Testimony: Getting to work on Friday was difficult. The cervical collar and persistent pain my neck and shoulder made it hard to put on my winter sweater, boots and then my jacket. The trouble delayed me so much I rushed out of the house without my engagement ring for the first time in nearly a year. I noticed its absence when I got in my car. I immediately texted my fiancé to bring it to me.
I felt off from the moment I stepped in the office. Tired and overworked, I plugged away at eight voice overs and two packages so I could make it to lunch on time. Ten minutes before I was slated to leave my fiancé walked through the door; he came into the city earlier to surprise me by taking me to lunch.
As we made our way to the lobby, the looks of pity engulfed me. Then, right before the revolving door, a co-worker smiled, hugged me and asked how I was doing. I responded, “fine” and exited the building.
The sorrowful glances were impossible to ignore as my fiancé and I walked up Columbus Avenue. We’re an interracial couple so being stared at is nothing new. This time though, I noticed people examined me with my cervical collar, cane and limp then glanced at him with discomfort.
When we sat down in the restaurant, my fiancé said I looked sad. I tried to pretend I was not. He grabbed my hand and placed it in his and said he loved me. I realize my now obvious afflictions didn’t embarrass him or make him second guess his choice. He proudly held my hand until or food came and walked beside me back to work.
I wear my engagement ring proudly because I’ve been blessed with a love that conquers illness, prejudice and financial strife; that’s evidence of God’s grace and mercy.