When I married this man 7 1/2 years ago, I thought I knew him. As it turns out, I didn't know him, I didn't know myself and I didn't know anything about marriage. All I really knew is that I loved him and would always love him. As it also turns out, love . . . . real love . . . . is enough.
I was a child when I married Brandon Keith Keaster on a mild Saturday evening in Louisiana on August 14, 2004. I had much yet to learn about life, this man, and myself. With the faith of a child, I pledged the rest of my existence to this one, flawed man, and next to my decision to take up my cross daily and follow Christ, this is the best decision I've made in my 27 years.
If you read my four part blog post, "Weight," you know that life has been a little crazy, mixed with equal parts scary and wonderful. Mostly, I restricted my disclosure to my personal response to experiencing a birth, a medical emergency, a child being seriously ill and being seriously ill myself, but now it's time to give credit where it is seriously due--I would NOT. HAVE. MADE. IT. without this extraordinary human being that is Brandon Keith Keaster.
Over the years, I have learned that my husband can do pretty much everything except sing and fly. (Seriously, the guy couldn't carry a tune if his life depended on it.) I remember when we were first married, I was constantly in trouble with him for things like letting the Wal-Mart car serviceman put in a new filter or suggesting we hire a handy man to fix the washing machine. If my car filter needed replacing, he could do it! If the washing machine was broken, he could do it! Over time, I found that Brandon can put up vinyl siding, put up new ceilings, build amazing built-in bookshelves, lay flooring, do electrical wiring, hook up appliances of all sorts, knock down walls, build new ones, put in doors, shingle roofs, fabricate metal work, and build pretty much anything I can dream up. The dude also cooks, cleans, launders and sews better than I do, he would just usually rather not. If the world as we know it comes to an end, I am set. Brandon is thoroughly capable of making us a dwelling out of sticks and mud, growing and hunting our food, and hand-sewing our clothing from animal skins. Regardless of the fact that he can't fly, he has, without irony, earned the nickname, "Superman," among my family members and myself.
Now, it would be enough for him to be able to do it all, but throughout our marriage, Brandon has been a rock--faithful and steady. For a person like me, who experiences a series of high highs and low lows, this is an important quality. He is also compassionate, loyal, helpful, generous and romantic. He makes beautiful babies, and gives really good gifts. Every time. Furthermore, he loves Jesus, and because he loves Jesus, he is constantly improving.
Throughout the last three months, Brandon has been my best friend. Most days, he is the only adult I see. It is a massive relief to hear his truck pull up in the driveway. He has been my main social interaction, and has been amazingly satisfactory in this role. He has served as both my husband and my girl friend, listening to my every feeling, every thought and sometimes, even what I ate. He has been the shoulder I have cried on. He's been almost supernatural in his ability to sense the difference between when I just need to cry and when I need him to "fix it." In case you are not familiar with the male sex, this is a highly unusual quality. Men want to listen only as long as it takes to figure out how to fix it. Brandon is special because even as the most capable person I have ever known, he understands that our circumstances are beyond his fix-it capabilities, and he has been content to just listen. Like I said, supernatural. Upon a single plea for help, he took it upon himself to take care of Micah in the morning, cook breakfast and feed the dog before he leaves for work. He has stuffed and folded cloth diapers. Night after night, he holds a screaming infant so I can get 15 minutes of peace in the shower. He has been doing the grocery shopping since 2 weeks before Sara was born even though he hates to grocery shop. He has cooked dinners for us when I ran out of the time or energy to do so myself. He has worked his behind off to support the four of us, and when the doctor bills are piled as high as ours, that is an intense task. And he has done all of this without one word or physical expression of complaint. He has loved us through this tumultuous time. Never once did I or the kids feel resented or burdensome.
I am thankful for the troubles that have assailed us the last three months because without them, I would not know or appreciate my God or my Superman, as I do today. I have been brought uncomfortably, fabulously close to the two men in my life who save me every day, and I wouldn't trade it for one hundred Disney happily ever afters.
I love this man. I'm so glad he's mine.
Happy Valentine's Day/Half Anniversary, Babe. I'm the happiest, luckiest girl alive to be able to spend it with you.