…….In Sickness and Health, Till Death Do Us Part
A few weeks ago, I attended my first wedding since Michael passed away. It was hard as I am sure all of the firsts will be. As I listened to the newlywed’s take their vows I wanted to interject “Watch out for the ‘In Sickness and In Health’ part it will get you every time.”
I was brought back to my own wedding day and thinking nothing of taking that vow, “In sickness and in health until death do us part”. My mindset was of a young couple that had their entire life ahead of them. We were invincible back then, we would be young forever and never get sick. It would always be like this, so I thought.
3 years into our marriage Michael was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – a liver disease. He would fight this for more than 21 years.
Our new normal became doctor visits, emergency runs to the hospital and countless hospital stays due to fevers and infections. It certainly wasn’t the future we had planned for ourselves but I was brought back to those vows “in sickness and in health” and we did what we needed to do.
As I look back now on Michael’s life this illness never defined him and it never stopped him. We went – we did – we saw. We not only packed socks and underwear for our trips, we packed the necessary medical supplies, which sometimes included a lymphedema pump that required its own suitcase. We mapped out the closest hospitals to where we were staying, just in case. We even started a family. This disease was simply an inconvenience not a showstopper.
We were so very lucky because Michael never acted sick nor did he look sick.
I remember the doctors at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, looking at Michael then looking at his medical records. They were in disbelief that that the medical records that they were reading belonged to the patient that was sitting in front of them.
The last 9 months of Michael’s life were the toughest. The 20 year plus long battle had started to take its toll and he started to look ill. I hated the eyes of pity that were placed on him but I knew in my heart of hearts that he would once again pull through this and Michael would be that strong healthy man that I married.
Unfortunately, God had other plans and needed my strong husband with Him.
I am so grateful for the 24 years I had with Michael. His life was cut short but it was so full. I can say that he lived every moment full out and he never let his illness define him or stop him.
We honored our vows to each other “in sickness and in health to death do us part”.
I just didn’t think the “death do us part” would happen so soon.