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IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH



Joined: 10/9/2011
Posts: 7
TrustingGodsPlan
Many people say this line of their wedding vows without really giving much thought to what the “in sickness” part might look like. When you are healthy, the term “sickness” often means a cold or the flu or maybe bronchitis. But for many, sickness can take on a more sinister turn into the realm of chronic illness.

A chronic illness is, by definition, one that lasts more than either 3 or 6 months; then you have the illnesses and/or injuries from which you recover and those from which you have permanent disability or even death. Sadly, the statistics are not in your favor if you are married and fall chronically ill with 75% of all marriages ending in divorce.

The stress of living with an illness can be incredible; so can the stress of living with someone who has an illness. It turns your world upside down. At first, you are often bombarded by well-meaning friends and relatives who like to diagnose you or pass judgment on what treatment course you chose…and if you do not get better, often, they seem to think you do not want to or have taken the victim role. Not always, but often, they tire of you not being able to do what you once did and move on.

Even the family members grow weary when the disability is severe and even the strongest of relationships can be tested. It was not the future you had planned and there is the loss of your hopes and dreams. Even your faith can be tested as you wonder why this happened; did you deserve this; are you being punished; why me? But the more important question should be this: Where do you go from here?

To borrow from the Marines: You improvise, you adapt, you overcome…together…and you hold on to your faith. You are not being punished…tested - maybe. Is it easy…no. But, who ever said life or marriage would be easy? You learn to communicate and support one another in love and honor the vows you made. They were not just random words spoken that day, but a solemn vow to honor each other “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do you part.” And yes, there is forgiveness if you cannot make it…but there is such great reward if you can. While it may not be easy, it is worth it. Fight for it! Empty Nest…Full Heart

We all have dreams and expectations when we have children and we all have experiences along the way that mold and shape both us and our children into the people we become. We make choices…they make choices…sometimes others make choices that change us forever. I cannot say that things turned out the way I thought it would as my only daughter heads off to college next Fall…there have been many challenges, come very difficult and dark times, and yet she has some through with a wisdom that belies her tender years. I know I am not sending an innocent immature kid off to college, but a confident young woman who has learned to excel past anyone’s expectations in everything she does.

She knows how to comfort because she has experienced loss. She has learned how to deal with real tragedy and trauma because she has seen it first hand. And she has learned you do not give up on love but you persevere for better or worse even when it is really, really hard because she witnessed it. She lost a lot of things and it took her a while for her to find her way, but she always excelled in everything she did and will graduate with honors. She has gone on to participate in leadership programs, and now she herself will lead.

So while if I had had it my way, I would have protected her from all the bad stuff…some of which is her story to tell…without it, she would not be the incredible, strong woman she is today. And while I have already been warned how many times a week I may call my independent soon to be college honors student, I hope she knows that while my nest will be empty, my heart is full of nothing but pride and admiration for that sweet little girl who did not just survive her difficult road - she thrived. And I know there is nothing she cannot do…so look out world…here comes my girl!
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