“In sickness and in health.”
On two occasions I have said those words with the full confidence that the couple repeating those words actually knew what they meant.
The first occurrence brought a smile to my face. She had endured and marriage was her reward on the other side of illness. Together they have journeyed through the struggles of a serious disease as boyfriend and girlfriend. Now they would be husband and wife. They knew what “in sickness and in health” meant.
The second occurrence brought a tear to my eye. She had weeks to live. The vow renewal was his gift to her. I almost cut the words fearing they might be too painful. But with a crowd gathered I included them as a testimony to all who would hear them say, “in sickness and in health.” They meant it and everyone knew it.
Few people consider sickness and suffering when picking a mate.
They consider how the other person might look in the morning or what bad habits they might have.
They consider what offspring they could produce or what extended family they might bring to the reunion.
Yet few people ever consider what is a vital question — can I suffer with this person?
It sounds like the beginning of another marriage joke, but it’s not.
It’s a real question and one which should be explored by every dating couple.
Suffering is a part of life.
And the older a person gets, the more we realize that suffering is not a rare occurrence, but is a common aspect of our lives.
Sorrow comes in many forms, yet it is guaranteed to come.
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