Adam is strong, smart, handsome, generous, and very rarely overtaken by his emotions. I can only think of one life event that brought him to tears in the 12 years we’ve been together. His dad had battled cancer when Adam was in college. He won that battle and remained cancer free right up to the five year mark, and then it came back. It came back with a vengeance. I remember the night his parents asked us all over and his dad rocked nervously in his favorite chair as he did his best to hold back the tears while he explained to us that the prognosis was not good. His dad was dying. Only five short months later, we sat around Adam’s dad in a hospital bed and watched him take his last breath. It was just after 5:00am when we left the hospital. After we got home, Adam went to take a shower and I knew he just needed to be alone for a few minutes. About half an hour later, he re-emerged with bloodshot eyes. It was obvious that he’d been crying. Now, I absolutely do not subscribe to the notion that boys/men should not show emotion. I think it’s unfortunate that we have spent so long teaching little boys that to cry is to show weakness and that it’s a “girly” thing to do. Having said that, I also know that men generally don’t share their feelings in the same way we women do. Men don’t think like we do. Adam is a man. He takes care of business. He is my knight in shining armor ever ready to slay the dragons and save me. Occasionally, even knights fall off their horses, though. Life is hard whether you’re a man, woman, both, or neither. As humans, we all have times in life where we need someone to comfort us and to help us back up after we’ve been knocked down. Even tough guys need help sometimes. I love Adam so deeply. I rely heavily on his ability to be the predictable and stable and responsible man he is. When I saw his heartbreak, his pain that morning, I went into “mama bear” mode. I was the protector. I was the rock for awhile. I laid in bed with Adam and ran my fingers through his hair while more silent tears fell. I understood the hurt and frustration that comes from not being able to fix it. Adam is the fixer, the protector, the calm in every storm. I am absolutely willing and able to step up and be those things for him in those moments when he needs me to. I can be strong and brave. I can hold back my own emotions so that I can be there for him when he needs me more than I need him. I can pick him back up, dust him off, and help him back onto his horse and then Adam can carry on being my knight in shining armor.