This Sunday my husband Alan and I will have been married for 24 years. It feels special to be almost a quarter of a century, and even more significant that three days before our wedding, Alan was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
We never questioned it for a moment that we’d still get married as planned, with no delays and certainly no cancellation. As I said to Alan’s Mum, if I had to wheel him down the aisle in a hospital bed, I would have done it. The neurologist told us not to go on honeymoon in case the heat went for Alan as he could wake up blind or unable to walk. The prognosis was unknown, including whether we’d ever have children or to what extent it could shorten his life.
In the days between the diagnosis and the wedding I cancelled the honeymoon (my choice, it felt like something I wanted to do to help me face it), my dress was taken in another few inches because of weight loss due to stress (a silver lining, sort of!), we spoke a lot with our families as we were very concerned for them too… and we all pulled together like nothing I had experienced in my life so far.
I’ve chosen to share these photos because you wouldn’t know that we’d received devastating news just 3 days before. And we weren’t hiding anything… you can see these are genuine smiles, being completely in-the-moment, and deciding we would have a bloody great time no matter what else was going on.
And by the way, we had two nights of parties – a family wedding on the Friday and a big party with friends on the Saturday with Alan’s rock band playing… so we went for it, twice!
What followed wasn’t easy. Alan never returned to work and we had a lot of adjustments to make in our lives. But we showed up and said ‘yes’, whatever was going to come along, and it has helped us to go with the flow of life. We are blessed with two amazing grown-up children and we’ve always been open and honest with them. We have a happy, fulfilling life with a strong sense of perspective and we trust that we’ll handle whatever comes along.
These experiences have influenced me to take the leap into self-employment and to write a book, neither of which I had even contemplated back in 1997. Over time, I have found that inspiration and opportunities spontaneously appear, by holding life a little more lightly.
As one of the beliefs of NLP goes, ‘We have within us all the resources we will ever need’. And I truly believe we all do.
What’s an example of a time when you showed up and said ‘yes’ to a challenge or an opportunity? Or an experience you can relate to ‘having all the resources you need’?
Have a great weekend,