June 12, 2010

Happy 17th Anniversary Sandy

Dearest Sandy,

17 years ago today I married my very best friend. My blue eyed boy, the man of my dreams, and the keeper of my Sandy. It rained that day and people said that means good luck. I knew I didn't need luck because I had already been given the greatest gift of all...I had you to love me.

We have been through a lot in the last 17 years and we have grown up together. You have taught me what real love is and how a man should love his wife. You have taught me about family, faithfulness, and trust. You have shown me that lifetime commitments are not only possible but wonderful. You have helped me grow as a woman and as a person. You have allowed me to be me and good or bad you have loved through it all. You have even carried me many times when I didn't have the strength to stand on my own.

I am not only lucky....I am blessed by God to share my life with you.

Thank you for being the keeper of my heart and for keeping it well. You are my strong warrior and my sweet prince and I adore you with everything in me.

Happy Anniversary!



Here are 17 things that I love about Sandy.

1) Sandy is a godly man. He knows where his strength comes from. He does his very best to honor our heavenly Father and he honors me as his wife. He is a wonderful Christian. He loves God and he loves to go to church. He loves our church and is very involved in it. He loves to sing praises as part of the choir. He is our treasurer and keeps our finances in line. He loves to pray for others and he prays for me. He is a righteous and honorable man.

2) He loves me no matter what. On those days when I am a wonderful wife he loves me...and on those days when I'm anything but wonderful....HE LOVES ME. I have never doubted even one time that Sandy is completely in love with me. I need to feel that way and I'm so thankful for Sandy who shows me every single day how much I am loved.

3) He is romantic. He loves doing special things with me. There is always time for candlelight, music, quiet dinners, snuggling, teddy bears, flowers, limo rides, cabins, fireplaces, hot tubs, picnics, walks on the beach, and......... all that other fun stuff :-) He always makes me feel special and loved.....and happy to be his girl.

4) He takes good care of me. He provides well for us and always makes sure our needs are met. He works hard and gives his best. He takes classes to improve his knowledge and help grow his business. He takes care of everything from my car to my heart...and he does all of it well.

5) Sandy has a tender heart. I call him my tender heart bear. He cares about people and animals. He loves babies and little children. He makes everyone around him feel special and matter how young or old they are . He is always willing to help someone in need. He is man enough to cry with me, or for me, or for others. He is a lover all the way to his soul.

6) Sandy is smart. My man is a thinker. He likes to read and study. He is good with numbers....and that's just plain sexy. He can figure things out when I don't even know where to start.

7) Sandy is a wonderful cook. He grew up working in his family's restaurants. He can make something wonderful out of nothing and you will clean your plate and ask for more. I love that he cooks more that I do and he does it well and with a giving heart.

8) Sandy takes care of his family. He is very close to his parents and his brother. He is always looking out for them with business and personal things. He is the their go to guy when they need help or direction and he never lets them down.

9) Sandy is a Florida football fan. He let me convert him to Gatorism. He watches football with me every Saturday in the fall. He lets me plan our schedule around football games. He yells at the TV with me during the games. He takes me at least once a year to whatever state we have to go to to watch the Gators play in person.

10) Sandy loves my family. He is always willing to do all the "family" stuff with me. He is good to all of them. He takes extra special care of my mom.

11) Sandy has the best laugh. I love to hear and watch him laugh. His eyes just sparkle and his whole face lights up. It makes me laugh when he's contagious joy. It makes me smile inside just thinking of it.

12) Sandy likes to travel with me. I am a born traveler and need to get away often. Sandy is always game to go wherever I want to go. He lets me make the plans....and he drives the car. I love that. Sandy also has a great sense of direction. He can go somewhere one time and he will always remember how to get back there. I think that is so great because I rarely remember how to get anywhere outside of our town. I can sit back and enjoy the ride with Sandy because I know he will get us where we need to be.

13) Sandy is a great friend. He loves all of our "adopted" brothers and sisters and friends. He would do anything for any one of them. He loves to be with his "boys" and knows I need time with my "girls". Anytime we are all even better.

14) Sandy remembers dates. My birthday ( Oct 19th), our anniversary (June 12th), our engagement day (Aug 15th), our first grown-up date (Jan 18th). (I remember too!!!! ) He never forgets any of them...and never has. Love that!!!

15) Sandy still completely owns my heart. He loves me, he cherishes me, he makes me feel loved, honored, and safe. He is mine....heart, body, and soul. I trust him with all my heart.

16) Sandy is a great hugger!! He has strong arms and when those arms are around me I feel completely safe and warm and protected. I love to put my head against his chest and heart and linger in that place of complete rest. That is the only place in my life that I feel that safe and free all at the same time. Being in Sandy's arms is for me the same feeling I think I would have sitting on God's lap.... at least, that's the closest comparison my mind can make.

17) Sandy is my very best friend. He is the one I never have to doubt for even an instant. He is faithful, devoted, and true to me. He always has been. I love watching the world through his eyes and I love walking this journey with him.

That's just 17 reasons out of 1,104,609,432 reasons I love Sandy.

Sandy (My Groom), I'm proud to be your wife.

Forever & Always....And then some....I LOVE YOU!!!

Your Bride,


April 13, 2010

A Life Changing Phone Call

Almost 3 weeks after I had this last test I came home to a message on the answering machine from my Doctor. He just said he had the results of the test and to please give him a call.

My initial thought was these two things.....1 ) if it was good news he would have left it on the machine.... and 2) HE SOUNDED VERY DOWN..... !!

The next day I tried to call and he was out of the office for the day. So on Friday, ( June 26th, A day I will forever remember) I was able to speak with him by phone. He asked me if after the test had the technician told me anything about what he saw and and I told him no. I knew by the sound of his voice I was about to get some really bad news.

He said, Tammy, I'm really sorry to have to tell you this but both of your tubes are completely blocked. I was totally shocked to say the least. I was expecting him to tell me something bad but honestly I wasn't expecting it to be that life-changing bad.

He said that this report was the last thing that he expected for me and he was completely surprised at the results of it. He said that he didn't expect it at all because we had never in the many years I have gone to him had a single issue that he thought could have caused any problem. He sounded like that he was as upset as I was. I could really tell he was disappointed for me.... for us.

I asked if the report showed him anything as to what the damage was or what had caused it. He said no that it didn't. He did tell me that this is usually caused by scar tissue, infection, cysts, or endometriosis. None of which we had had a problem with before (except the possible recent ruptured cyst on the ovary). He said it was very possible it had been that way for years. That often women have ruptured cysts, or even infections and never even know it. The body just heals them on it's it's own way. Apparently, sometimes that healing makes scar tissue that can cause problems like this. :(

I asked him what our options were and he basically said that there were two things that could be done.

The 1st thing being surgery to clean out the tubes. He said that this sometimes works but not always. The surgery would only clean out the tubes for a limited period of time and then the scar tissue would come back....maybe worse because of scar tissue from the surgery too. Plus the fact that you have to wait until the tubes have time to heal before you can even try.... doesn't make this a very good option.

The 2nd thing would be in vitro fertilization. This basically involves bypassing the tubes and implanting the eggs.

Both of these options have a 40/50 % chance of working and are not covered by insurance because they are elective. The cost of either of these procedures would run about $20,000 - $40,000. A lot of money for something that has only a slim chance of working.

We talked a few more minutes and he again told me how sorry and surprised he was. He then told me to take some time to decide what I wanted to do and let them know if we wanted to proceed to the next step. He could arrange for us to meet with a fertility Doctor. With that we hung up.

I realized two things as soon as I got off the phone. 1) Never make a phone call that could potentially change your whole life while sitting at your desk at work surrounded by people who don't have a clue what's going on. And 2) Life rarely ever turns out the way you think.

I can tell you that I have never before or since felt the range of emotions that I felt in that moment. I don't know if I was more angry or sad but I do know that it didn't take long for me to ask God why things had turned out like that.

I just didn't and still don't understand why God allowed me to go through about two years of hard counsel before He changed my heart about wanting to have a child...and then over a year of trying to give us this answer of no. I STILL TO THIS DAY DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT!!!

As I sat there at my desk..... I suddenly had a thought that cut me to my core. A thought that absolutely hurt me in a place I have never been hurt. That thought was this....

How am I going to tell Sandy that I can never have his child? How on this earth will I be able to say those words to him? How do you break the heart of the person you love more than anything and take away their dream of being a daddy? I have never been more mad or hurt at God in my life than I was in that moment.

I didn't know what to do at that point. I sent an email to Sarah & Keith telling them that I had gotten bad news on that test and to please pray and keep me and Sandy covered. I told them I would tell them the results later after I talked to Sandy. I also tried but couldn't reach Dewey.

And then I started praying....and praying...and praying.

I was praying and asking God to tell me how to tell Sandy. Did I call and tell him over the phone.... did I email....because I wasn't sure I could make the words come out of my mouth. How on earth was I going to tell him.... and how was I going to get through this day? I forgot to mention that this phone call happened around 9am and it wasn't even near lunch time yet.

Within a few minutes my cell rang and it was Keith. He said, I couldn't stand it any longer...what happened and how can I help? I said I can't say because I haven't talked to Sandy yet. To which he said, Tammy, Sarah & I know what that test is for. I'm going to say that since you said it is bad news that that means it won't work. To which I started crying and softly can't work. Keith, being my friend and my Pastor took a long time to counsel me and remind me of God's power in this situation. He reminded me that we had just received this news and that we didn't yet know how God would choose to redeem it. He reminded me of God's love for me and I needed to hear that....because in that moment....I wasn't happy with God at all.

After talking a few more minutes he said you have to tell Sandy in person. Can you leave and go find him and I said no. He said ok but I need you to know that you have to tell him in person even if you have to wait until this afternoon. This is your dream together and you have to tell him the result face to face. It will be better for both of you if you do and Sandy deserves that from you. I said I would and we talked a few more minutes and hung up.

The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent with a variety of emotions that I can only describe as heart wrenching. Unless you have walked in this place you really can't understand the loss you feel in that particular moment. My friend Dewey later told me it was like suffering a death. And I think that is the closest thing I can describe it as. He called it a death of a vision and Sarah later confirmed that to me also. The death of a vision is the loss of a dream or plan that you had for yourself or your life that was good but somehow not meant to be.

I had several more phone calls and emails from Keith and Sarah checking on me throughout the afternoon. They reminded me that God is bigger than test results and heartbreak. He is also the healer. I wasn't very convinced of that in those moments. I was in a place of hurt and confusion beyond what I could carry. I so badly wanted to just go and be with my honey and have him hold me. But leaving work would have made me have to explain to the whole group what had just happened.... and I sure didn't have the strength to do that. So that meant having to make it through the afternoon. Only by my friends prayers and concern...and my God holding me up did I make it until 5:00.

I then headed home to tell Sandy...

To be continued...