The following is a letter from Tobi that she wrote after Tuesday’s blog post. I know how hard this was for her to write, and I’ll be forever thankful she did because her vulnerability is far more powerful than me telling you anything.
I have no words. No. Words.
I have spent hours trying to find the right thing to say that might convey to you the depth of my gratitude, and those words just aren’t coming. Here goes my best try…
I admit, I’m a bit of a mess. I wanted to both strangle and embrace Daniel when I read his post. He has stripped me of control. He is my best friend, and he knew that was the only way to help. He’s the friend who can do that, because he is the friend who knows when I just cannot go any further.
Dan has been my friend through thick and thin. He was there for me when no one else was…when I thought the people closest to me would have been. Because of the way he loves me, supports me and vigorously watches out for my best interest, he is just as protective of me as he says I am of my family. And it’s true what he said, I am protective of them. I love them with everything in me and even though we’ve been through difficult times, I truly believe that they love me too. Many in my family have always been there for me regardless of my choices in life. They have respected and loved me, even when the happiness I found didn’t line up with the kind of happiness they wanted for me. And though other relationships in my family may have been strained, progress has been made. Sometimes it might feel like two steps forward, one step back, but such is life. I am and will forever be grateful to Daniel. He may not ever understand just how much he was there for me when I felt so alone and lost. He knows me better than most anyone. He knows when I have reached my limit, and he knows that he can’t ask my permission to help me.
I literally had no idea that Dan was writing a blog post about our family. I am so prideful and so guarded. I rarely discuss my disease with anyone. I never discuss our finances. I felt exposed and loved and terrified and grateful.
I was struggling the day he wrote that post, to put it lightly. I was trying my best to stay strong. I was putting air in our tire twice a day to keep from having to repair the slow leak. After putting a quarter of a tank of gas in the car, we had $26 in our account. I worked the night before and had made enough cash to buy formula, diapers, bread and milk. We just had to hold out until AJ got paid the next day, pay our bills, pay our attorney, and start all over again, scraping by until the next paycheck. My left leg was numb and my right leg felt like it was burning and freezing at the same time. Every joint in my body throbbed in pain. My neck wasn’t allowing my head to turn to the right. I was trying to keep up with the little ones, and get dinner in the crock pot, and keep track of 4 different school schedules, and drive an hour each way to pick up AJ’s kids, and stay supportive and positive for AJ. I was struggling. I was tired. I was at the end of my rope. That same night, AJ came home from a very long day at work and jumped right into a game of Twister with our girls. I posted this picture of it on Instagram as I was reminded again of how truly blessed we are to have such an amazing man in our lives in spite of all of the ugliness we face.