Since it’s Valentine's Day, I wanted to share that people with disabilities or obstacles can get married.
Growing up, I had several good examples of marriage. My great grandparents eloped and were married 72 years. I remember going to church with them and they were still holding hands and still were in love. I have my great grandmother’s, Momommy, wedding (elopement) dress and will cherish it forever. My maternal grandparents and my parents were good role models too!
As a freshman in college, I didn’t think I would get married.
However, love does some mysterious things. Some fall in love and get married in 3 months. Some it takes longer.
When you meet the person you want to marry, you just know- it’s a feeling and instinct.
With marrying me, someone had to learn a whole new language to communicate with me. (American Sign Language). Communication is key in a marriage!
How did Josh and I meet?
Josh was at Pellissippi State Community College and I was at Maryville College. We both attended an Intervarsity conference. Intervarsity is an intercollegiate Christian group. Josh decided to write me a note “ Hi. My name is Josh Anderson. My Aunt and Uncle are both deaf. I know just a little sign language, so I thought I would write." Below is a picture of the note I received.
Josh decided to Facebook me, and I ended up having to ask him out three times until he would go out with me.
Here’s are some of the many ways Josh has been accommodating with my Apraxia.
Prior to meeting me, Josh grew up with a friend with Down Syndrome. He also had a deaf great aunt and great uncle, so he understood that disabilities were really just differences.
Josh learned sign language for me. He started learning after our first date without being asked.
He interprets for me whenever he’s around.
He has to call different organizations like car insurance, banks, and others on my behalf.
He goes on mission trips to Jamaica with Servant Heart Jamaica, which is a deaf ministry. Now, we are on the Board of Directors.
He and I have both passed two pieces of legislation for ASL being recognized as a foreign language in Tennessee high schools.
We also have a labrador puppy named Alex that responds to sign language better than spoken English.
On our wedding day, we signed our vows to each other. Josh also proposed to me in sign.
Whenever he is driving and we are both in the car, I play my iPhone as an assistive technology device with Bluetooth.
And there’s so much more to do and more we can accomplish as a team.
On another note, Valentine's Day is also just a day. We should be thankful and show appreciation every day, not just on Valentines' Day. I appreciate what all my friends, family, and Josh do for me!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Molly Ridgeway Anderson