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So while Neil was home for a weekend, I encouraged him to take McKenna outside to build a snowman. She had been wanting to do this for a while, but I don’t own a pair of snow boots (soon to be remedied by the end of season sales!) and it’s hard to take Adele out for long periods of time because as soon as her mittens get wet, we have to come back in.

So after rolling 3 roundish super sized snowballs, and stacking them on top of each other, Neil sends McKenna in to raid the pantry for features to attach to their snowman. Of course he had to have the traditional carrot nose, but then McKenna settled on a bag of 2 year old candy use for snowman parts.

Three buttons of Ghirradeli chocolate drops lined the snowman’s chest.  They shoved the carrot into the middle of the top snowball and shoved cherry tootsie pops into his 2 eye sockets. Neil used his gloved hand to carve a sinister smile for the mouth and then lined it with the fire ball candy. This was the most disturbing snowman I have ever seen, but McKenna was proud.

I didn’t get out to take a picture right away but every day I looked out the kitchen window at the frightening sculpture, the appearance got worse and worse! As the weather got warmer, the south side of the snowman was shaved down by the sun. The face on the north side melted more slowly, but as it did, the red from the fire balls drizzled around the chin and down the corners of his widening, gaping grin. The tootsie pop eyes were held firmly in place by the sucker’s stick, but as the snowman melted away from the round candy, they appeared to bug out of his head making him look even more depraved!

So after a week of staring at this hideous snowman, I took McKenna and Adele out to take pictures and… well, do away with “Frosty”! when we knocked him over backwards, his slushy head sprayed open from the point of his jaw spraying the red fire ball tinged snow out and the suckers sprawling in separate directions like a sick crime scene . And this is how our snow man lays now!

To have the sheer joy of his presence and the honor of knowing another human so intimately is a gift I have been given in my life. I am not sure, that in the almost 7 years we have been together, that most other people experience the turmoil and trials by fire that Neil and I have faced. Yet I also don’t know of many other couples that share the deep bond that has been forged between us for the work we have put into our relationship.

Neil blames himself, his weaknesses, and deficits for the difficulty and pain that has been a prevalent part of our lives. However- to have the friendship and affection for each other that we do now, and for me personally to be with the man that he is today, I truly believe that we were REQUIRED to go through almost literal hell to have it.

It was not until recently that I could truthfully say what I am about to say; but to have the man that Neil is today and to be so loved and well thought of by him, I would do it all over again.

And I am so thankful to him for the faith and trust he puts in me, to let me see his weakness, to ask for my help and forgiveness and for letting me be his everything.  The only way to have true love, I believe, is to have trust in one another enough to take every vulnerable thing in you and lay it out for the other person without any self protection, and only hope for that person to care enough for you not to hurt you. And in seeing that vulnerability of the other, are we able to empathize with and hold that person dear, despite all of their lacking.

When we look at another person, and especially in this case our spouse, let us remember that everyone is doing the best that they can. There are few (if any) people out there who would hurt us on purpose. Least of all our spouse, and because they struggle with human errors does not make them unworthy of our love. To be accurate, they are more desperately in need of it. And some weaknesses, frailties, or wrong doings can only be overcome with unconditional love.

I Love you Neil!