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Rob's Perspective - Part I

By now you're probably wondering how my husband Robert is doing with all of this. After all, his whole life he has been a healthy person. So, what is it like from Robert's perspective, to live with someone who has mental illness? I will let Robert jump in and tell you his story:

[Enter Robert]
Hello Reader, my name is Robert, husband of Arlene. I am privileged to be be able to share with you what it's like from my perspective to live with someone you love who has mental illness. I'm not sure where to start, but it's probably best to tell you a little bit about myself.

"just the second boy"

I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. I have the greatest mother of all, Jessie Randolph. She single-handedly raised three children: my older brother James, myself and our younger sister Patricia. While growing up with two siblings had its fun and mischievous moments, at times being the middle child was a little lonely for me. The way I reasoned is I was too young to have the privileges of the older sibling and I wasn't the baby, who is also the only girl. So to me, I was just the second boy. Like I said, Ma was great and always fair. She never showed favoritism to either one of us. To her, we were all special in our own way.

Rob as a little boy in Washington, DC
Rob in Elementary School

"Ma did and amazing job!"

Ma was very serious about two things: making sure we had a roof over our heads and making sure we made it through school. From the time we were in elementary school she worked two jobs. To some she would seem like a ghost parent. Far from it! Yes, she had to work two jobs to provide for her family. But her first and most important job was always making sure we were raised well, always clean, always hard workers, always well-mannered. She did an amazing job!

My Ma, an Amazing Mother
My Beautiful and Amazing Mother

I love my mother and appreciate every sacrifice she has ever made for me. For over 30 years Ma worked hard to take care of her family. A lot of her life was spent working two jobs. She has good work ethics and everyone knew it. In fact, she was awarded recognition for outstanding performance when she worked in various United States Government buildings. Ma retired from the National Air and Space Museum shortly after I married Arlene. She continues to work hard taking care of her family including her mother and grandchildren.

I wasn't surprised when Ma and Arlene hit it off. They are both hard workers, loving and take great care of their children. To find a woman like Arlene with similar qualities like my mother is a blessing. Great qualities, good looking and her many talents like sewing, of course I had to marry her!

"a huge undertaking"

Marrying Arlene, living in Baltimore and dealing with her mental illness. I won't lie, it is a huge undertaking. I had a lot to think about. You already know my wife's version of the story but I have my own details to provide...

⇒Hello Reader, we're curious: Tell us where you were born and who you appreciate for raising you in the comments below.

Our Wedding Day

All the preparations were made and it was finally here, our wedding day. Nothing could top my imagination of what this day would bring except the reality. It was fantastic!

"the wedding should not outshine the marriage"

Robert and I were very keen on making sure we made the final decisions on what took place, who was there and what activities were scheduled. We had spent those few brief months dotting i's and crossing t's. We wanted a non-traditional approach with a classy feel. We put our own spin on the way our wedding would be. Nothing expensive, everything was very much affordable as we both believed the wedding should not outshine the marriage.

My wedding gown was exactly what I wanted: different yet glamorous. His attire fit in sync with our color scheme while remaining versatile. The bridal party was perfectly chosen to include our children and very close friends.

Robert was able to acquire favors from clients and co-workers who gifted us the finest quality in linens and gobo lighting designed with our logo that we created. At the last minute the reception hall surprised us by upgrading our seating arrangement to match our color scheme. Friends pulled in and volunteered to help serve the food, run the kitchen and make sure all the guests were taken care of. Because of all the love shown to us during our courtship, engagement, wonderful wedding and reception, we treated all our guests to a Caribbean catered dinner.

Photo credit: PixelProz

"our wedding day was perfect"

Robert and I had one of the best photographers/videographers in Baltimore. They captured some of the most memorable pictures and to this day we are able to look back at our special day and smile. When I think about it I know for a certainty that September 5, 2010, our wedding day, was perfect!

Thankfully, for me the single-parent life is over.

⇒Hello Reader, we're curious: Tell us briefly about your wedding day in the comments below.

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