Sunday, December 4, 2011

Joe and Mary

I recently seem to have friends that have friends that are going through a separation and then of course the next step is divorce. Should it be? Not in my mind, the next step should be working together to figure how you get back what you had to want to be married to each other in the first place.
I don't believe that divorce should be as easy as it is.  People buy a car and make a commitment to make payments for a number of years and there are some people that are more committed to making the payments on that vehicle than they are to work on a marriage. 
A while ago I met an elderly couple through my work.  I'm going to call them Joe and Mary.  Joe and Marry have been married for a number of years.  Mary now has Alzheimer's.  Joe looks after all of Mary's needs.  She no longer has dementia, the precursor to Alzheimer's where she's forgetful and sometimes miserable.  Now she is at the stage where she has regressed to the point of being an infant now.  Total care.  She is in a wheel chair, she no longer communicates through words but instead grunts every once in awhile. 
The first time I met them  I met them in an office.   Joe drove up in an old Chev single cab truck.  From the back he got Mary's wheelchair, he carefully carried her out of the truck and into the wheelchair.  He came into the office, making sure he told her everything they were doing and ensuring he didn't get her feet knocked around on any doors or corners.  When they were in the meeting room she made some sound and Joe quickly rubbed her arm and said, "It's okay love we won't be long." 
When we were done meeting he just as carefully wheeled her out and just as carefully lifted her into the truck again.
This week I went to their home to meet again.  They live in an ancient farm house that was very drafty so they both were wearing layers of clothing and a hat.  Mary was dressed in her Sunday best it looked like.  Again he talked to her just as lovingly and when she reached out for his hand he took it and caressed the top of her hand while we talked. 
Now this couple makes me smile with a tear in my eye.  The love that Joe has for Mary when Mary is no longer Mary and really Mary can no longer reciprocate the love that Joe has for her.  To love a person this much is what I think marriage is about.  For Better or Worse.  This is definitely the worst and Joe is in the worse and through that time he still loves Mary. 
I want this type of marriage.  The type where when the worst comes we know we will still love each other and get through it. 
I have another story similar but different to this one and maybe another time I will share it.  So for anyone that reads this blog and is married, when you think your marriage is at it's worst, is it as bad and Joe and Mary's and what are you going to do about it?

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