Whose Sickness or Health?

Today is our anniversary!  Gary and I have been married 42 years.  I don’t even know how that’s possible, but somehow it is. 

There we stood in my beautiful home church in West Virginia, young and in love, pledging our vows to each other. 

Now we’re old, although I really don’t feel like it most days…and we’re still in love.  Our love is deeper and more settled than those early years, rooted in all the ups and downs of life that we have weathered together.

On my mind today are those familiar vows that are so often spoken at weddings.  We promised to stay true to each other “in sickness and in health.”

Never ever even once did I think of the sickness and health part as being anyone other than Gary or me.  Having a child with lifelong health issues was not anywhere on our radar when we spoke those words to each other and before God.

Today our plans were simple.  We would eat lunch out together while Aaron was at his day group.  Time alone while Aaron was happily occupied was a perfect plan.

Just before 8:00 this morning I heard Aaron having a seizure.  This is not unexpected.  I knew at that moment that our anniversary day plans would be changed. 

Later, when Aaron was awake and hungry, here was our view for a late breakfast on our patio.

And it’s OK, truly.  Gary and I are very used to these sorts of changed plans in our life.  And I am not trying in any way to garner sympathy. 

What has been on my mind this morning is that when Gary and I spoke those vows about sickness, we in reality were referring to our life with Aaron as much as anything – though we had no idea of our future.

Aaron’s life of special needs has been very trying at times.  Yet through it all, Gary has stood right by my side.  He has never wavered due to the stress of it all.  The demands of our many years in the military, his own career decisions, our moves, so many doctors, hospital stays…well, I could go on for a long time about how Aaron’s life has impacted Gary’s in particular.

But Gary never bailed on me or Aaron.  He has led and sacrificed and given of himself to both me and Aaron over and over and over.

So our vows, as I ponder them this morning, have taken on an even sweeter meaning to me. 

Staying true in our son’s sickness and health is indeed the greatest gift of love that I have been given by my husband…my husband of 42 years!! 

Happy Anniversary, Gary!   I love you so much. 

We’ll do a rain check on our lunch. 

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

29 thoughts on “Whose Sickness or Health?”

  1. Happy 42nd Wedding Anniversary Gary and Patty! May the Lord bless and keep you all of your family and Aaron. A special day that you can look at each other, smile and know the Lord has sustained you and that you are together in love and enjoyment of each other. Enjoy!

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  2. Happy anniversary! 💖 42 years is so wonderful, and that is a beautiful photo 🙂 And in my opinion love is always there, but it really shines when difficulties arise. And it seems you both can shine bright as stars! Your sudden change of plans is taken with such a light attitude, that’s very inspiring to see. God bless you and yours 😊

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  3. Happy anniversary to you and Gary! After we’ve been married for a while, I don’t think it matters quite so much which day we celebrate (or even what that celebration looks like) as the fact that we do take the time to celebrate and appreciate one another. Congratulations to you two on 42 years as husband and wife. Here’s wishing you many more!

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  4. OH, Patty, I can so identify. When I said “in sickness or in health”, I thought of a cold or the flu. That would be easy. But never did I think of having a child with an illness that is life-long, nor did I think of Parkinson’s for 23 years. Perhaps that we need to add that into wedding vows! But both of us can be thankful to God for the health to be able to care for Aaron and Carlton. It isn’t easy, as you mentioned, but it is the right thing to do, and we do it out of love. I’m so thankful God chose us for this road and gave us the skills to do it. Hugs to you today!

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    1. You said it perfectly, Cheryl. God truly gives grace and peace and skills that we never dreamed we would need. Thank you for the example you have set so well and I’m sure will continue to do so on this new path you are walking. Hugs and love to you, my friend.

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  5. I read your post with tears in my eyes. (Which happens quite often when I read your blog! ) I was just entertaining a little pity for myself this morning about how many of my friends are now experiencing empty nests – and I’m quite sure mine will always be less empty.
    I have never thought about our wedding vows the way you expressed them. It is a beautiful way to look at them and yet another blessing I now choose to count and be grateful for! Thank you for sharing this precious story and for being authentic in your writing. It encourages me to keep going, loving and serving. Happy Anniversary and May the Lord bless you and keep you.

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  6. Happy Anniversary! I think both you and your husband are inspiring, in the way you care for Aaron and the way you stay so committed to each other. You’re an example for the rest of us!

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  7. This is so encouraging and inspiring! Truly, you not only give support to Aaron in his sickness but you also inspire those of us who are so blessed to receive your kindness in email and through your blog. Happy Anniversary to you and Gary!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Anniversary Patty and Gary. Every day I love to scroll through the news online and inevitably there will be long, very superficial, and vapid articles about the latest Hollywood star being in love with someone and what their glorious jet set life is like. What you just wrote about your marriage to Gary and your growth together struggling hand in hand with Aaron’s health problems as well as raising an incredibly remarkable family is the real true love story that people should be celebrating.

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    1. I love what you said, Barbara – not just about Gary and me, but about all of us living normal lives and working hard in those lives, and our marriages. I wouldn’t take one day of their fame and fortune over the true love I have. Blessings, Barbara!

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  9. Happy Anniversary, Patty and Gary! I hope you realize how special it is to have been with someone who loves you all these 42 years. Being alone can be very lonely. Everything about our lives is not perfect, but there are always many things to be thankful for. And we must dwell on these things. Many blessings, my friend!

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