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A walk down the aisle marred by disease


Thinking back to my wedding photos, I see the ghost of someone I didn’t know, someone who scared me. Everything that my body carried, refusing to let go, was stained forever that day.

After we got married, it took me about a year to feel the strength in my body again. As the disease took its course, months of discomfort turned into weeks, then days, and finally hours here and there. Now married for eight years, I mostly left this hollow body behind me. It doesn’t mean that my body is fully predictable. There have been flare-ups while I still have days, sometimes weeks, of that old poison in my veins.

Years after I started to feel like myself again, I received a little solace with an answer, a label to slap the curious disease that plagued my body: myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome ( EM / CFS), a complex and under-studied disease that only left me with more questions.

I work on listening to my body, resting when I need it without judgment, trying some form of anger management with myself. My husband, by joining me for therapy sessions, also tries to understand my body and its reactions to its unpredictability. Every day, we have worked to forgive ourselves for our failures, our fears, our resentments, our human tendencies.

It was in the midst of this ongoing process that I realized that I wanted to remake our marriage.

“Another wedding? My husband asked, panicked by the dollar signs that came to his mind.

“It’s more of a renewal of vows,” I assured him.

I don’t want anything fancy. I just want the moment to come again so that I can feel everything in its entirety, and not just from those little details seen in my sick meditative state. I want my husband and I to re-commit to ourselves and celebrate the renewed strength of my body, even if it remains unpredictable.

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