He surprised me on my birthday with a photo shoot by my sister-in-law, Sheila Wagler, at the covered bridge where he had proposed. I was beyond excited. It was a most wonderful birthday date. He took the afternoon off. We walked around in stores like Pier One Imports, ate Wendy’s frosties, and relaxed by the bridge until Sheila arrived to do this fun photo shoot.
These past weeks he’s had to care for me. Again. Several times he had to drop what he was doing and rush home from work to find me twisted on the floor or jerking in my bed, my phone lying beside me where I’d managed to clumsily hit his number.
He wakes up in the middle of the night to massage my aching muscles or stays awake with me when the pain levels have climbed too high for me to manage on my own. When my head is all confused and muddled, he doesn’t get frustrated, but remains as gentle as ever.
Never does he complain or make me feel like a burden. Instead, he tells me he’s glad he married me, that he likes being able to take care of me. Even so, it makes me sad to watch him do the things very few young husbands have to do.
He loves me well, this man.
When we first met, I was not at all looking for a relationship. I felt that to expect someone to walk this road with me was too much to ask of anyone. Nor did I expect anyone would want to. So it came as a surprise when my dad told me Joe had met with him and asked if he could approach me about beginning a courtship.
I went through all kinds of emotions. There was amazement that I was actually attractive to someone, fear of a relationship, and anger… I guess for disrupting my life. My sisters would be glad to tell you of the time I threw a hand mirror, breaking it in my frustration. I prayed for definite leading. God didn’t give me a “no” and I’m so glad now that he didn’t!
As we began our relationship, we were both faced with warnings and skepticism.
People warned Joe about dating a sick girl. Some thought he was stupid, that I was a “second best” and he shouldn’t “settle” for me but go for a whole girl. Some thought he wouldn’t be able to handle it. And some openly admired him for being so brave and amazing, willing to love a sick girl with seizures.
Joe hated it all. He had sought advice from people whom he trusted and who knew my situation. He felt like he had taken this step with care. But he especially disliked it when people made a big deal over him and let him know they thought he was amazing. “I’m not doing this for people to admire me or think I’m this big hero!” He told me.
He wanted me for me.
And I love him for that.
Folks told me I’d better hang on to him cause not many guys would date a sick girl.
Was I a “second” and not worth a good man’s attentions? I determined to make sure I wasn’t an object of pity for him. I wasn’t going to marry him just because I was scared of ending up single.
Poor Joe, I made it pretty tough for him as I made sure he knew exactly what he was getting into and held back from getting too emotionally involved until I knew if he really loved me for me, and if he was truly ok with my disease.
I think he is brave, amazing, worthy of admiration and very much a hero. He gave me unconditional love, he was steady and incredibly patient, willing to give me all the time I needed. I couldn’t help but fall in love with him.
It amazes me when I think of how God orchestrated this part of our lives, sending me someone who is, in so many ways, absolutely perfect for me. Often when we are away from home, strangers will come up to me and comment on how they can tell my husband loves me and is a special man. I love that! When people notice how great he is.
Now, he is not going to appreciate this post because I’m bragging on him and it will make him uncomfortable. But I just need to let folks know, at least once, what a special guy I married.