Monday, August 13, 2012

Through Sickness and in Health...

When Eric and I took our marriage vows, back in 1988, I foolishly imagined we would not test the “through sickness and in health” part until we were old and gray. We were both young and strong, marrying at ages 23 and 20. But in 1994 a prenatal test was taken too early and the false results cost us a few days’ peace before another one confirmed that our second daughter was going to be okay. It was our first jolt of reality that life can turn on a dime. We then suffered a miscarriage in 1998 and grieved that terrible loss, then walked on eggshells as we expected our next baby in 1999. All in all however, we were blessed with three children, all very healthy. No broken bones, no scary childhood diseases, only one rough month of severe physical reactions when Sydney had her wisdom teeth out at age 17. It’s a rarity that any of us come down with the flu, and there have been only a couple of times when Eric and I have needed one another to offer tender loving care for more than a day or two. Although I must admit that I am not the most patient of caregivers, I was there for him when he had surgery on his ankles to improve their flexibility. He was there for me (and surpassed me in consideration) when I suffered two bouts of pulled back muscles. Of course there was the one time I was frightened thinking I had breast cancer after my first mammogram showed abnormalities, but a subsequent exam again gave me a reprieve. We have been quite lucky. We are blessed.

But now our vows of 1988 are truly being tested. You see, what I was most naive in thinking all those years ago, was that the sicknesses we would need to endure together would be our own, or even those of our children. But that’s not the whole truth of the marriage vow. It appears that it applies to a wider circle. It seems Eric and I are meant to go together, hand in hand, tear by tear, through the trials of our Moms’ illnesses. Our Moms are both facing unique battles, despite the difference in their ages (my Mom is 85, his is just 67). There are no false tests to look for this time around. Although there is always hope, for nothing is impossible with God, the present and different health situations our Moms face reminds us the importance of all it will take to be there for one another again. 

The days, weeks, months, and years ahead will challenge us both, not to mention our loved ones. Some of what we face we must work through as individuals. Much of what we’ll endure can not be predicted. But our marriage vows are not to be forgotten. After all, our Moms each stood as witness to the love that brought he and I together. We were both raised by stoic, selfless, strong, sensational women. I have absolutely no doubt that Barbara’s first child and Doris’ last child will continue to make their Moms proud.

The following websites offer you a way to make a contribution to fight for the abolishing of the diseases that our Moms endure. Thank you for your generosity whether in monetary donation or in prayer.

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