Love: the ultimate subject. We love people for who they are. However, there’s a kind of love too lofty to truly encompass all the nuances, a love that manifests itself toward people regardless of who they are or what they have become. Such a love beautifully encapsulates the story of Ian and Larissa.
The two met in college in 2005. Ten months were enough for Ian to be convinced that she was the one, that they were happy together, and that they complemented each other. They knew that this love was not going to diminish because they had placed God at the center of their relationship. So, they decided to get married.
It was September 30, 2006, a date etched in Larissa’s memory because it was the day that definitively changed their peaceful and problem-free life. On the way from home to work, Ian was involved in a serious car accident. “We watched our future crash with him in that white station wagon,” Larissa would later say. Or at least the future as they had imagined it.
Multiple head injuries left Ian in a profound coma, from which no one believed he would wake up. Doctors had already informed the family to prepare for the funeral when four out of five brain tests negated the possibility of recovery. Nevertheless, the family refused to disconnect him from life support, and their faith was rewarded with a miracle. Ian emerged from the coma, but he couldn’t speak, his short-term memory was severely affected, as were his cognitive abilities, and he couldn’t move either.
Seven months later, when Ian was brought home, Larissa moved into Ian’s parents’ house to take care of him. She didn’t think for a moment that she could end the relationship. “Walking away from my best friend was never truly an option,” she said. She knew he wouldn’t have left her if the situation were reversed. She was still determined to marry him if he regained his speech. Two and a half years later, Ian managed to utter his first words. Shortly after, he proposed to Larissa.
“Iʼve heard that choosing marriage for anyone can raise doubts and fears. I think a disability takes those normal fears, and multiplies them,” Larissa recounts about her decision to marry Ian. However, fear was not stronger than their love and commitment, and four years after the accident, the two got married, in the company of friends and family. Someone dear was missing, though, someone who had been with them in the toughest moments: Ian’s father, who had died of brain cancer just a few months earlier.
Love doesn’t make difficulties disappear. Larissa knows this very well. She has a husband who can never be left alone and who forgets what he did during the day by the evening. She has to handle all the family chores and issues. She admits it’s not easy, but his encouragement and love lift her every time. Together, they managed to write a book about their experience and the wonderful way their love has evolved. In early 2017, Ian took his first steps on his own. Miracles still happen in their lives, but none match the miracle of the love that God placed in their hearts and that grows every day.