by Lyn Foley on March 19, 2008

St. Paddy’s Day was my/our 31st anniversary. Yep, 31 years married to Jim, the good guy. And I am not joking, he is a good guy, Mr. Nice Guy, and no pretend. As I remembered our anniversary, I looked up the guest book from our wedding, hoping to dig out the vows we wrote. No luck. I couldn’t find them, but I know  they went along the lines of  ” ’til death do us part, in sickness and in health, and we will not have sex with another unless we tell each other about it first”.

Well, the “sickness and health” part has been the most challenging, since Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease when he was barely 40 years old , and we had been married only (only?) 14 years. I’ve heard about spouses leaving their partners due to a diagnosis of P.D. But  I didn’t give up on our marriage, and Jim didn’t give up either. And here we are, some 20 years later – still together, and still coping.

I will not call P.D. a blessing – it is not. However, I  learned some life lessons from the disease. Such as, take what you get, and make lemonade out of  the lemons you are given. And,  my husband, if not an angel, is at least, a minor saint as far as making lemonade from lemons is concerned.

Jim said only once after the diagnosis: “Why, me, Lord?”  And after that brief moment, went on to be an inspiration to me about how to deal constructively with a potentially debilitating prognosis for life.  (And the first  neurologist even told him: “You will have about five years to live.” )

“What!!!!!!!!!!” No way.”  said Jim, “I’m not gonna sit down and die!” Now,20 years later he is thankfully, still plugging along – and cheerfully too.

And  we  both continued: – to live, to love, and, coincidentally, to sail around the world together. (You can read the first chapter of my book here).  In spite of PD, Jim didn’t give up, and because he didn’t, I didn’t give up either. He continues to inspire me. He is a terrific, loveable, sexy (still, at 60 years old) creative, fun, magnificent, fun, handsome, fun, and yes, nice guy.

Jim, I salute you – my love, my life, my friend, and my partner of 31+ great years . Thank you for being with me, loving me, and sharing my life. Happy Thirty-First Anniversary.


P.S. Both of us are of Irish descent, and we got married on St. Patrick’s Day so we’d always remember our anniversary. How easy is that – it worked!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sweetwater Designs March 22, 2008 at 7:50 am

Wow thats so lovely to hear.Hats off to you both. My husband and I have been married for 28 years now..he was just diagnosed with copd and needs oxygen for most of the day and all night. Theres been adjustment but it does tend tighten the bond a little closer I must say…great blog and Your book looks great btw..

Lyn Foley March 22, 2008 at 9:50 am

Deborah, Thank you for your comment, Lovely to see your site and work – and best to you with your husbands challenging diagnosis.

Little Pods Clothing March 27, 2008 at 8:11 pm

this was beautiful, congratulations to both you and Jim.

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