There is one question I get fairly often, usually after someone has had a glass of wine and prefaced with “You can tell me to F*** off if you don’t want to say”…
“ Is Jason the man you married?”
I usually get distracted by the married part – Jason had his TBI for 3 weeks before we got married so yes he absolutely is. But that’s really not what they’re asking. They’re asking if Jason is the person I fell in love with.
The short answer is no.
Who among us would be the same after 2 years, a marriage, a move, a change of career (or lack of career), a health crisis, and loss of multiple friendships? I know I’m certainly not the woman he married.
The beautiful thing is, he is so much more than I ever imagined marrying. Over the last two and a half years he has shown me that he is so much stronger and braver than I ever knew he was. Everyday he wakes up and deals with a life he didn’t plan or choose and he does it with such kindness towards everyone around him it leaves me humbled. While I always knew he was an optimist, he chooses in every opportunity to find new ways to work on managing symptoms, he always try the new support systems I want to put in place, he responds with grace as we look at what isn’t working in our life. We have had some really terrible times in our two and half years of marriage and he has demonstrated an incredible capacity for forgiveness and love even when I’m being kind of wretched. I married a guy that was pretty great and fun, but now I’m married to this incredible man of character.
There are things that aren’t the same. He has more of a temper, he needs me more, he needs routine and sleep more. Conversations take more work, our future might not ever include the kids and traveling we dreamed of. There are things that are different and I do miss the ease with which we used to live our life. But truly, watching my husband deal with his TBI has left me grateful that he chose me to spend his life with.