June 6, 2012

Marriage, a noble thing

How long is too long to be married?

"I think the institution of marriage is a noble thing. I think the idea of a partner for life is incredibly romantic. But now we're living to 100. A hundred years ago, people were dying at age 37. Til death do us part was a much different deal."

The quote above astounded me. 

That's Debbie Messing, an apparently successful actress whom I'd never heard of until I picked up the June 2012 issue of Ladies' Home Journal at the dentist office recently. Ms. Messing and her husband were married twelve years ago ("together" for twenty) and have an eight-year-old son. She recently filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

Then I smilingly thought of Tim and Michele. I know, I've written a lot about Tim and Michele lately -- especially Michele -- but they've been on my heart and mind.

Yesterday, Michele received a stem cell transplant in an effort to cause her body to create new, healthy bone marrow and a new, healthy immune system. Next week, our family travels up to the Washington DC area again for Jeff to donate granulocytes, which should help Michele's body fight off any latent viruses while her system rebuilds.

Today is Tim and Michele's wedding anniversary. Thirty-one years.

(And yes, that's the lovely couple in the lead picture. You can see one of the cute couples in their wedding party here.)

During our last trip to DC, Tim was telling my sixteen-year-old daughter about how hard he had to work to get Michele to go out with him. It was love, or at least extreme interest, at first sight for Tim. It took Michele a bit longer to warm up. But once things clicked, they really clicked; they were married within a year. In fact, Michele graduated from high school, turned eighteen, and married Tim all within two weeks.

The years since have been quite a journey. Two children came along to add some fun along the way. The Fetz family's moves have included homes on both coasts as well as Germany, courtesy of the US Air Force. Ultimately, they've made their home in Middle Georgia. The road hasn't always been smooth but, because their faith informs their love for one another, they are still together.

For years, Michele has been the nurturer and caregiver of the family, raising those kids, managing their home, and loving on her nieces and nephews every chance she got. But the last few years, as Michele's illness has progressed, their roles have shifted a bit. Tim has become an expert caregiver, and someone really should give the guy an honorary medical degree of some point for all the practical knowledge he has acquired.

I'd estimate that Michele has spent at least eight of the last ten months in the hospital. And most of that time, Tim has been right by her side. Through it all, they have been a shining and very vocal testimony of God's goodness to them -- to their doctors, nurses, other patients, anyone who came across their path.

The institution of marriage, the God-defined and God-designed institution of marriage is a noble thing. It can be incredibly romantic, but even when it's not, it still has value. It still has benefit. It's no less a commitment in the hard times than in the glorious.

Thanks, Tim and Michele, for your enduring love for one another, and for God. 

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1 comment:

  1. Praying for this precious family. I love all of you.



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