Gluten-Free Love Story: Happy Valentine's Day Mrs. Dude


This Gluten Free Love Story was lovingly submitted by yours truly

“I take you…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.”

We took these vows almost 20 years ago. At the time, I thought they were just words to be spoken in the sense of tradition. In retrospect, they have been the backbone of our strong marriage.

We’ve had tons of “better” days and our share of “worse” days.

We’ve been blessed with being “rich” at times and we’ve dealt with being “poor” at other times.

And boy oh boy, have we experienced “sickness” and “health”.

And through it all, you have been the rock that has made our marriage not just survive, but thrive.

Let’s talk about the sickness and health part, shall we?

When I was diagnosed with cancer, you somehow kept your sh*t totally together and I got strength from that.

Six month’s later, you insisted I go to the doctor after a year of complaining about stomach pain. The diagnosis of celiac disease totally upended our world. Instead of letting it overwhelm you, you were laser-focused on learning what we needed to do “together” to keep me healthy. Celiac was not my disease…it was our disease.

And a year later, on a Sunday night, when I just didn’t feel “right” and I ignored your pleas to go to the emergency room, you spent the entire night poking me in my back to make sure I was still alive.

If that’s not love…I don’t know what is.

And because I finally listened to you the next day, went to the hospital and received my diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism, I am still here.

Mrs. Dude…I’m alive because of you.

Not just in the physical sense…but in my heart and in my soul.

You give me life…you give me joy…you give me goose bumps…and most of all, you give me love.

Pure, honest love.

And for that I am forever grateful…and I will ALWAYS love and cherish you…until death do us part.

Happy Valentine’s Day (do I still have to get you a card??)

Now everyone dreams of a love faithful and true,
But you and I know what this world can do.
So let’s make our steps clear so the other may see.
I’ll wait for you…should I fall behind wait for me.

– Bruce Springsteen
Many thanks to everyone for sending in your Gluten-Free Love Stories so far. While February is officially the “month of love”, I’d like to think that we can celebrate love all year round. So keep those stories coming and I’ll make this a regular series. Click here to submit your gluten-free love story.

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34 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Love Story: Happy Valentine's Day Mrs. Dude”

  1. After experiencing the Northridge earthquake with you…little did I know that would be the first of many tremors we would encounter together. We were young, naive and clearly the honeymoon was over.

    You my dear are an inspiration to me. You have had your fair share of adversity. You have faced your fears, turned them around and have figured out how to help others along the way.

    I fell in love with you when I met you… little did I know that love was just the tip of the iceberg.

    At last
    My love has come along
    My lonely days are over
    And my life is like a song

    Oh yeah yeah
    At last

    The skies above are blue
    My heart was wrapped up in clover
    The night I looked at you

    I found a dream, that I could speak to
    A dream that I can call my own
    I found a thrill to press my cheek to
    A thrill that I have never known

    Oh yeah yeah
    You smiled, you smiled
    Oh and then the spell was cast
    And here we are in heaven
    For you are mine…

    At last

    Etta James

  2. Married 33 years today. Those vows are SO vital and those who find someone who sticks to them are truly blessed. My husband married an 18 year old undiagnosed Graves/Hashimoto’s/Celiac baby girl and has loved and supported me through it all. I’ve spent my share of nights poking him in the back, too.

    Marriages like yours and ours need to be loudly and publicly celebrated so people will know IT CAN BE DONE.

    God bless you two!

  3. Holy smokes!….Etta sang it to us, too. 🙂
    (and if that song does not make you buckle at the knees, nothing will.)

    A marriage that survives through adversity values the “smooth sailing” so much more, I think. One joyous gift of day at a time.

    okay, I am all wet with tears…. and smiling with joy.
    I see a beautiful couple who are truly each other’s best friend.
    Many more years of good health and blessings on you both!!!
    Thanks for sharing yourselves with us–in so many ways.
    xx .

    Now, I have to go blow my nose because between the cold I have (and I never, ever should have bragged to Melissa about “never getting a cold” 🙂 ) and this lovely story, I am making my laptop really, really wet.

    1. oops, pardon the typo–my head feels like a giant stuffy bowling ball 🙂

      That should be:

      “One joyous gift of a day at a time.”

      dang, now I have to do more math….argh!

  4. I really think adding a comment is going to ruin this. It is so beautiful and you two are so very lucky! It is TOTALLY obvious how in love you are with each other.
    Happy Valentines Day Dude and Mrs. Dude!!!!!

  5. Gluten Dude I am glad you have a great woman who really understands what it means to take care of someone. Especially someone who educated herself on what it REALLY means to be gluten free. Happy Valentines day to you and yours!

  6. Someone get me a gluten free biscuit to put these two on!!

    This is love; not always wine and song but deeper. Love is the good with the bad, the yen and the yang, a Dude and a Mrs., or any other relationship where people make each other want to be a better person.

    Thank you both for sharing yourselves!

    (Hey, Irish! Pass me a kleenex! This post made this maeve all sappy!)

  7. Wow. You two were meant to be together. IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND – Bruce version, was my wedding song. Very fitting for your post. I am loving the February entries. Truly inspiring and moving. You are a lucky man Gluten Dude.

  8. Beautiful. Loved reading your post and your wife’s response. This is love. Our poor spouses never knew what they’d be getting into when they pledged the “in sickness” part, did they?

  9. Such a beautiful and inspiring story of your marriage and love for one another. Thank got that you finally listened to her when you had your PE. I have seen too many young people die from this. You two are truly blessed!

  10. Ohhhhh….I love Etta James!

    It’s so nice to hear so many true love stories in the midst of all the bad news and the endless break-up of so many other marriages. It kind of restores faith that there are still happily married, devoted people out there. We need more stories like these in the media, to counter all the bad that they love to report. They all put a smile on my face!

  11. Mrs. Dude,

    You must be an incredible woman. Thank you for supporting and loving the Gluten Dude behind the scene.

    This blog is just FANTASTIC and I know you are a big part of it too.

    Thanks to both of you for keeping all the energy flowing!


  12. I used to go out with guys who would take me to KFC, eat and say, “we’ll get something for you next!” Or who told me that celiac wasn’t real. The one I married was in Afghanistan when we started dating online (we sort of knew each other from a long time ago). He gave up all gluten IN AFGHANISTAN where there his food choices were already severely limited. For me. I protested. I still do sometimes. He gave up his beloved beer. Happily!? Dude cooks for me every night-beautiful dinners…always gf, and doesn’t touch anything gluteny when we go out. I just received a beautiful heart box of gf chocolates too. I had no idea people like this existed!

  13. It touches me because you both show love and care throughout the year, and over the the years. That is the real joy; that intimate, constant flow of love; caring for the other no matter the circumstances. There should be more examples of this!
    I wish many more days of health and happiness!

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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