In sickness, and in health

Last updated 10:30 14/08/2012

First off, a thousand apologies for the silence on the blog front in the past week. Those who know me know I've had what can only be described as a horror week which left me unmotivated, distracted and unable to begin to sit down and think about writing a blog post about blimmin' weddings. Bad week

It got to the point where I eye-rolled when people asked me about the wedding and "how the plans are going" because, quite frankly, there are way more important things in life than weddings.

Don't take this the wrong way - weddings are an amazing celebration of love and while yes, they are but just one day in our lives, they are happy days.

But there is always one thing more important than weddings and that is quite simple: love.

Over the past week, I've had a huge reality check.

I have had bad news layered upon bad news and, at times, I've struggled to comprehend just why everything seems to come at once and why bad things happen to good people. ("When it rains, it pours" has always been one of my mantras.)

Anyway a friend I spent some time with this week mentioned a wedding they're going to in the coming weeks. The pair had been together for many years and recently decided to get married after discovering one of them received a diagnosis that meant their time together is set to be cut tragically short. They set a date to proclaim their love in front of their nearest and dearest, only to have to bring it forward because things were deteriorating so fast.

Some may say, why bother? What's the point in marrying someone who can't promise to love you until they're grey and old if you both know one of you won't be around then?

I'll tell you why.

Marriage isn't just a piece of paper - and if you honestly believe it is, I suggest you cease reading this blog immediately. It will serve no use other than to infuriate you at the path I and others have chosen to go down.

Remember Eve van Grafhorst? Whenever I think of people "staging" wedding ceremonies even as they knock on the door to the next life, I think of her. Barely old enough to understand what a "wedding" or a "marriage' was, she understood but one thing: love. And that means I will love you forever, no matter how long forever is.

And that really, really emphasises the "in sickness, and in health" line, doesn't it?

Those few words that people mutter during vows are often the ones where people read them out like this: "For BETTER, for worse, for RICHER, for poorer, in sickness and in HEALTH", hoping of course that they only ever encounter the emphasised words. Sick

But life being the way it is means that we often have to face sickness and being unwell throughout our time, and you can but hope that those vows pull you through as a couple.

For most of us (hopefully) it'll just be nursing someone's man flu. For others, it can be something much more serious. And it is there where marriage vows - to me - kick in. You love them when they're up, you love them when they're down. I couldn't have found this quote at a better time:

A successful marriage isn't always 50-50. Sometimes, your partner needs 90 per cent and they are able to give back only 10 in return. Other times, it is just the opposite. The important thing is to always be there for one another, no matter what.

After all, it is those who get the opportunity to declare their love to another person - whether it's in front of two witnesses or 500 people - that are blessed because we are alive to do so.

So on that note, I am blessed.* 

Did you or do you plan to include the 'in sickness and in health' line in to your vows? How has your marriage or relationship coped through illness or tough times? Has a series of events changed your relationship status once you put things in to perspective? 

* Apologies for the soppy post. I'll be back to my sarcastic, "normal" self soon enough!

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You can also email Greer here and share your wedding woes, feedback or questions.

38 comments
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_   #1   10:49 am Aug 14 2012

My neighbour's son and his partner brought forward their wedding when they found out he was dying on brain cancer - he died on their honeymoon. So completely tragic, but so wonderful that they could declare their love to each other publicly before the end.

Well done Greer for getting what you could out of what sounds like a horrific week, and for vocalising this lesson here - it's always worthwhile to get a reminder of just how precious life is, so thank you.

The Other Nick   #2   11:09 am Aug 14 2012

Great post Greer.

Lily   #3   11:28 am Aug 14 2012

So sorry to hear of your friend's fate. Thoughts are with the couple. x

J   #4   11:33 am Aug 14 2012

Whenever I complain about planning our wedding - around 12 weeks to go - a family member will retaliate with "Well don't get married then!!". I tell them they are getting "wedding" and "marriage" mixed up. Two completely different things. We want to be MARRIED. One day as the pay-off to months of stress and expense? Not that important to us...

k   #5   11:42 am Aug 14 2012

There ARE more importnant things than Weddings and that is why your blog's topics infuriate me sometimes as they are so Inane.

DS   #6   11:42 am Aug 14 2012

My wonderful husband has nursed me through learning to live with Crohn's disease. We'd only been together 6 months when I got the diagnosis, and weren't even engaged at the time. I'm much better now, but I do remember we had to warn the Registrar that I might have to sit down during the ceremony. She was so clever about it, and lovely it wasn't even obvious that there was a contingency. My heart goes out to those with a fatal diagnosis. Mine is uncomfortable, but not fatal.

Greer McDonald   #7   11:48 am Aug 14 2012

@ k #5

I get that K, but there IS a place for inanity in this world. It's what makes it interesting and different. What a boring place it'd be without inanity.

tm   #8   11:50 am Aug 14 2012

I agree with #4 J.

Sorry to hear of your bad news, always hard to deal with. Thoughts are with all involved

Geoff   #9   12:08 pm Aug 14 2012

@ k #5. Have to ask. What were you expecting on a clearly wedding themed blog? It *is* about weddings. That is the idea.

A month & a day   #10   12:13 pm Aug 14 2012

Lovely post Greer - I know I missed you last week and sorry to hear it was a bad one for you. Love the quote you discovered... my FH and I have been together for almost 6 years and are getting married next month. He would've proposed sooner - but didn't want to until he knew he was well enough to give me more than the 10% - we're now out the other side and stronger and happier than before.


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