By Melanie Baker Trimarco
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. ~Mark 10: 7-8
October 9th is the four-year anniversary of the death of my husband. The irony of today’s Gospel makes me chuckle. Seriously, God always has a hand in our lives, even when we are selecting dates to write a blog post.
I lost Mark in 2017 after a lengthy illness. As much as I wanted him to beat the odds and receive a miracle, God had other plans.
Like other Catholics preparing for marriage, we attended Pre-Cana. Catholic marriage is a sacrament, and the Catholic Church wants couples to be well-prepared. The wedding lasts a day, but a marriage lasts a lifetime. Each of us wanted to be the best we could for ourselves and each other. Family values were important to each of us. Integrity was important.
Being the spouse of a chronically ill person can be challenging. Sure, there were times where it would have been easy to walk away. It would have been easy to simply take care of myself. Yes, there were times when I honestly did not know if I had it in me to maintain my commitment to my husband.
Mark taught me how to accept the hand that we were dealt. He taught me to be grateful for what we DID have—each other. That was a lesson to help prepare both of us for what was to come.
My faith is what allowed me to hang on.
As I reflect on our marriage, I know that our union was not happenstance. This was the man I fell in love with as we got to know one another on the telephone and via email, and it was the same for him. I would say that is the unbridled faith we had in each other. We took a leap, determined to share a life with one another. Illness was not part of the plan but a course we had no control over.
Marriage is a covenant and commitment that God initiates, and my duty was to love in sickness and health. When I looked at my reality through that lens, I became acutely aware that our union was formed for a purpose. We had some lovely times together as a married couple and also trying times that ripped us to our core. But we survived the difficulty together.
I am eternally grateful God granted Mark and me to share our love and journey together, and that relationship fostered a deeper relationship with Him.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of commitment, the power of love, and the strength to accept the highs and the lows of life.
Call to Action
Take inventory of your commitments and ask Him for the strength to endure the challenging times and make time to rejoice and show gratitude for others.
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