Every once in a while it is fun to post something slightly unrelated to caregiving. Though, I think you could make a very strong argument that for those of us who are fortunate to have one, a solid marriage with a supportive partner is a huge advantage for extreme caregivers.
I was recently reading an autobiography and stumbled across the couple’s proposal story. The manner of the couple’s proposal, in many ways, tells readers a great deal about the two, their values, and their hopes for the future.
I began reflecting on my own proposal and arrived at a similar conclusion. Bill and I are fairly practical people, even boring. We can be painfully frugal or selectively spendthrift depending on the situation. We are that weird couple who will happily wear thrift store clothing and hand-me-downs, but won’t bat an eye about private school tuition bills so our children can attend a faith-based school. We are realistic and pragmatic, sometimes to a fault. We aren’t particularly romantic. Like many young couples we started out fairly close to the “poor” part of the vows since we were both students. And we have certainly done the “in sickness and health” bit – at least within our home – since we care for a medically complex child.
So maybe it makes sense that when Bill proposed I was flaked out on the floor of the apartment he shared with a friend. I was battling a nasty head cold and felt like crap. We were watching television – the Blue Jays if I remember correctly. It was a day or so before my birthday. Apparently Bill had planned to wait for my birthday, but decided this was the moment. He grabbed the ring from his bedroom, a family heirloom (lovely, sentimental, and frugal!) and proposed over a steaming cup of Neo Citran. Yup. Neo Citran! His words were something like, “I had planned to wait until your birthday, but I can’t. Will you marry me?”
Not particularly romantic. Certainly frugal and practical – there was no expensive dinner, entertainment, or wine. And, so it seems, the sickness thing was incorporated early on in our relationship. Yup. A proposal that captures the bulk of our marriage story.