You’ve heard the love stories, Anthony and Cleopatra, Sarah and Abraham, Scarlett and Rhett, Natalie Wood and James Dean, Roy and Ginger, and so many others throughout history… The ones where you know they love one another no matter what, til literally death do they part. They’d give each other the moon and stars, even die for one another.
Do you ever hear of stories like that in your daily life?
I’d love to share one with you!
Picture back to the 1950’s, just before the communist revolution. Bautista is still in charge of the little island. Jose was a new Christian and with help of missionaries, on his way to a new life in America. He left behind his family, who still worked on the farm as sharecroppers. Mama, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, all the family still on the island then.
Jose comes to the US and goes to bible college. There he meets a young lady named Dorothy. They fall in love and marry. Of course this is during a time when interracial marriages are frowned upon, and if you weren’t white you had prejudiced people just waiting to look down noses and exclude you. Jose and Dorothy return to Dorothy’s hometown, a little bitty town in Kansas, and help her mom and dad, Jose working for him for a while before going on to work for the local school district.
They raise a family, host Jose’s family as they come in from Cuba to escape Castro’s regime, work in their local church, and work with Voice of the Martyrs in spreading the gospel all over the world, all from the little town in Kansas.
Their children grow, becoming nurses, real estate agents, oil field workers, one goes into the military, etc. All grow up and begin families of their own, but all keep close ties to home. Eventually Papa retires from the school district after 20 or more years of service.
Dorothy’s health declines, and Jose begins taking care of her, doing all the things now that she used to do as a homemaker. He cooks her meals, does the laundry, cleans the floors, gardens, grows beautiful flowers, makes sure Dorothy has her medicines, makes sure she goes to her doctor appointments, hosts anyone who visits and extends hospitality to everyone.
Jose starts feeling different, and after some lab work discovers he has cancer. But this is a slow growing cancer, but already taken over 1/2 of an organ. By this time, he is 85. Of course the kids fret and worry about dad. He does a series of shots to slow down and push back the cancer cells, and it works. He even gets to a point where he can be cancer free. The shots don’t kill the cells, but has gotten him to where he can do a short series of radiation and finish them off and be in remission 4 or 5 months after initial diagnosis.
Jose turns the option down. He worries he wouldn’t be able to take care of Dorothy, and she wants no one but him to tend to her. He puts her needs above his own. He knows the radiation will make him sick, and he wouldn’t be able to tend to his needs and hers. So he puts her above him. He continues to serve her.
I want to be loved like that.
Jose and Dorothy are my father and mother in law.
*Summer 2012 update–Jose has moved on to complete successfully most of the radiation treatments. No sickness! He has more energy than he did before the treatments, and doing well, taking care of Dorothy, and marching on. Isn’t God good?