Like most people, I grew up looking forward to finding and settling down with that special someone. However, unlike most people, I wondered if having a disability would preclude me from that opportunity. Nine years ago, those fears were laid to rest.
Nine years ago in May, I should have been out enjoying my bachelor party. Instead, I was at my mother’s house writhing in pain (not exactly how I’d pictured my last night as a single man). Because I knew that if I went to the emergency room, they’d end up admitting me to the hospital and I would miss my wedding. I spent the night trying to tough it out. And I did.
The next day Casey and I were married for time and eternity in a beautiful ceremony in front of family and friends. I’ll never forget how beautiful she looked; I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Two weeks later, instead of flying to our reception in California and heading out on our honeymoon cruise, I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery (it wasn’t exactly the start we had hoped for).
I spent that entire summer in the hospital and even though she was young, scared and tired, Casey rarely left my side. Whenever bad news would come or my pain increased, I’d look at her and find strength in her loving face. Eventually, we made it out of the hospital and home again. Together.
In the nine years that have followed, I’ve had multiple surgeries and more hospital visits than I care to recall. Through it all, Casey has been my rock. And though we’ve each had our moments of struggle, she has always been there for me.
Despite the obstacles, physical or otherwise, that life has placed before us, we consider ourselves extremely blessed to have had far more ups than downs. And, while we may wish that things were easy (or maybe just easier), our challenges have brought us closer together. Indeed, in going through the great refiner’s fire, our marriage has blossomed into something more beautiful than either of us could have imagined nine years ago. We’ve done more than make it through tough times; we’ve stood by one another to overcome (together) whatever life has seen fit to place before us.
This body of mine cannot pour out enough tears to convey the gratitude, love and admiration I feel for my angel. Thankfully, tears aren’t what she needs. What she needs is someone to love her and hold her up as the miracle that she is — and that just happens to be my specialty!
Thanks for putting up with me, angel.