Most of us thrive with love and support but I am certain that this becomes even more important when life throws us a curve ball. We have certainly appreciated the love and support of family and friends. But, today is Valentine’s Day and I’m leaving it to our guest posters to share their stories.
SUSAN & SCOTT’S STORY
Valentine’s Day is just one day of the year; real love is shown 365 days of the year. I feel I have true love with my husband. My husband and I share a wonderful life. We are like any normal married couple (I’m in early 40’s and Scott is 50). We have been married 11 years. We enjoy spending time together in our little family, which includes a beautiful Labrador. We enjoy going out and visiting places and seeing different things. Scott enjoys fishing and I enjoy sitting with a book whilst he does that, or maybe relaxing, gazing into space. We like meeting up with friends and going out for meals. What makes our relationship a little different is that Scott has a degenerative neurological condition (Spinocerebellar Ataxia) that has resulted in him being in a motorised wheelchair. When we first met, Scott showed no signs of this condition, nor had he been diagnosed. We dated for approximately 2 years and then he suddenly called the relationship off after he was diagnosed, as he hadn’t come to terms with it himself, and as it was all unknown he did not feel he could put anybody else through that either. Little did he know that I don’t give up that easily when I love and care so much. We remained friends, and as you can tell we are now happily married.
Scott being in a wheelchair makes some of the things I mentioned a little more challenging – we still go fishing and away for holidays and out for dinner with friends occasionally, it just means more planning than the normal couple would require. Sure, times can be stressful, especially when trying to maintain a job and take Scott to medical appointments and extended stays in hospital, but we cope. It breaks my heart seeing Scott in so much pain and not being able to do anything to help. I am not a martyr and don’t do what I do for praise – I do it because I love Scott. Whilst I do a little more than the average wife as a result of Scott’s medical condition, I feel special and loved and know that I am never taken for granted. Scott shows his love for me everyday. Sure we have some tough times, but we cherish every moment together and find happiness in what we have and what we can do together. I know it may sound strange but I think the things we have had to cope with have made our relationship stronger. We still enjoy the little things in life. We enjoy time together, we laugh together, we cry together, we frustrate each other at times, we are there for each other, and ultimately we love each other – that’s what’s special – not a bunch of flowers, or jewellery, or fancy candlelit dinner.
P.S. Scott, if you read this, ignore the last bit about flowers – feel free to buy me a bunch and take me out for dinner some time.
HEIDZ & AYDAN’S STORY
I could not have made it through the rehabilitation process when I had my spinal cord injury if it wasn’t for the love and support my mum showed me. She was there for me whenever I needed and her just being there every day, to me, meant I was still loveable. She pushed me to become independent and be myself again. I cannot thank her enough and I love her more than anything.
2 years passed after my injury and I met my now boyfriend, Aydan. That was a whole new level of love. I had been in a relationship before but this was different. He encouraged me to be me and to keep being as independent as I was – he never let me play the wheelchair card and he supports me through anything we do like our first time travelling overseas for an entire month. My lifestyle doesn’t bother him like I assumed it would (as do lots of people with a new disability).
He and my mother continue to inspire me to be the best person I can be. To learn from any experiences I have and to love those that add meaning to your life.
2015 was an extremely difficult one for us, as my injury is acquired and it was the year I was told I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. The love of my beautiful husband and daughter is what kept me going, when all I wanted was to leave and let them live their own lives. They showed totally unconditional love no matter how I pushed then away. We have come out the other side now and I realise they love me not only for who I was but who I am now.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post. I felt privileged to share in your stories.
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