Wishing My Wife a ‘Happy Birthday’

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by Joe MacDonald |

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Oct. 7, 2019, came and went like any other day. Our family went about our business: my son went to school, and I sat at my desk, planning my next sermon. But the day was special. It was the birthday of my wife, Cazandra, and it might have gone unnoticed if I hadn’t brought it to everyone’s attention. Our stinky boys greeted her. I sent her an e-card that made her laugh; it was a gesture appreciated by a couple with 30-plus years of shared experiences. I hope that she had a great day.

You might wonder why I’m sharing my wife’s birthday in this column. As a family who has thrived amid chronic illness, we celebrate our victories and support those who are going through difficult circumstances. Our best teachers and most loyal supporters come from within our unique tribe. We discover new ways to manage and care for our children because of the lessons that we learn from each other.

Everyone who knows us says that my wife and I make a great team. Her strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We respond to stress in different ways. I remain cold and stay in my head while she faces challenges head-on. I think through every outcome of every choice I’m presented with; she focuses on getting the job done as quickly as possible. My strength is in my ability to remain calm while she is driven to settle for nothing less than the best possible care at that moment.

I will never forget Christmas 2014. We were spending another holiday in the hospital and morale was low. All we wanted was to survive that Christmas and get to the end of that rotten year. But Cazandra wouldn’t let us sit around complaining. She managed to get a projector and white screen and then set up a makeshift movie theater right there in the hospital. We watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” almost forgetting that we were on the sixth floor of the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

The “mommy glue” that my wife uses to mold us together reinforces our commitment to each other that can conquer any storm. Hemophilia be damned — our family celebrated the day with good cheer. What began as something that we merely had to endure turned into one of the best days in the hospital.

Hemophilia brought an entirely new dimension to our marriage. Our vocabulary expanded to include phrases like severe factor VIII deficiency, port-a-cath, half-life studies, inhibitor, and bypassing agent. Cazandra has always been by my side. As we discovered the meanings of our new words together, through our team effort, we charted a course of hope.

I want to express my gratitude for the mother of my children, the juicy in my fruit, the love of my life. Thank you for your strength and the glue that holds our family together. Here’s to the journey we’ve made and the roads we’ve yet to travel. May we face them together boldly and joyfully. Happy birthday, Baby!


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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