When I think of the word armor, I picture a medieval knight. Steel plates, shiny and strong, meant to protect him from the brutality of battle.
My husband had been working on something. He had me close my eyes, and open my hand. I looked down. In my hand, he placed a little necklace. It was shiny and beautiful. It was in the shape of a cancer awareness ribbon. Upon looking more closely, there was even more detail. In the center there were three little stones. Birthstones. One for Kevin, Dylan and me.
I gave him a hug. I held him tight. This necklace was thoughtful and beautiful, yes. But it was more than that. It was a symbol that we were in this thing together. He was helping me fight. He couldn’t take my treatments or do the endless blood work or scans for me, but he would be there right by my side. And this necklace, with our birthstones, was just another reminder that I wasn’t fighting this battle just for me. I was fighting for the three of us. For my little family.
The thought that I wouldn’t make it was kind of more than I could handle. I didn’t like to think about it, but of course it had crossed my mind. What would their lives be like? Would Dylan remember me? Would he see me in pictures, and have any idea of how much I loved him? And, Kevin. My sweet and funny husband. My friend. He would have to do it all without me. He would have to find a new path for the two of them. It would be the start of a new chapter that I didn’t have the heart to picture.
But, I tried not to think about it. I was in for the fight. I told myself I wasn’t going anywhere. I fastened the necklace around my neck. It fell close to my heart. It was like a piece of armor. It was shiny. It was strong. It was made with love, and it was perfect. During the harsh moments of treatment, it would be there to give me comfort and strength. It would always remind me of just what I was fighting for.