Tuesday, February 06, 2007
MN Wedding Journal: Final Scene
Notice anything about these above two pictures of the bride?
All of the pictures of the bride for that matter?
While everyone around her is smiling ear to ear, she is smiling a very unique smile.
That smile is what lead her now husband to her in the first place.
When Andrea was a girl she was afflicted multiple times with Bell's Palsy.
BP rarely happens on both sides of the face, but Andrea is a rare person, and she was one of those who did have BP on both sides.
BP mostly affected her lower face.
Smiling with facial paralysis creates a mask similar to a "Popeye" caricature.
I was affected with BP this past October.
It is not the worse thing that could ever happen to a person.
However, the loss of normal facial expression is heartbreaking.
Smiles and laughter normally bond people together.
A smile from a BP person can be unsettling as the paralyzed face contorts, closing one eye, dropping the face on one side while the other side over compensates.
As a married woman in my fifties, I was irked that this was happening, but it wasn't the end of my world.
For Andrea, BP happened to her as a young woman.
A six foot tall young woman with glasses.
It happened as she began puberty.
And just when the BP would begin to improve, she would relapse again.
There was even surgery performed on her facial nerve in hopes that pressure could be relieved.
It didn't help.
When the facial nerve is paralysed more than a smile is lost.
Chewing food become difficult, as the paralysed cheek is unable to move food effectively.
The lips don't purse. (Lipstick application and kissing is different)
Whistling is no longer possible (I still miss whistling...)
Sucking on a straw is no longer possible.
And for many BP effected people, keeping saliva inside is not automatic. (Mostly my eye was affected)
We all know how difficult it is to go through adolescence, feeling sensitive about our looks.
Imagine what Andrea went through.
I know what it is like to be tall, and wear glasses while growing up.
It's hard to feel good about yourself, to feel feminine, and to fit in.
Even with great faith, and a caring family, it gets tough when you look different.
Andrea's two younger sisters and brother found spouses, got married.
And Andrea had a turning point with her relationship with God.
It was rough.
She made some bad choices.
Some could have had permanent consequences.
She had just moved to Hawaii, and had made a choice one evening that could have jeopardized both herself and Laura's safety.
(Scared Laura...it was pretty wild crazy behavior)
It was a wake-up call.
Andrea turned a corner. She turned her life back over to God.
And she made a list of what she hoped for, someday, in a husband:
A big man.
Taller than she was.
A scruffy manly man (no metrosexual type guy)
An outdoors type.
With large hands,
And a very large faith in God.
Meanwhile Laura "The Good One" was getting engaged to "The Wrong One."
Andrea knew it, we knew it.
How could Andrea even say anything about this? She spoke up anyway, and spoke truth.
After they both left Hawaii, Andrea returned to her job as a cardiac nurse in her home town.
There was an online Christian dating service in the area.
Andrea posted her picture.
Jason saw the picture.
He sent her an electronic "wink", and wrote her:
"I love your smile."
It was her smile that drew him to her picture.
When they met, he told his friends that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.
Andrea is his first love.
And you wouldn't believe how big his hands are!
And how much he loves God and others.
Sometimes there's a reason for things.
Sometimes things just work together for the good.