. It's a more tender place. A more dependent place. A deeply emotional, intimate place. A very honest place. There is no time for it to be any other way. When I am sad, most of the time it's because I know this illness is hurting my husband. The two are one. The two need each other. The two cannot imagine life apart.
The two also need others. To help us process our emotions. To listen to our fears and our hopes. To make us laugh when the intensity gets too high. To remind us of the good things on those days when it feels like the walls are caving in and the ceiling is crashing down. To love us so that we can keep loving each other with the selflessness required to grow a marriage, even in a time of sickness.
This is what #TeamSoderlund is all about.
And, the team now has the stylish t-shirts (featured below) which you can order, at cost, by clicking here.