Coffee and Ringtones

When life was crazy busy having two babies born with CF, Marc and I would wake up 20 minutes earlier to make time for a cup of coffee together. 

| 4 min read
Margarete Cassalina
Margarete Cassalina
Margarete Cassalina and Marc - Today - wine - rectangle

I'm at lunch with a girlfriend and my iPhone softly sings,

"This life would kill me if I didn't have you

I couldn't live without you baby

I wouldn't want to

If you didn't love me so much

I'd never make it through

'Cause this life would kill me

This life would kill me if I didn't have you."

 

I'd forgotten to put my phone on vibrate and my sound notification goes off that I'd just received a text from my husband Marc.

"You're kidding, right." My girlfriend says sarcastically.

I smile.

I shrug.

I agree...yup, it's sappy.

August 11, 1989 Marc and I went on our first date and have been together ever since.

We work daily at being sappy.

Margarete and Marc Wedding - 1-12-91_rectangle
January 12, 1991: our wedding day.

When Marc and I were first married he had asked me what it would take to make me happy. I told him, "Wake me up with a cup of coffee."

He has. For 25 years.

No, it's not the coffee that's made me happy, but the 15 minutes we spend every day talking over that cup of coffee. When life was crazy busy having two babies born with CF, we would even wake up an extra 20 minutes earlier to make time for that cup of coffee.

We'd talk about our parenting, our marriage, and our dreams.

In our talks, we'd remind each other the reason why we were so crazy busy with a family, job, mortgage and stress...it was because WE had fallen in love back in 1989.

We'd remind ourselves that WE were a priority in our own lives. WE were a team.

We'd kiss every hello and goodbye, and every good morning and goodnight.

Together we have faced many hurdles and obstacles and you'd be amazed what 15 minutes a day have done.

Then in 2006, we faced our hardest challenge, our biggest fear, our worst nightmare. We faced the loss of our little girl. Cystic fibrosis destroyed her lungs and there was nothing more medical science could do. On Monday, December 4, 2006, our baby girl Jena moved up to heaven. She was 13.

No amount of kisses, talks, or all the coffee in the world could heal our hearts.

We were broken.

We grieved separately.

Marc gave me space to grieve for as long as I needed. I gave him the room to mourn. A loss of a child cuts you at your core, and you are alone with your emotions.

It wasn't pretty.

It wasn't kind.

It was real.

Marc never did stop bringing me coffee, though many a morning it went cold, untouched. We still sat for those 15 minutes, though often it was in silence or mumbled words cased in tears. We had created a family out of love and the deep pain of even our daily kisses hurt our hearts, though trembling, still we'd kiss.

So the ringtone fits. 

Margarete Cassalina and Marc - Today - wine - rectangle

There are still days when I find myself curled up on the floor in an emotional mess. Alone. And out of the blue, Marc will send me an innocent text of, "I'll be home at 7 p.m." but my iPhone softly sings,

"This life would kill me If I didn't have you

I couldn't live without you baby

I wouldn't want to

If you didn't love me so much

I'd never make it through

'Cause this life would kill me

This life would kill me if I didn't have you."

 

...and it reminds me that life is a beautiful roller coaster adventure if you actively work on the journey...and drink coffee.

 

At lunch I finish texting Marc a reply, switched my iPhone to vibrate, and I caught my girlfriend searching iTunes for a ringtone.

This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.

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Margarete Cassalina

Margarete is a public speaker, a freelance writer, and the author of Beyond Breathing, See You at Sunset, and Embracing the Beauty in the Broken. But, most importantly, she is a mother of two children who were born with cystic fibrosis: Eric, now 31, and Jena, who “moved up” to heaven in 2006 at the age of 13. Margarete has been a dedicated volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 1991. She has served as National Leadership Council Member, National Public Advocacy Co-Chair, and National Volunteer Leadership Co-Chair, as well as chairing local events. Margarete and her husband, Marc, continue to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation by doing annual Xtreme Hikes, Golf events, and galas. For more about Margarete, you can visit her website.

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