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Who needs to run barefoot?
Dedicated to Larry Ford
Submitted by Brooke
Its a story, but true. Twenty years ago the song sung at our wedding was "You Needed Me." We both knew how true that song was as we needed each other so much.
My wonderful husband, Larry, is a quadriplegic. Sadly, 33 years ago Larry started to believe that love was one of the things that he would have to give up as he began his life again in a wheelchair.
Then, on July 4, 1985, Larry and I first met. On Valentine's Day, February 14, 1986 Larry proposed and on July 4, 1986, on the anniversary of our first date, Larry and I were married.
In 1985 I had recently moved to Seattle to attend college, but in my late 30's, I was not really a candidate for the collegiate social scene. Lacking friends and nearby relatives, I was lonesome, so I put an ad in a local paper to try to meet a gentleman. I certainly suceeded.
When I met Larry I learned how much more there is to a man than his ability to walk. First, of course, it was his intensely blue eyes. But also, his integrity, his ability to love and receive love, his joy in life. Larry also learned about me; I have been diagnosed with "treatment resistant depression" and Larry has held me through the worst of my dark, down days and shared those that are a bit brighter. Both are hard. We've been there for each other through numerous hospitalizations for each of us, realizing that although these times have been hard to get through, we always had each other to hold onto.
A while ago my father sent my 86 year old mother and me on a short trip to Hawaii. I was so grateful to have that special quality time with my mom, but I kept thinking of how much I wanted to share it with Larry, but quadriplegics don't get to travel much. The sun and the soft warm water did so much to lift my depression for a time. Now as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, I want to go back, somehow, and show Larry Hawaii, the most exquisite place in the world. To show him how magical this place is, even if you can't run barefoot on the beach!