Many of you know about my wife's parents. They have been married nearly fifty four years. I could list many great things they have done and become together as well as individually but lets just say they loved and love each other.
They've stayed married through thick and thin so to speak. They have had some great times and had some rough times. They have done an awful lot of the right things and raised a family that is the salt of the earth. All their children are successful and kind people. All of them have developed great talents and abilities and use them to help others frequently.
As time has gone on they have had their struggles but maybe their biggest struggles have been in the past twelve years when Loray was diagnosed with MS and ultimately became a quadriplegic. All through that Gary has cared for her every need: gotten her up daily, helped her through it all, cared for her body and encouraged her mind while strengthening her spirit.
Last Thanksgiving (2010) Gary slipped on some ice in his driveway, hit his head, and was whisked away to the hospital. And of course Loray in her condition couldn't even see him. Gary was in a coma for about three months. Multiple surgeries and life-saving procedures worked together with prayers and well wishes from family, friends, and acquaintances hoping for a miracle. That led to dramatic changes for Loray who is now in a care center where she is cared for twenty-four hours a day. Dad has been in various levels of care mostly in hospitals and sometimes in rehabilitation centers. Which leads to what happened on April 18 2011. In the words of Lynell the youngest daughter:
"Hello all--Lisa came to town and we 3 sisters took Mom to visit Dad yesterday. It's the first time they've seen each other since his fall. He looked the best we've seen him--in his clothes instead of a gown, clean shaven and sitting up in a wheelchair. When I wheeled Mom into the room his eyes lit up and he said "Oh!" then reached for her hand. He held and stroked her hand most of the time we were there. We gave them some time alone and cried like babies in the hallway. During the visit he counted to 10 for us, sang "Row, row row your boat" with us, and showed us he can get his own glasses on now (after which he stuck out his tongue and rolled his eyes in a "whew! That was exhausting!" sort of way). The best part for me was when he blew her a kiss good-bye and caught on his cheek the one she blew back. It was a miraculous, romantic and spiritually renewing day. I just had to share!!"
So this love has lasted even these last dozen dozen days (144) and survives.
I think there is a lesson here that is just too big to remain in this family. Maybe it can inspire many who need to know that love can last and even flourish through the young and middle aged agile years of production as well as the elder years of support and need. Even through years of disability and change. The big miracle here may not be Gary's progress but the love that has seen them both through.
Matthew 19:6 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.