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Friday, February 14, 2014

My good man

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Song of Solomon 6:3


Indeed, it is Valentine’s Day. A day my husband and I normally laugh a bit about because we don’t appreciate the calendar (or capitalism) telling us this is the day to spat love sonnets to one another. Or better yet, purchase something extravagant that expresses our love. By the way, Chris does this for me throughout the year, so I don’t feel jilted if I don’t get a dozen roses and a box of chocolates on this particular day. Well . . . I might be a bit upset about not getting empty-calories in some form, but I digress . . .

The purpose for this post isn’t to dog Valentine’s Day but rather to tell you about my knight. I have wanted to compose a post about Chris for quite some time. A post providing a glimpse of who he really is because he’ll never tell you himself. It’s not in his nature. In fact while I am composing this, he is washing the dishes. I am so grateful for the role he has played and will continue to play in my life.

I have questioned a lot of things in my life over the last ten months, but one thing I have never questioned was the decision to marry Chris. In fact, my cancer diagnosis only solidified the fact God brought us together for His good purposes and for each other. I have needed and appreciated Chris in ways I never anticipated. And I am confident – had the roles been reversed – I would have failed miserably at the tasks to which Chris gracefully tackles every day,

When we repeated our wedding vows, I believe, in my naivety, I grasped the gravity of the commitment. I just didn’t take into account that the inevitable (in sickness and in health) would happen at such an early stage in our marriage. In fact, Chris was the one who delivered the news to me that the tumor in my arm was malignant after he had already processed the devastating blow from my doctor. He had always been my rock, but I’m sure in that moment, he knew he would be called to a higher level of strength and service for his wife and family – perhaps, a calling he didn’t want to shoulder but he wouldn’t cower from his responsibility. If any man could handle this task with grace, strength, and even humor, it would be Chris. In the days following to the present (and no doubt in the days to come), he has remained the epitome of a servant-leader. And, I know I’ve said it before and I will say it many times over – he doesn’t complain about our life-altering situation. There are no “woe is me” moments. He simply does what is asked of him and trusts God to carry him when he is too weak to carry himself. I am always amazed by his resolve in this capacity. His trust in God is real and applied rightly.

I can remember in the early weeks of my diagnosis, I would experience near panic attacks about the unknowns. The nights were the worst. Chris would just lay by my side, hold me and pray. I needed to know He was right there beside me, even if he couldn’t change a thing about my diagnosis, he was there. Then, when I was undergoing chemo, I would be in bed many hours of the day – exhausted, aching, nauseated. He would pray with me and then read to me until I fell asleep. It was one of the few things that would distract me long enough to rest. Sometimes he read one chapter. Sometimes, he had to read many more. When the tumor grew in my arm and the nerve pain was almost unbearable, he would hold my left hand at night because my right arm had to rest in some very precarious positions. And when the cancer starting eating my vertebrae and the radiation followed, he simply had to lay beside me because I was surrounded by pillows to provide the most comfortable positions. Many nights, he literally had to put me in bed, turn me over and position my pillows as I was incapable of doing it on my own.

He has dressed me, tied my shoes, prepared juice after juice after juice (plus cleaned the dishes), shopped for groceries and bathed Alexa a thousand-times over. He even learned how to fix her hair. He has been with me at every surgery check-in and recovery. He sits beside me in countless waiting rooms. He waits patiently for me to return from scan after scan after scan. Oh yes, and he still has a full-time job he fits in during our numerous visits to MD Anderson.

He still thinks I’m pretty although I have lost close to fifteen pounds, my arms have wasted away to sticks, I have a port sticking out of my chest and an impressive scar on my right arm. My shaved hair is now a head full of short curly locks turning whiter by the moment. Hmmmmm – not exactly the image of a beautiful bride, but I know he will still be beside me. Why? Because he has told me there is no place he’d rather be. Even when, I don’t feel like I resemble the old Kelsey at all.

A man who is highly respected in his workplace and by his peers. A man who does his job well – be it professionally or at home. A man who loves his family and sacrifices his dreams and desires for us. By the way, Alexa adores her Daddy and says he is very handsome. I concur. He loves the Lord and serves Him faithfully. He gently speaks truth into my heart when I need it, and he wisely listens when he knows there is nothing to say. He helps me process every step of this ugly disease (which usually involves crying, anger and irrational thoughts) without casting judgment. He prays and prays and prays. His trust in the Lord has not wavered when mine has been incredibly weak. He loves me as Christ loved the church, and he has done this so very beautifully the last ten months.

I don’t believe I’ve ever doubted Chris was the man for me, but if there were any doubt, this cancer diagnosis proved he is the only man who would stick this out with me. I know of no other man who would do the things he’s so selflessly done for me and our family. . . even my girlfriends (who also deeply love their husbands) have agreed with me on this one.

Honey – thank you for being my valentine every day. Thank you for loving me unconditionally – especially when I haven’t been easy to love or look at. I deeply respect and admire you – as a man, a husband and a daddy. Even though I still hate cancer, I am so grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given us to grow in our love & respect for each other and deepen our trust in the Father through it. Happy heart day!! You’ve made me the luckiest girl in the world. I believe this card sums it up well . . .



  1. Had tears in my eyes while reading this. He is a wonderful and godly man and I am so glad he has been your knight thru all of this! Praying for you daily!

  2. Dear Kelsey and Chris: This is beautiful Kelsey. Chris - bless you. You both have something truly from our Lord. Will continue praying for you all. Love, Sharl and Doug Taylor

  3. What a precious blessing God gave you in Chris. I am so very happy for you! Love you friend!

  4. What a blessing your husband is. We are so happy you have such wonderful love and support from Chris. Our prayers continue for you, Chris, and Alexa.
    Joe and Linda Oliver