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There were mechanism that allowed them to cope. The two bedroom house had a zero rise entry, no stairs, a trapeze like contraption that allowed Gabriele to hoist her husband into and out of bed and then there were the wheelchairs, lots of wheelchairs.

The only doors that were ever closed were the three that led outside. There was no need to shut the bathroom door. Gabrielle was blind and besides she had to ‘assist’ her husband in everything. They had moved into their new home six weeks before they got married. At that point her peripheral vision was still pretty good and she learned to navigate the bus routes to the grocer’s, the bank, library and other essential locales.

They had travelled the routes together, arm in arm until one day she said, “Time to push the fledgling from the nest,” and had journeyed out alone. He had followed in the car but had resisted his overwhelming temptation to help her. Late one night in mid-December he had said, “Will you marry me? I mean soon. Like in four weeks?”

“Four weeks?! Adriel, are you crazy? We can’t get married in four weeks! That would be what? The twelfth?”

“Ahh. No, not the twelfth. I want to get married on the following Monday, not Saturday.”

“Monday? Oh! Monday! Got it! But really? Four weeks?”

“Four weeks. Are you in?”

“I’m in. I don’t know what my mother’s going to say but I’m in.”

Mariam had praised Adriel extensively on their wedding day. “Gabby, I think you have a real winner here. Adriel, I’m just so pleased that my little girl has a chivalrous protector like you. It just feels so right seeing you two together.” That tune ended fairly quickly when the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was diagnosed.

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