I’m blind and she uses a wheelchair: Our marriage is a true partnership

love-dating-relationships-375x264Now for part two of Bryan McMurray’s Valentine’s Day post. Bryan is blind, his wife uses a wheelchair, and his post today describes some of the ways they work side-by-side to create a loving home together. A true partnership! (And in case you missed it, here was part 1, about meeting in an elevator!)

by Bryan McMurray

How is life now for us? Well, I still see as good – or as bad, I guess — as ever! My darling, well, with technology, she now uses a small power chair for inside the house. She uses an all-terrain power chair to shop and zoom around outside. She drives our minivan, and for seven months of the year she uses me (and the muscles I thankfully acquired from 15 years of high school and collegiate wrestling) to lift her in and out of our swimming pool.

So that’s an example of something we do outside together. Now let’s take a real-life example of how we work together when we’re inside at home: cooking.

I don’t mind cooking, as long as Joanna does it! She is happy to cook, but has to have everything right in front of her, within reach, so guess how that happens? Right! I cook! Well, actually, I get everything Joanna needs to use to cook arranged within her reach.

Does it work? We eat amazing healthy meals, I haven’t burned the house down (yet), and we love every minute we are together cooking and eating.

Well, there are those moments. Take the morning Joanna decided to organize her spice area and forgot to tell me she had left the big (I mean big) full bottle of garlic olive oil on the table where she cooks. I was wiping the table, fast and efficient-like, and, that’s right! That lovely-smelling bottle of garlic oil crashed in the middle of the floor!

Our little poodle jumped in the middle of the oil and glass, and, well, even those of you hardly paying attention to this love saga will have a good idea of how we spent the rest of that morning together.

I was able to retire early from my position at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana five years ago due to budgetary constraints and inducements (all that means is they had no money and were glad to see me go). To think, now we get to live every day together, almost always together, and we love it. We spend much time — and both of our hearts — reaching out to and helping international students, and we do really live as if every single day was our last here on this Earth.

Is it wonderful, living with the darling girl I met when she was 18, who taught me about God and life and love and…hockey?!?? I love words, but have none to describe how wonderful, and fun, and amazing, and beyond words, it really is.

See more love and relationship stories and tips at easterseals.com/love. We’re adding new love stories all month long, too!


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