Encouragement From the Elders

“...today has been pure joy.”

In an age when love and commitment seems scarce, journalist T A Maitland writes about a couple that has persevered ‘in sickness and in health’. She writes:

Michael Joyce's memory and some of his speech have been snatched by Alzheimer's. The disease is so advanced that he forgot he was married to his wife of 38 years. But he is in love with her, and he is also an honorable man, so he proposed to her on a recent morning. She said yes.

"You don't say, 'Oh, we're already married,' " Linda Joyce, 64, told the New Zealand news site Stuff.” So, I said, 'Of course I will,' thinking he might not remember." But the next morning, Michael Joyce, 68, woke up and asked her, "So, when are we doing this?" according to Stuff. Here's how Linda invited her friends and community to their second wedding:

       “My adored hubby of 38 years suffers from Alzheimer's/Dysphasia. Two nights ago, out of the blue, with tear-filled eyes, he asked me to marry him! Michael had clearly forgotten we were already married but I absolutely went along with him and said I would be delighted to be his wife. In spite of his confused mind, he obviously knows and feels this is something he really wants to do … to Michael it will be our Wedding Ceremony and to our friends and myself, a truly precious memorable occasion.”

On their wedding morning, Linda Joyce said she wasn't sure he would remember, but he woke up and told his betrothed, "Today's the day." They  exchanged vows at a scenic lake near their home as friends looked on. "There's been a lot of sadness and a lot of frustration," Linda Joyce said. "And despite all the fogginess, today has been pure joy."

As moving as this story is, there is a bigger love story in God’s unconditional love that reaches out to all of us. Even when we are unlovable, His hands reach out for us, always ready to draw us closer. As David declared in 1 Chronicles 16:34:

   Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Te Ahua Maitland, "Love the Second Time Around," Stuff.Co.Nz (1-20-18)