As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

Giving Thanks for the Perfect Package

When I got married, I had all sorts of beautiful ideas of what marriage would be like. I came from a family of "good gifters." We'd shop for weeks and weeks until we found the perfect gift for each other. My brother bought me a gorgeous little silver jewelry box one year. I bought him an engraved cigar holder. My parents would give each other thoughtful gifts of jewelry or rare books... Gifts were an important part of our family culture.

My husband was a different kind of guy.

Our first anniversary, I bought my husband a stainless steel business card holder and engraved it with the words "More Than Anything," my answer to him when he asked how much I loved him. Super. Wife. Seriously, it was a gift that I was SURE would be passed on to our grandchildren with the romantic story. My husband opened the package and looked at it in confusion.

"What is it?"

"A business card holder. Look at the inscription..."

"But I don't have business cards."

"I know. You could use it to hold credit cards, maybe." I went on to explain the potential significance, but he still didn't seem to get it. I thought it might grow on him.

The next day, my husband was trying to fix something in our new apartment, and we didn't yet own a hammer. I walked into the room to find my husband using my gift to him as a makeshift hammer, slamming it repeatedly into a nail! He honestly didn't think it would get damaged...

That day, I had a decision to make. I could drive myself nuts for the rest of my life trying to make him appreciate my great gifts, and take on the even harder task of teaching him how to BUY those great gifts, or I could just appreciate him for who he is.

He's sweet, kind, attentive and an incredibly hard worker. He puts me first. He pours time into our relationship. He takes pride in being there for me. He's brilliant. He's my perfect match--with or without a great gifting instinct.

Marriage isn't always "romance novel" material. It's the daily grind. It's the breakfasts, mid-morning chats on the phone, grocery shopping trips when both of you are wiped and cuddling up in bed together when the power goes out. Marriage isn't about the few monumental moments, it's about those many, many insignificant moments that don't seem important at the time, but meld together into a lifelong relationship. This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my husband--the complete package.

In my novel, Legally Wed, we follow the stories of two marriages--one that was supposed to be over, and one that was supposed to be perfect. Marriage is never what you imagine...

More on Legally Wed tomorrow...

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