Thursday, 20 October 2011

In Sickness and in Health

Today, while I stretched Mike out and gave him a massage, I watched Say Yes to the Dress. It really struck me when the commentator said “Choosing the right dress, isn’t always easy”, my first thought was…how about choosing the right partner? The very excited and perhaps slightly naive bride lists the features she is looking for in a dress: traditional, fun, A-line, with beading, no lace, strapless etc. I watched and wondered if she made a list of the qualities she is looking for in a husband as well: honest, hardworking, sensitive, strong, romantic, smart, etc. Does she know that even if “Mr. Right” meets all the requirements on her list, there is no guarantee that the marriage is going to always go well. Any married person would probably agree that the only guarantee in a marriage is that there will be rough patches, ups and downs and some doubts.
Someone recently said to me that Mike and I are lucky to have such a good marriage. Lucky? What? It has nothing to do with luck! It does have a lot to do with God’s grace and answered prayer though. It also has a lot to do with hard work, sacrifice, commitment and bunch of other stuff. I didn’t have a list of features I wanted in a wedding dress, because I didn’t wear a wedding dress when I got married. I wore pink pants and a white blouse when we said our vows in Los Angeles where Mike and I eloped. I didn’t have a list of qualities I wanted in a husband either, because I was in love and that was good enough…I was an excited, naive bride as well.
I got married at nineteen, had a baby at 20 and one day woke up and wondered what happened. At one time I had three children under the age of six, I was running a business and teaching thirteen fitness classes a week…I was a little tired to say the least. Doing another load of laundry wasn’t that difficult, but keeping the home fires burning was. When Mike went to school and worked evenings, my needs went out the window. To be totally honest, if someone of the male persuasion gave me a second look, I acted like a giddy school girl. Maybe the grass did look greener on the other side at times.
As Mike and I walked and talked and pondered life together a few days before Mike was diagnosed with ALS, he said, “They say the grass is always greener on the other side….well, I guess I’m on the other side then.” We have dodged some bullets and have said a lot of prayers and are one of the “lucky” couples that have made it this far.
Mike and I haven’t been on a date for a while and I can’t remember the last candle lit dinner, but today I stretched out his hamstrings and he said it really helped…he was able to put his socks on. Now that’s wedded bliss!

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