Friday, December 27, 2013

27 Years of Avahah

Avahah: [hebrew in origin
a type of love. a willed type of love. 
love that will not end because of denial, trials, zapped efforts, disease. 

Jason and I married at the ripe age of 22. We were just babies really -still are at 24 and 25- running down the aisle promising life together through the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health. Saying love lots, sharing kisses over clinking glasses, dancing close under the strings of beautiful white lights, love, love, love. 

I thought the good looked like babies, houses, sex, successes at work and home. And the bad like small disappointments, frustrations over the details, a tense discussion or two every once in a great, great while. In sickness we'd be fighting stomach flus, surgeries, maybe a minor bout of skin cancer or kidney stones. And in health: the gym, tan, laundry routine. 

Then, just three short months after our wedding, we celebrated (if you can call it that) the 25th year of my parents' marriage with the biggest serving of the bad and in sickness one could imagine: dementia. 

Dementia didn't care about their plans, our plans, the kids, the life together, the love. All it cared about was destroying the mind of a strong, witty man. And, it has. 

This is where those vows live most bold: in sickness and the bad. Those vows, when lived out, breed a willed, unending love that doesn't give a damn what dementia's got in store. It's a love that screams I will force myself through ALL. THE. THINGS. -good, bad, sick, health- because I'm stronger, greater, bolder than any circumstance. And, it is. 
That's what you see here. You see avahah. It sounds so much like "ah ha!" That's because it's like magic. It's like "Ah ha, I'm love. I'm not conditioned. I'm raw, and fitful, and I refuse rejection.

We're all looking on saying, "Ahhhh." Because, it's "ah ha" Avahah love. And we haven't seen it often. But, I see it. It looks like twice a week visits despite good or bad days. It looks like coffee and cupcakes and M&Ms every visit together even if he isn't using his best table manners. It looks like letting him do his thing despite how absurd it looks. It looks like them -dementia or not. 

Avahah that trickles down from them to us: the kids. To them: the friends. To you: the readers. Love that makes you want to hug a little longer, run a little faster, adventure a little bolder. Ah ha, that love! 

And, today marks 27 years of that love. That Avahah. May I have just a glimpse of that love in my own marriage Lord? 

Happy 27 years of Avahah Mama Bird and Popsicle!
You two are a tale of deep, devoted love and are changing lives with your story. 
We, the kids, the friends, the readers, love you and your avahah. 


  1. This is beautiful. I think we all (including me) have this glorified idea of marriage and what it means to "be in sickness" with someone. Your parents are truly an example of what it means to stand by each other in sickness. Love you. Happy anniversary to them!

  2. such a wonderful example of great love. theirs is a lived out expression of what marriage is meant to be in its fullness. happy anniversary!

  3. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvDecember 27, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    You are one strong woman - modeled after that strength of your mother. I can't even begin to imagine going through what you and your family endure everyday. That is love.

  4. I second what Ashten said! Just beautiful. Happy 27 years to them :)

  5. Your parents sure sound amazing. And though it's heartbreaking that this disease ever had to strike in your family, it's a blessing to you to see real commitment lived out in a world where its all too rare.

  6. This gave me goosebumps! What a wonderful post :)

  7. I second every single word of Ashten's comment. She is spot on… and we all can learn a lesson from your parent's inspiring marriage.


  8. This is amazing. Great love is amazing and I'm glad you get to experience that in yours and your parents marriage.

  9. Such a great beautiful amazing love your parents have. That "in sickness" part of the vows is often glossed over...but what your parents have is beautiful. Happy Anniversary to them!

  10. It takes an Avahah love to endure something terrible like dementia, happy anniversary to them!

  11. what an incredible example of true love that binds two people in happiness and hardships. beautiful. happy 27th to your parents!!

    Vodka and Soda

  12. I love this. Happy Anniversary to your lovely parents, showing all of us that love does not end despite the hardships we are thrown!!

  13. Avahah, love that! What a great example of living out the words spoken before God and a host of witnesses on one's wedding day! We never know what will be thrown at us, but I just love this story (despite the heartbreak it brings) but more so because of God's redemptive plan in it all!! Happy anniversary to Mama Bird & Popsicle!! Xo!

  14. Your parents are a phenomenal example of what true love really is. And you, are wise beyond your years due in part to their example. :)

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this. Stories like these help give me renewed hope in "love" and "marriage". How very beautiful.

    Keep it Sassy & Classy,



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