When I met my wife, Kathy, we both confessed to being hopeless romantics. I knew this was a good sign. Our relationship progressed rather quickly. Our claims proved to be true, as our times together included flowers (especially roses), dinner at an Italian restaurant with just the right lighting, dancing with flickering candles to our favourite ballads, and me opening the car door for her.
These were the kinds of things we were hoping for in a relationship and it ticked boxes for both of us. We had normal expectations of any new relationship that seems to be going well. We’d date, get engaged when the time is right, and get married with a big ceremony. The marriage would also be full of romance, we’d pool our resources, and do pretty well from the world’s perspective.
That romantic idea was just an idyllic dream. It wasn’t long before we had a better one. I’d crash my motorcycle (with someone else’s “assistance”), mangle my legs, and end up in the hospital for almost two months. I’d propose to her in the hospital, marry her in the registrars office, and honeymoon in the hospital because of an infection. We’d be apart for over a month after that as I went to a live-in rehab centre.
Our dates from then on involved her driving, loading my wheelchair into the car, and then helping me push myself to our destination.
For almost our whole time together, Kathy has been acting as caregiver to varying degrees (which involved unmentionable help with personal care in the early days). She has gone through every minute of my pain, which has been great pain at times! She has taken part in the struggle to regain some abilities and she helped me figure out how to walk again with crutches. We have ridden the rollercoaster together of hospital appointments and disappointments. Hopes were dashed and dreams were revised.
Kathy has had to relive the single life again numerous times due to extended hospital stays and we kept our hearts warmed over video the best we could. We accepted together that limb reconstruction had failed and amputation was inevitable (indeed, beneficial). There were (only brief) discussions about post-amputation attraction and renewed talk of commitment and loyalty.
Yes, that is romance – romance at its best. This is a romance that shows the love of a sacrificial, servant-hearted God to the world. I am blessed.