blankblankHanging in There Come Rain or Shine


As I watched Ron lay helpless in the hospital, a T-11 paraplegic, I decided that I would make things happen for him. I married him for better or for worse and if love is true, it just doesn’t stop when the person needs you most.

I went home and started knocking the plaster off the bedroom walls and making an accessible bathroom and wheel-in shower. I drew on all the strength I could muster. I would remind myself that this was a labor of love. And with my prayers I found strength to continue the work.

We didn’t have the money to hire the work done. Ron lost a good paycheck and major medical policies when he was injured. Later our church and friends helped us finish the work. We sold a tractor, a motor home and other things and took out another loan on our home to build Ron an accessible wood shop.

The Breaking New Ground Resource Center at Purdue University (see Resource Section) shared creative ideas to modify the work area. With the help of Vocational Rehabilitation, a lift and driver controls were added to our Ford van. A friend, who was a medical salesman, brought in a hospital bed and in time we had Ron all fixed up. This took about two years.

With each step I could see the light come back into Ron’s eyes. I helped him with most of his personal needs until he learned how to care for himself, and in time he did achieve this. I would not do for him what I thought he could do for himself. At first that made him angry, but now he jokes about it.

My decision to make things happen for Ron has been refreshing and gratifying. Making Ron happy was the reason I married him. Why would I stop now, even if he isn’t the strong man I married. Old age brings it on anyway.

The counselor told us many marriages end in divorce after a disabling injury. I married him for life! The Golden Rule is the law I follow in life. I believe in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. That’s what I would have wanted Ron to do if I had been the injured one.

~ Helen Thomas, Tangier, Indiana



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