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
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.
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
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
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