“I’ll race ya!”

T.R. and Angie on "Lovers' Lane"
T.R. and Angie on "Lovers' Lane"

I can imagine two young boys, standing side-by-side at the head of a pathway. They decide that it’s time to go to the playground, and the first boy looks at the second, a twinkle in his eye, as he ecstatically issues the challenge, “I’ll race ya!” Then they’re off – though it matters who arrives first, it is the act of “racing” that is almost more fun than the race itself.

Growing up with two brothers, I caught glimpses of boyish glee from time to time (though it was often at the expense of their sister), and it has been fun to catch glimpses of this glee in the boyish heart of my husband. An only child, T.R. may not have besieged siblings in this manner, but he received plenty of practice with his boyhood friends, I think. Currently, T.R. is able to use this fun little phrase with yours truly, proof that his sense of humor is definitely present. Let me explain…

Whenever we visit a location that requires a bit of walking around, we usually bring along a wheelchair. This certainly makes traveling around for a length of time much more enjoyable, as I don’t feel as if my legs are ready to buckle at any time, and we don’t have to be on the constant lookout for a resting spot. And much of the time, T.R. is the one who pushes and guides the said chair.

I’m sure you’ve heard before that there are times one has to choose whether to laugh or cry, as one of them is going to happen. Well, when dealing with disability each day, we have made the conscious decision to laugh, to look for the sense of humor in many situations. I am not horribly fond of riding in a wheeled contraption, but I understand its necessity, as does my husband. So the little boy in him comes out when he’s steering my chair, with me on board. I can tell when I see that grin and the glint in his eye… even if he’s behind me, I can just tell they’re there. And he says the three words: “I’ll race ya!”

You know I trust my husband when I smile and give a countdown. But you know what? He says I always win! I will actually agree, but likely not for the same reason. We all know that if he is pushing my chair, I’ll cross the imaginary finish line first. But what does it mean to “win”? I see so many factors here. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally, for better or for worse (and all of that!). I’m married to my best friend, a man who is an amazing father, one who has a heart with depths I’m seeing more of each day.

I am so blessed to have this “running partner” in the race of life. Happy Fifteenth Anniversary, T.R. – I love you!