The Marriage Journey - 3/11/09
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Wed Mar 11 15:35:27 EDT 2009
This article is a wonderful read of all of us, but I'm thinking would be a
wonderful tool for marriage preparation programs......what the vows really
mean, "for better or worse, till death...." It would be a wonderful
article to catalyze class discussion.
I strongly encourage you to read the full article and perhaps you can give
couples the url. - diane
March 8, 2009
The New York Times Sunday Style Section
In a Charmed Life, a Road Less Traveled
By LAYNG MARTINE Jr.
MY wife and I were in a motel in Roanoke, Va., on our way home from three
months at the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, where she had been
convalescing after being crippled in a car accident. It was our first night
away from the skill and comfort of the nurses we had come to depend on, and
so far, so good.
Then we woke up and smelled something. It smelled like a bowel movement. I
lifted up the sheets. It was a bowel movement, and it was in our bed.
We knew we had a lot to learn, but we had no idea how much.
Hearing the word paraplegic had made us focus on the big thing, the fact
that Linda could no longer walk. Less anticipated were the smaller
humiliations and inconveniences, like bowel movements in bed or on the way
to a party, sores that came out of nowhere and took months or years to heal,
and inaccessible restroom stalls that caused Linda to have to catheterize
herself in the public area where people were washing their hands and
And on it went, the list of indignities. She couldn¹t watch ³Good Morning
America² if the remote fell off the bed when she reached for her glasses.
She wet the seat on airplanes and in friends¹ cars. She could no longer feel
sexual intercourse (and the powerful muscle spasms in her legs threatened to
crush anyone who tried).
But we¹ve learned, and adapted. Now we know the places with good
handicapped-access bathrooms (Starbucks), which airline makes things easiest
(Southwest), which cities have smooth curb cuts (San Francisco), and which
movie theaters don¹t make us sit four feet from the screen.
Anyone who is in love is living a charmed life, especially if you¹ve been in
love for many years, through good times and bad. I have been crazy about
Linda since the first time I saw her. We always felt we could handle any
challenge because we were facing it together. This time we knew we had the
will, but the demands were so exhausting, the changes so pervasive, that
sometimes we wondered how we would cope.
This incredibly capable woman who loved to hike mountains, ride waves, and
run marathons, who had cleared our sizable backyard of eight-foot-high
brambles and helped me move all our furniture into three houses, suddenly
couldn¹t do any of those things, ever again.
Not long after getting home from the hospital, when we were having dinner by
candlelight at our kitchen table, she burst into tears. ³I don¹t know if I
can do this for the rest of my life,² she said.
All I could say was, ³We¹ll do it together.²
We began to think of what we could do to replace playing tennis, walking on
the beach, working in the garden. Since Linda loves the ocean, a friend
found a specially designed beach chair made of PVC tubing with wide inflated
tires that allow it to be pushed across the sand. It¹s yellow and white with
a big red umbrella.
The first time I saw Linda sitting atop those tubes and under the red
umbrella, I told her she looked like Ronald McDonald¹s homecoming
This is only the opening, for the full article: http://tinyurl.com/bpvhka
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