The guy in the chair, who lost his ability to walk, but found his mobility through a change in his heart. A change when his mind was awakened by the gift of Purpose.
“And your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Its darkness will be like the morning.” Job11:17
This past weekend Sergio and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. Sergio and I decided that we didn’t want to spend money on gifts we didn’t need. Instead we started a list of things we needed replaced or repaired in our home. When we woke up on the morning of our anniversary I decided that I would suggest we take a trip to Sergio’s favorite place, the hardware store. We made a wish list, got dressed, and were ready to celebrate. Before we headed out Sergio asked me to do the one thing I hate the most. To drive to the city. Not only drive but to drive an older truck he just bought for occasions like this. Since we’ve only had the truck for a couple of months Sergio hasn’t had the opportunity to install hand controls, leaving me no choice but to drive. Otherwise he would not have asked me to drive, and if he didn’t have the excuse of no hand controls I would not have agreed to drive. He was excited but probably more surprised that I was willing to drive this big old truck to the city and haul all the stuff we would purchase. So being the good wife that I am, I agreed. I convinced myself this was just the adventure we needed. Sergio and I alone, music blaring, wind in our hair, hot cup of coffee as we drive down the highway from little Yuma to the city.
It’s not common that we get to take a road trip just the two of us, even if it is just for the day. This last year we had the opportunity to do a little traveling. The traveling has been a blessing minus the fact that we had to be apart. With our jobs and kids we could not travel together much this year. Last month I was away from Sergio for 4 days and I missed him every second he was gone. You never know how much a person is a vital part of you until you are away from them. You do not realize how much their presence in a bed makes a difference until that side is empty and there is that void.
When Sergio and I were first married we didn’t leave each other very often. Our jobs did not require travel and we couldn’t afford to take many vacations. Most of our trips were work related To be honest I struggled with trusting him and always felt I needed to be around to guide him. It was hard to let go for fear of him getting hurt and not being around to help him, and I suffered with anxiety when he was away. Answering the phone not once, but twice to be told your loved has been shot, changes you. I feared my husband could be hurt at any moment. I feared that when he wasn’t around me something terrible could happen and after surviving two separate shootings how would he be lucky enough to survive anything else traumatic that could happen to him? Sometimes I would allow fear from our past to overtake me. I would start to panic at that thought of us being apart. It took me a long time trust that God would take care of our relationship. I wanted to be in control, I thought I was in control until I realized that I was hurting us by holding on too tight and not letting go of the past
Today I embrace our past and use our story to help anyone who needs it. While I was traveling and sharing my story I was asked by a young wife. Can you give some wisdom on how you stay in love and how you keep your love alive? She asked me in front of her husband and he leaned in as I answered. That simple act of him being attentive made my heart soar, he wanted to know just as much as she did what I had to say. He wanted to keep his his marriage healthy. This was a great sign of a man wanting to keep his wife happy. You see I do not believe that he was wanting to know what it was that his wife would be doing to enhance their marriage, I believe he was listening because he wanted to know what he could do to keep his marriage happy. This guy was doing the first part of keeping a healthy relationship. He was listening and he was being present.
What I shared with this couple is what I learned years ago from the book Love and Respect. If you have not read this book I encourage you to do so. It will forever change how you see your spouse and learn how much a woman needs to feel loved and how a man needs to feel respected. Men you can convince yourself that your wife knows you love her, but really the truth is probably not as deeply as she should feel your love. Girls, I am sorry when I say this but not really that sorry. We can be the most distasteful brats to our husbands. There I said it. I know this because I myself fall in the trap. Sometime in the smallest ways I can be disrespectful to my husband. I can be demanding and want everything my way, not honoring him as a person.
As I shared with this young couple It made me realize that even in the years of marriage and with the passion to empower women to love their husband beyond measure. That my marriage along with yours need work. Why yes the men can help a little around the house, bring the flowers and the unexpected hugs, but what I want and desire for you and I as woman to understand is that we carry the greatest role when it comes to showing respect. Praying honoring and thanking our husband for what they do for us and our families is vital. When’s the last time you thanked your husband for getting up in the morning and going to work and proving? If your mind quickly went to when was the last time he thanked me for………….You are not getting what I am saying. Go buy the book. I promise it will transform your marriage.
This year for my anniversary I planned on honoring my husband. I did not expect him to go out and buy me flowers. Instead I did the thing I hate the most, I drove his old pick up to the city. But after the drive we did the things we loved together. I love going to the hardware store with my husband. I loved to see him get excited over home improvement projects. I helped him pick out our new bathtub that we would install together. Together we picked new flooring for our dining room and living room. And my gift from Sergio was not flowers but instead he spent the rest of the weekend installing the new flooring, a project we have been wanting to do for years.
This anniversary I wanted him to not only hear how much I respect him but to feel how grateful I am to have him. Relationships are hard. We have our ups and downs. We have been in those dark places. Sometimes we have no idea how we will survive another day with this person. I know how you feel I have been there a time or two. Even Sergio, I bet, has thought what in the heck am going to do this this woman. Probably not as often as I have felt this way. I am kidding. I promise you that once you master the art of respecting your spouse you will begin to see change on your marriage. He will love you for it.
A wife to a man in wheels. Sharing my life with all of the struggles in hopes to open up the highways of understanding, compassion, love, and hope. Follow me as I tread through.
In 1992 my boyfriend, my soulmate was shot several times and left for dead. In 2016 my husband, my best friend lives and “stands” proud. Today in the noise of life we have learned to sit in silence and hear our unspoken love.
When I found out that Sergio was never going to walk again the shock ran deep. I felt an unfamiliar pain. My heart hurt for him and my breath was taken away when the words “His spinal cord has been completely severed,” rolled out of the surgeon’s mouth. Paralyzed.
At 18, Sergio was trying to get his life together to silence the call of the streets. His mistakes were finally seen as such, mistakes. He began to dream of his future and we would smile at his desires to continue community college and truly become a family. I could see a change in him, one with hope and purpose. We were going to make it but then we found out the news, he would be a prisoner to a wheelchair. Why? I couldn’t understand why he had to suffer in this matter. Why had the light finally shone through his darkness in one day be completely turned off? A light switch to his walk, off forever.
The night Sergio became paralyzed was filled with so many emotions, I couldn’t begin to explain all of them. When surrounded by his hurting family I did my best not to break down. Once I was alone I was able to fall completely apart. All by myself I was free to fight my own pain. The thought of him being a victim of such a horrible act of violence ran over and over in my mind. The thought of the condition he was left in created a nightmare of a scene. The words “left for dead” made my body tighten. Why would anyone want to take his life?
In the first few days of his long stay in the hospital I had no words to share but “I love you.” I repeated those words three words over and over again. I needed him to hear me so that he knew I was always going to love him. I didn’t pause to hear him say the words back. I didn’t need that, it didn’t matter to me. I never asked him to tell me the events of the night. I relied on family members and hospital staff to fill me in. I would listen to his answers when others asked him the tough questions. I could not allow myself to look into his eyes and ask if he understood what the doctors has just told us. Most of our time together we stayed away from conversations for doubts, concerns, and uncertainties. We never spoke of his nor my fears. Even in his desperate attempts to close me out of his upside down world we never spoke details of his legs never moving again. Our unspoken love took over and pushed love to show up in our actions. The holding of hands, the placing of checks side by side came often. The gentle rubs on the tops for heads to the many nights of just hearing each other’s heart beat. A reminder that while our hearts carry scars they still beat.
Why were we able to know each other’s thoughts without saying a word? Perhaps it was because we both already knew that no matter what we would survive this day and the days to follow. We both knew that we had already allowed our hearts to blend together as one. They were connected.
Love is unspoken at times, souls talk to each other in trauma. They hear each other in the noise of hurt. They touch in pain.
Today in the noise of life we can sit in silence and hear our unspoken love. Our hearts speak telling us to Keep Rolling On!
When you close your eyes in pain what is your heart saying? Can you hear the heart of your loved ones? Are you able to quiet your mind enough to hear though the noise?
I have spent many, many Valentine’s Days with Sergio. In the summer of 1990 we fell in love and this fall we celebrated our 21st anniversary. I can’t think of a Valentine’s Day that sticks out from all the rest, or one that I would rank as a memorable moment. They have all been very simple and I love that they continue to be.
Sorry ladies, you may not agree with me when I say that I don’t expect much from my husband on this day of Love. Yes I do love gifts and I wouldn’t pass up a date with my husband. I enjoy flowers and I don’t mind a good piece or two of chocolate. I smile when I get cards that Sergio has picked out and has written a personal message in. I am certain that I have each and every card he has ever given me. I cherish the little things. I am a simple girl.
We have 365 days of love
I cherish much more the day to day things that make me know how much I am loved. I don’t share this to brag and I am honest in saying that my relationship with Sergio hasn’t always been this way, we have come a long way. Every day, I say this with all honesty, Sergio professes his love to me verbally. Not a day passes that he doesn’t greet me in the morning with an I love you and he says it again before I close my eyes at night. Sergio and I spend 80% of our mornings talking over coffee. Coffee that he has prepared and placed before me. This quiet time is spent sharing our work week and plans for the coming days. We often laugh together and in times of need we have cried together. Sergio is known to call my office just to say he loves me and I often get text messages filled with loving expressions. He still holds my hand often and will ask me to sit on his lap so that he can embrace me. He tells me often that he believes me to be the most beautiful woman on earth and shares how proud he is of my efforts in whatever goal I am currently working on. He has always been my biggest fan.
I don’t expect much on Valentine’s day because I don’t need to wait to be shown that I am loved. Sergio shows me by the way he adores me and honors God by being a help mate. He never asks me to do anything that he is not willing to help me do. Yes guys listen up. He vacuums, dusts, sweeps, mops, does laundry, cooks and the list goes on and on. He never expects our home to look a certain way and he is not picky at the meals that I place in front of him. When I struggle Sergio invites me to sit in his lap and allows me to cry. Often he will ask me if I want him to pray. When my heart is broken hearing my husband’s conversations with God on my behalf soothes me. Having a husband willing to help me center my heart is better that any Valentine gift. Having a husband that openly shares his love everyday makes a day of Love unnecessary.
We have 365 Days of Love!
Showing each other the we love every day of the year is something that I pray that we are striving to do. I am not suggesting that you skip buying your loved one a gift. I say go ahead and do that. What I am begging of you is to not stop on Valentine’s day, continue expressing your love daily. Showing love every day is the greatest gift you can give. Make it a mission for 365 days this year.
Share with us your plans for Valentine’s Day and how you show your love 365.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Growing up in a house with 5 other siblings sometimes made it difficult for me to feel that I was forgotten or that there wasn’t enough love to go around. It seemed that the only way I received attention was when I got into trouble and I needed to be disciplined.
This is how I got both of my parents to pay attention to me and only me. The sad part of all of this was that the attention that I received came in the form of frustration, disappointment, and anger.
Those weren’t the reactions that I wanted when I felt alone or that I wasn’t loved but they were the reactions I received because of my behavior.
All I was looking for was love, I didn’t want to feel alone, but I didn’t know any other way to get it.
Now that I’m older and am able to look back at these sad and lonely moments in my past and I’m overcome with the task of not letting history repeat itself. My parents did not intentionally make me feel the way I did, they were working hard at making a living and trying to provide for their family.
They just forgot to make the small investments of time that would show me that they loved me. Love doesn’t need to be big to be genuine, it just needs to be found in the small things we do every day. Life has a way of filling our lives with so much stuff that we forget to acknowledge and pay attention to the ones we love. We must work hard at showing our loved ones that they matter.
Here are 5 easy ways to start showing love:
1. AffectionIf seeing is believing touching is knowing. Kisses and hugs show that you are connected.
2. Random surprisesShow up to school to have lunch or to a practice just to watch, this says I love you and am thinking of you.
3. Make time No matter how busy you are, take a small amount of your day to help with homework, ask for help with dinner or just watch a show. The key here is being together.
4. Put an effort in to it Don’t think just because you’re doing the above 3 tasks that it is seen and felt. Remember that the more effort you put in to a gesture of love the more the recipient sees and feels it.
5. Be supportiveEven when mistakes are made, let them know that you’re still there for them. Remember that we learn from their mistakes.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Be the change, take some time today to offer the gift of your love and kindness to someone, a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or stranger. Love is seen in the small thing we do and say every day, so let your actions be seen and the word be heard.
I want to share with you a special event that will be taking place in my life this week; my 20th wedding anniversary. Norah and I have decided to celebrate the achievement by renewing our vows.
Where has the time gone? It’s amazing when I look back at the past 20 years that I have shared with my wife, my best friend, my companion, and my rock. I close my eyes and pray to the Lord, thanking him for delivering my angel. God knew that the only thing that could break down my walls was the love Norah had for me. You could say that I lived the old cliche “looking for love in all the wrong places.” She was the main reason I found strength in myself, the main reason I could see hope for my life.
I wish I could say that I swooped down and swept her off her feet, or that I was her prince charming who rescued her from the tower, but that’s not how it happened. Instead people wondered what she saw in me, knowing I had nothing to offer Norah. The person I was 20 years ago was not a person you would invite to dinner or introduce to your parents. But my angel had a way of making me see the good in myself and the good in the world. She opened my mind to the possibility of a future. I was given the tenderness of her heart and the passion of her affection. I now have a inner drive to become a better man, a better husband, a better father and that drive is fueled by pure love.
Norah must have saw something in me 20 years ago because when I asked her to marry me, she said yes!
Every morning when I wake up and I see Norah, I get a warm sensation that comes over me. I grin because I think what a lucky man I am. So I close my eyes and pray to the Lord.
“Thank you for blessing me with my wife and my children, thank you for blessing me with the ability to be a father, thank you for showing me that I‘m a whole man, not half of one because I’m in a wheelchair, and thank you for the ability to show the world that not all is ever lost. Amen.”
While drinking my coffee in the morning I raise my head as I look around and see what Norah and I have achieved together. A feeling of deep pleasure and satisfaction overwhelms me. I have a beautiful house, a career, a family, and I am part of the community that I can call home. These are things that I wished for when I was younger, things that I believed only happened in the movies.
I can say that it wasn’t easy, every time we felt we were getting ahead something bad would happen, testing our faith in each other and in the Lord. While drinking, my now cold coffee, I am still smiling because the hard times made us stronger in each other and stronger in the Lord. If there was one word I could use to describe where we were 20 years ago as a couple it would have to be
We were easily broken, we were easily shattered, we were damaged, we were delicate, brittle, and frail.
But now we have
There is power in our love, we are a force together like Batman and Robin. I know I am in the right relationship when when my wife considers herself Batman in the relationship. Our love is full of energy. It is what lights the path of what is to come, so we are never in the dark again. This is what I hope my kids see when they think of their parents and I hope they know it doesn’t only happen in the movies. I want people to see how in love Norah and I are and know that the hard times were a part of our journey.
My second cup of coffee is followed by the footsteps of Norah walking toward me and placing her hands on my shoulders while she says “Good morning my love.” It sends a warm chill up my back and instantly a smile forms from ear to ear. What a great way to start the day!
This is when she drinks her first cup of coffee and we spend the next hour talking about what we need to do for the day and catching up on our family. I have to admit this is one of my favorite times of the day. It gives me the jump start that I need to tackle the day.
I‘m excited to renew my vows with Norah. I can’t wait to share the moment of us standing alone in front of God proclaiming our love to one another. I enjoy watching the planning and activities surrounding this special celebration. I love seeing how my wife lights up when her invitations arrive. Watching all of the women in our family make decorations for our special day gets me excited to know how much this means to them. I can’t wait to hold Norah’s hand as we walk and roll down the church aisle and read our vows to each other. I want her to sit on my lap and dance the night away, as we smile and whisper to each other. I now have to give thanks to the Lord because she said Yes again! I wonder how I will feel the next morning when I have my first cup of coffee, as I wait for the sound of her steps walking toward me to rub my shoulders. Mmm Bless!!
Keep Rolling On
Share with me what you do to keep your day rolling on.