A Very Special Day!!

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday and that you all have something fun planned for the weekend. I had to let everyone know that today is a very special day for Team Phillips…it’s Neil’s birthday! As much of this process has been focused on me and how I am doing, I want to shine the light on the gentle giant who has kept me upright through this while giving me room to fly.

It goes without saying these last few months have been…ummmm, interesting for us. It is obviously not something that either of us had on our life’s map or “to do” lists and quite frankly, we are “winging it”. But today, of all days, I feel compelled to pull back the curtain and show where the real strength behind this operation lies and give credit where credit is due…to my amazing husband.

To those of you who know me better than Neil or have not had the privilege to meet him, let me start by saying that he is the best person I know. When I say that, I don’t just mean it in the normal way a wife “stands by her man”, but truly and sincerely that he is the type of guy that makes you want to be a better person and leaves you wondering how he knows just what to say, just what to do and just how to be. He is the best part of everyday and always keeps me grounded. He tells me when to get over myself and when to be more kind to myself. He gives to others more than he gives to himself. He is funny and so much fun. He loves to play in a way that not only keeps him young at heart but can’t help but make you smile at the twinkle in his eye that I’m sure he has had since he was young. He is generous with his time and his love. He is kind in so many ways that it staggers me and leaves me wondering if the people who cross paths with him in the everyday world know what is in their midst or how lucky they are to be around him. He has morals that I continue to aspire to and a calm about him that anchors me in this world. He knows just how much room to give me and when to pull me back in.

I could sit here and list out all the reasons I love him and fill pages up with just that. I could tell you that when he hugs me it’s as if something has clicked into place and all is right in my world, that he knows me better than I know myself sometimes (most times), or that when I tell him I love him, that simple statement falls so far short of what I really mean. I could tell you all the good things that I have seen him do and the sacrifices he has made to create the life we have now. I could tell you how when all this started all I could do is crawl into to his lap with tears streaming down my face and tell him how sorry I was because I never wanted to cause him one day of pain or suffering. But none of that even begins to scratch the surface of the total picture or how blessed I am to be married to him. I feel lucky just to know him, let alone be so loved by him.

Neil is the best thing I have done in my life and I will always be most proud of that. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Have I taken him for granted? Yes. Have I always loved him? Without question. This experience has awakened me in ways that I could have never imagined (a whole other story for later), but one of the biggest lessons and realizations I have had is how important it is to open your heart as wide as you can and let all the wonderful and beautiful things, right at your finger tips, in. So Happy, Happy Birthday to Neil, and to all of you…love hard and love well.

Alyssa

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