Please welcome my friend Pam.
She shared privately her husband is her safe person and I’ve invited her to share here as well.
Almost 45 years ago I made the best decision of my life by marrying Du, the man who is my love, my best friend, my protector, my “safe person.”
We have been through much through the years, tragedies, (deaths of three of our parents), joy (birth of 3 sons, and 4 grandchildren), and agony (diagnosis of his stage 4 cancer two and a half years ago), but through it all my Du has been my safe person.
Here’s his “Top Ten.”
1. May 10, 1969 No date for prom, but planned to go anyway. I was out at the hairdresser, Du called my home. My mom told me, “Some boy called while you were gone.” My heart pounded and I prayed it had been Du and he’d call back. Sure enough, Du came through. He opened the car door for me, and I slid over, and sat close to him. He told me years later, that shocked and surprised him, but I felt so safe sitting next to him. It just felt right.
2. June 10, 1970. I rear-ended a car in heavy traffic. I called my brother at home, who told me to have my car towed. I waited for my brother to come and he didn’t show up. I found a pay phone (this was long before cell phones) and called Du. He immediately left work and picked me up. It was silly of me not to call him right away, but I had forgotten that he was my “safe person.” I never forgot again.
3. August 6, 1972. Our first son was born. Du was so very protective of me and our new baby boy, and took such good care of us. During the pregnancy, during labor and in those early months and years of being a very young and inexperienced mother. When I worried if I was being a good mom, I could always find a safe place and reassurance in his arms.
4. 1970s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s. My car broke down in a busy intersection. Who came to my rescue? Yep–Du! This was just one of many times Du was my safety net with my car. He is never angry or short-tempered. He is always understanding telling me, “This could happen to anybody, it’s not your fault.” Exact quote! (I know because he had to save me from car problems again this week.)
5. May 22, 1990. I got the call in the middle of the night we all dread. My Mom was in the hospital and it didn’t look good. A heart attack claimed her that night at 65. I clung to my Du for months. He provided safe solace as I grieved a loss that remains, to this day, very painful. I wouldn’t have made it without Du by my side, providing a safe place to grieve.
6. 1971-2011. I was morbidly obese for most of my 40 years and was very insecure. I knew people judged me and I hated myself. Du never made me feel ugly or undesirable. He literally has loved me through thick & thin. He bolstered my self-esteem and with him I felt valuable and loved. In 2009 I went on a journey to get healthy and lost 170 lbs. Du was so supportive. If food tempted me, I knew I could get encouragement from him. He made me feel safe, no matter what size I was.
7. March 8, 2013. Du received a call telling him results of biopsy and scans. He calmly told me his cancer was Stage 4– treatable but terminal. I was stunned. You’d think I’d have been HIS safe person, but NO. Once again, he comforted me. Even though we don’t tell each other, “It’ll be alright, everything will be okay,” –because we know it’s not going to ever be okay again, it still helps to feel his warm arms around me.
He remains my safety person and I cling to him and silently pray, “Don’t take him away from me. PLEASE don’t take him away from me,” even though I know he will leave me before I’m ready.
He worries about me more than himself, and is pro-active in pointing out ways for me to cope with this inevitable loss.
8. August 22, 2013. For us pets are family. Losing them is so very difficult, and both Du & I mourn deeply. When we suddenly lost our Bulldog, Lola, we felt it even more deeply, as we realized the much greater loss I would soon be facing alone. It was a painful poignant moment as it was a scary indicator of the overwhelming grief to come. We found safety in each others’ arms and this makes me realize, I am Du’s safe person too.
9. Daily. Tears. I find myself crying in situations where tears are completely inappropriate. The other day Du shared it was something he loved about me, he loves my tears simply show my emotions. Now I am not embarrassed about my crying as he has made it safe for me to cry without shame.
10. Today. There is no greater fear than that of death, and as we face our future, we know it is bleak: Sickness, then loss, then me trying to go on alone.
Even with a diagnosis like that, when you’d think he’d dissolve into depression and anger, Du remains upbeat and cheerful.
He works full-time, even though it is becoming difficult, as he knows work keeps him going.
I look at how he is facing death, and I am amazed by him.
Through cancer we’ve found a love much deeper than before. We’ve been given a few years to embrace the great love we were lucky enough to find.
Over and over again, I seek out his embrace.
Being in his arms is the safest place in the world and even more precious because I know someday very soon, I won’t be able to go to that safe place anymore.