Shannon here: Amish romance author, Kelly Irvin shares insight into her real life romance plus a chance to win a copy of her latest title, The Beekeeper’s Son. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated March 18 – 20 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: March 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:
People often think couples who’ve been married for many years don’t really experience romance anymore. I’ve been married 27 years and I beg to differ. The nature of romance changes and deepens. It touches you in a way that the early flush of physical infatuation can’t. It reveals itself in unexpected ways. The most romantic thing my husband ever did for me didn’t involve candy and flowers or a weekend romantic getaway, as lovely as those things are. The romantic gesture that made me cry came just this past year.
In July I started having difficulty picking up my feet. That progressed to having problems walking. In September, I learned I would need to have surgery or I would end up in a wheelchair. When I sat down with my husband to explain what was wrong and what was coming, he said not to worry, he would take care of me. “In sickness and in health, those are the vows,” he said. I’m still moved to tears by the memory.
Neither of us really understood at the time what exactly “in sickness” would mean. The procedure took twelve hours. I spent six days in the hospital. When I came home I had to learn to walk again. My sense of balance was completely gone. For Tim, it meant getting up in the night to turn me over because I couldn’t turn myself over. It meant helping me to the bathroom and assisting me in the shower. It meant tying my shoes and helping me get dressed and taking me to doctor’s appointments.
He showed me how much he loved me by rearranging the furniture, putting a bed in the downstairs living room, buying a shower chair, putting a lifted seat on the toilet in the guest bathroom, buying slick sheets to make it easier for me to get out of bed, all before I came home from the hospital. He researched and found a gadget that helped me put on my socks without bending over and a gripper to pick things up when I drop them—which is still often because of numb fingers.
For Tim, it still means doing the laundry, buying the groceries, and doing most of the cooking. It’s getting better. I’ve graduated from a walker to a cane. I’ve gone back to work, but I still struggle with daily tasks that take much longer than before. The road to complete recovery is not a sure, straight shot. Some days I’m all too ready for a pity party. But I always know Tim will be there with a smart alack remark or a dry observation that mostly means, “stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’re blessed. You’re loved.”
Whatever you do, don’t buy into the Hollywood version of love. Find true love and stick with it through thick and thin. That’s when you’ll see and feel true romantic love. It’s about the lows as much as the highs. It’s about being there for that person who made your heart skip a beat the first time you saw him. But it’s also knowing he’ll be there when your heart is broken and only his hugs and kisses can make it better.
About Kelly: Kelly Irvin is the author of the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper’s Son, called “a beautifully woven masterpiece” by Publishers Weekly. The book is the first of three in The Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins. Kelly also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishers. She has also authored two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.
The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She wrote nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. She has worked in public relations for the city of San Antonio for twenty-one years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and serves as secretary of the local chapter, Alamo Christian Fiction Writers.
Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-seven years. They have two grown adult children, two grandchildren, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.
About the book – The Beekeeper’s Son:
Sometimes it takes a barren landscape to see the beauty of God’s creation.
Phineas King knows better than to expect anything but shock and pity wherever he shows his face. Horribly scarred from the van accident that claimed his mother’s life, he chooses to keep his distance from everyone, focusing his time and energy on the bees his family raises. If no one sees him, no one can judge him. So why does he start finding excuses to seek out Deborah Lantz, the beautiful new arrival in town?
Deborah can’t get out of Bee County, Texas, soon enough. Once her mother and younger siblings are settled, she is on the first bus out of this dusty town. She is only waiting on the letter from Aaron, asking her to return to lush Tennessee to be his fraa. But that letter never comes. As she spends time getting to know Phineas—hoping to uncover the man beneath the scars—she begins to realize that she no longer minds that Aaron hasn’t sent for her.
As both Deborah and Phineas try to come to terms with lives that haven’t turned out the way they imagined, they discover that perhaps Gott’s plans for them are more extraordinary than they could have dreamed. But they need to let go of their own past sorrows and disappointments to find the joy and beauty that lies just ahead for them both.
Question: Have you ever had an illness, surgery, or event that left you unable to care for yourself for a while?
Come back March 20th for Kelly’s Story Behind the Story!