As we share our story of approaching marriage where a spouse has a disability other couples reach out to us to encourage and ask questions. While so many of our days are really fine some are downright overwhelming. We've shared how one or both of us have broken down sobbing over our frustrations. Somehow one of us manages to buck up and be strong when the other is broken.
Our day-to-day struggles to balance caregiving, disability, work, and household responsibilities are something we will face for years to come. This is why we want to get it right. We want to figure out this dance so we can enjoy a long and happy marriage with kids, a house (with a maid), and a two-car garage where we park the cars we are both driving. It is all hopeful.
Too many couples don't have that hope. They face the dread of terminal or degenerative illness that robs them of their spouse and all of those hopes and dreams. Some find the inspiration to dig in together and fulfill those goals in the precious time left. But as the illness intensifies one spouse is eventually unable to carry on and the other managing.
If you've visited our website the past year you have noticed a large link that states "Pray for Tricia". It links to Confessions of a CF Husband, a blog where Nate Lawrenson shares about their life with his wife's Cystic Fibrosis. Just recently Tricia required a breathing machine because her lungs were failing. Doctors were days from this decision when a donor match was found. After a very rough year, Tricia is recovering with a new set of healthy lungs.
Our friends Derek and Krystina were a normal young couple when he was blown up by and Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan. Many of you prayed for them through his recovery. We all anticipated their upcoming marriage and his release from Walter Reed. Then he died suddenly one night.
Another couple has been battling breast cancer. Brian and Kelli were a young, beautiful couple with the family to match. Friends and family have surrounded them with love and support. But over the past few weeks cancer took its awful toll. Yesterday she passed away with her family nearby.
People wonder how we make it as a caregiver/disabled couple. It is like any marriage: we cherish each other.
We all hold out hope our marriage will be long and happy. Marriage is still sacred. To love a spouse through suffering and hardship is challenging. To lose a spouse is tragic. To receive a few more years together is a gift.