One of my brothers had been in a car accident 15 years ago that left him paralyzed. Due to an infection, he had to have his right leg amputated a few weeks ago, so my sister and I flew out to San Diego to see him last Sunday. Upon our arrival, other than offering moral support, there didn’t seem to be anything tangible we could do for him or his girlfriend, until they told us they were planning on getting married, but with his medical issues it just hadn’t happened yet. (The two had known each other in high school and re-connected again nine years ago off the website Classmates! How cool is that?)
Well, give two women from Minnesota a purpose, 48 hours, and VISA cards, and nothing is impossible!
We hit the ground running—I mean driving. The first line of business was a rental car because the hotel shuttle van was not going to take us all the places we needed to go. With wheels, a GPS, and a list, there was no stopping us! Once the Pastor and marriage license were secured, the real fun began!
Word spread throughout the hospital, and let me tell you, nurses do a whole lot more than they will ever get credit for! Decorations were made, a room arranged, even a surgery rescheduled! The charge nurse’s husband rode his bike across town for a suit for the groom, the hospital kitchen made a three course meal, an ICU nurse (who is also a professional photographer) came in on his day off to take pictures, and the music…oh, my, but there are some talented singers at the UC Medical Center San Diego! The songs they sang didn’t leave a dry eye in the room!
My now sister-in-law and brother’s home is three hours away from the hospital (over the mountains), and her daughter told me as they were enroute to the hospital, they hit rain and then an accident had traffic at a standstill. She said she told her mother, “Come rain, wind, hail, even a tornado, nothing’s going to stop us. I’ll get you there in time!” And she did!
My brother hadn’t been out of bed in over a month, but the nurses arranged for a special chair so he could be wheeled to the conference room. As that happened, them wheeling him down the long hallways, he was surrounded by a parade of nursing staff singing, “We’re going to the chapel and we’re going to get married…”
Although the preparations had been a whirlwind, every detail was covered. The ceremony was one of the most beautiful events I’ve ever attended, and solidifies if there is a dream, it can come true. If there is a possibility, it can happen. If there is will, there is a way.
My brother and his wife have a long road ahead of them. He’ll remain in the hospital for several weeks, undergoing multiple surgeries, but, they’ll make it through it all—together. I know that in my heart, and so do they.
Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.