First 30 Days Blog

07 dec

“Unconditional Love”

How does one begin to write in a few short sentences what it took 25 years to play out? It certainly cannot do it justice. How can I make anyone understand the depth and breath of a love that knew no bounds and limitations? I will try to summarize the key points to my life with my husband who suffered with Multiple Sclerosis for over 25 years. My husband, Nick, was diagnosed at age 33 – we were just married a short 2 ½ years but his symptoms existed prior to our marriage. If anyone knows about M.S. it is constantly changing but the worst part is that as things change, you need to start the grieving process all over again, and then again and then again…..At the moment of diagnosis, Nick could no longer work and was wheelchair bound……I was his primary caregiver which entailed everything from dressing, feeding, bathing, shaving, driving around, emotional and spiritual support, bowel care, cathertization of the bladder, etc., etc. For anyone who has been a caregiver of a chronic illness, the list is never ending. I worked at home so that I could be around to tend to his needs, but what happened through all of this was I lost myself, my own person, but he was my primary focus. Eventually, 23 years after our marriage, Nick passed away from the complications of a chronic illness on May 23, 2004. I was at his bedside when he journeyed to a better and peaceful place…..I always told him that I would be there to the end and I thank the Lord that I was given that great gift…..The most amazing thing about our marriage is that it was never consummated. Due to Nick’s illness we were never able to totally become husband and wife and for him that was a greater suffering than anything else that he had to endure or myself…..I could write a book about our day to day challenges and ups and downs and one day I will but in the mean time I just want to get bits and pieces of my story out there. During our journey as husband and wife we spoke on “Commitment” to the pre-marriages courses at our church parish and stressed what that word means and how to live it fully. I am attaching the eulogy that I wrote and read at Nick’s funeral mass and it was written in just a couple of minutes as the words just flowed. I hope I can help any of you that are out there . After Nick’s death I had to find myself and figure out who I was as I was a total stranger. But through spiritual reading and friends who were angels sent to me – I found myself and continue to grow in ways that are unbelieveable even to me…..Change is good but as long as in that change we grow – then we will not fear it – we will look forward to the new things that we find out about ourselves – welcome change – as it is always for our spiritual growth…..May God’s Blessings be on each and everyone of you…….I hope the eulogy will also inspire you…..as Nick’s life and suffering inspired me and made me the person I am today…… Maria – not only’s Nick’s wife/widow – but my own person…….
To My Beloved Husband, Nick:
I don’t know quite where to begin to express in words everything I am feeling right at this moment. How do I summarize into a few sentences what you and I have been through; from the instance we met to the day we said good-bye. Good-bye is such a final word and so I will say “Arriverderci, mio amore”, until we meet again.
We just celebrated our 23rd Wedding Anniversary on May 16th and there you were fighting for your life in the hospital and I was at your bedside. When I reminded you of what day it was, you could only mouth with your lips “I’m sorry” and I said please don’t be sorry.
How could you be sorry for teaching me how to be compassionate, loving and patient and grateful for every moment of life we are given.
How could you be sorry for bringing so many wonderful people into our lives through your illness and visible suffering. It was your smile that was a magnet to everyone you encountered. It was your sense of humor in the midst of all your limitations and dependency. When people would ask how you are doing you would always answer, “50-50″. God used you as an instrument for His great plans and you willingly accepted it with grace and heroism. I know that at times your sorrow and pain must have been unbearable, especially when you had such hopes and dreams for our life together, however we will never understand God’s plan for each of us but we must trust that everything is for the good of all.
I need you to know that I did the best I could and I only hope that you can forgive me for my shortcomings. For all those times I may not have been there for you. Forgive me for the times I may have been too overprotective and not allowed you to take those risks like you so many times did. Remember the time you and I were walking in our neighbourhood and you “popped a wheely” with your wheelchair?
At this time Nick, you and I should take this opportunity to thank everyone that helped us along the way, family and friends. Some with their physical presence, others with their constant prayers and intercessions and others through their work, like those health care workers who came into our home and stayed with you. I always referred to them as your “other wives” and you would just laugh.
Allow me Nick to recognize and acknowledge the pain that your mother and sister are feeling at this time. It is unimaginable and I pray that God will comfort them. I know that you will also be praying for them.
When I think of your whole life Nick, the only passage that comes to mind is found in 2 Timothy, Chapter 4 Verse 6, which reads: “As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Pray for us Nick, so that we may all keep the faith. I WILL LOVE YOU ALWAYS!!

Shared by mggiusti.

Posted by First 30 Days on December 7th, 2008 in Personal Stories | 5 comments

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5 Comments

  • What a beautiful story.

    Shared by VictoriaB.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • Thank you all for responding below – I am just reading “Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav and we are all connected through our souls. When one hurts, we all hurt; when one is joyous we are all joyous – LIFE is all about the greater good – so we should always try to transmit and focus on positive energy – it will benefit us and the whole Universe…….this was my hope – to someone touch someone’s life out there – even one…..
    Hope you are all looking forward to “Change” – we should actually call “Change” something else – as people associate that with something to fear – we should perhaps call it “Growth” or “Adventure” or “Awakening”…..mggiusti

    Shared by mggiusti.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • A beautiful rendering of what love is all about!! mggiusti, you are so inspiring!

    Shared by lilliede81.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • Thanks so much, mggiusti! I was just feeling down about some bad luck I’ve been having in the dating department but your story reminded me of what life is all about- enjoying every minute for the gift that it is.

    Shared by alegria.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009
  • Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful and loving words. That even in the midst of your own grief you are thinking first of others shows your beautiful and servant heart.

    Shared by kristen.

    — Added by First30Days on August 28th, 2009

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