Today, July 20th is Patti and my 23rd wedding anniversary.
In 4 months, Thanksgiving morning will be my 19th anniversary of juggling Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiving and basically single parenting.
Today's forecast of hot, humid, and high of 96 degrees is a perfect accompaniment for the above pictures from our outdoor ceremony and reception at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, MD. It was dress up for the ceremony and bring a change of clothes for our summer picnic themed reception.
“To have and to hold in sickness and in health …yada yada” was specifically excluded from our wedding vows that July day. Patti's choice, she had tried that vow 5 years earlier and a diagnosis of ‘probable MS’ loomed. Obviously it has not mattered. Living is more about actions.
While sorting old pictures I found ‘the words’ we did choose to use that day:
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
Stand together yet not too near together:
The oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other's shadow.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”
جبران خليل جبران بن ميخائيل بن سعد
Gibran Khalil Gibran bin Mikhael bin Saâd
Marriage when disability or chronic illness enters the relationship does not do well in the United States, 80% is the divorce rate. Yet we are a society that rarely sees things through anyway, over half of all marriages end in divorce.
Plus with disability or chronic illness there are legal and economic reasons pro and con marriage and believe me they evolve over the years not unlike a mutated version of the 'traditional' wedding anniversary gifts.
That “hand of life” holds a lifetime of unknowns, dreams, and challenges.
July 20th is also the perfect night to recharge the dreamer in you with a glance at the moon. 39 years ago Neil Armstrong took that first small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. ... Oh what the hell, go ahead and howl at the moon! It's definitely more fun!
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
website: www.CaregivinglyYours.comvideos: http://www.youtube.com/daddyleer
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")