The year was 1965. It was early fall. I had just started my freshman year at Manchester College in preparation to become an OB/GYN physician. My new college roommate, John Graft, introduced me to a person, a very special person, who changed my life forever. This special person was Anita Kingery, my wife, today, and forever my life-long companion.
During that summer we both took our first plane ride and our first cruise trip to Hawaii. I remember that I obviously loved her, but more so realized what a truly unselfish, caring, and special person she was — in so many ways! This was crystal clear when she supported me in pursuing my dream of becoming a physician. When we started our family, Anita had to parent alone many times because of my responsibilities as an OB/GYN doctor. Not one time did I ever hear her complain. In fact, it was just the opposite. She always supported me and explained to our children why I was not able to be with them many times.
Her authentic qualities shined after July 29, 2001, the day of my go-cart accident that rendered me paralyzed from the waist down. Our children were in college, and Anita devoted her entire life to caring for me. She has always been there to help me — she helps assist me with putting on my clothes, turning me in the middle of the night so I don’t get pressure ulcers, and encourages me when I’m down by placing Bible verses on my desk.
Her ultimate caring gift showed in late 2018 and the winter of 2019. I became gravely ill and almost died. After my discharge from the hospital, I was restricted to bed rest for approximately 6 months. Anita took care of me without hesitation or help from others. She would bathe me, prepare my meals, give me IV antibiotics, and turn me every 3 hours around the clock. Again, she never complained. This took a mental and physical toll on her and she lost over 20 pounds. For those who know her, that is a lot of weight for her size.
On July 17, 2021, we will be married 50 years! I thank God every day that He gave me a Saint for my life-long partner. Anita has sacrificed so much for me and I am deeply appreciative for her. I pray every day that she knows how much she is loved.
Thank you, Anita, for a SPECIAL 50 years! YOU are the greatest GIFT in my LIFE.
I love you,