More than Words: Husband's Support Speaks Volumes
Bo Gibson admits he is a man of few words. Yet he doesn’t need to say much to convey his deep love and affection for his wife, Beyond Boobs! co-founder Mary Beth Gibson. His tender tone when he describes the moment he first saw her says it all for him.
“I took one look at her dark hair and fair complexion and I fell in love,” Bo said. He even remembers what she was wearing that day – a long dress with little flowers on it. “That dress is still hanging up in our closet after all these years,” he said.
Seizing the moment
Bo and a buddy were doing landscaping work in Richmond when the woman in the house next door came over to ask them if they would remove a shrub from under her deck. The two agreed and after the task was complete Bo knew he couldn’t just walk away.
“When I see something I want I go for it,” he said. “I knew that I might never have the chance to speak with her again, so I asked her out right then and there.”
Bo and Mary Beth had their first date at a restaurant called Mulligan’s. The man of few words suddenly found himself talking with Mary Beth for hours. That night they ignited a spark that flared during the good times – 16 years of marriage and three sons, and lit their way through the bad times – a breast cancer diagnosis and a double mastectomy.
The enemy within
Bo was terrified when Mary Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had encountered the disease before when her grandmother and mother were diagnosed, but for Bo it was his first time helping a loved one face the disease.
“Whenever I had been confronted with a problem in life before I always fought it head on,” Bo said. “With my wife’s cancer diagnosis I felt vulnerable, like everything was out of my control.”
Even though Bo struggled with putting his emotions into words, he vowed to be there for Mary Beth in any way he could. He went to every chemo appointment with her and the two would watch funny movies to help boost her spirits and keep her focused on recovery.
“I wanted to be there for her during her treatment,” Bo said. “The physical stuff didn’t bother me at all.”
When Mary Beth chose to have a double mastectomy, he was by her side. She did not elect to have reconstruction surgery, but her scars could never alter Bo’s opinion of the beautiful woman he fell in love with. “I didn’t marry her for her boobs,” he said. “When she had her surgeries that was the last thing on my mind.”
The couple’s direction in life took another turn when Mary Beth started Beyond Boobs! in 2006. She wanted to provide support for young breast cancer survivors and promote breast health information for all and Bo supported her completely. “I thought Beyond Boobs! was a cool idea,” he said. “She enjoyed being with other women who all had something in common.”
Like many couples, Bo and Mary Beth do their best to keep the spark alive while juggling work and kids. Their three sons, Cole, Clay, and Lance, keep them on their toes. “When it comes to staying connected, we’re still trying to figure that out,” Bo admitted with a laugh.
Bo’s experiences with his wife’s breast cancer reaffirmed his belief that family is the most important thing in life. “From the bottom of my heart, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my family,” he said. “After everything that we have been through, my love for Mary Beth hasn’t changed. Every day is a good day for us and I can’t imagine being married to anybody else.”