Military Marriage

Choosing to Love Even When It Seems Impossible

I am a sucker for a good chick flick and am usually found enjoying this genre when my husband is away. I have found, however, that chick flicks often create disillusionment to reality of what life really is. In November, I had the privilege of attending an event where Kim and Krickitt Carpenter spoke.

Afterward, we watched the movie “The Vow,” which is based on the true-life story of Kim and Krickitt. (Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams portray Kim and Krickitt.) The movie, moreover their story, gives me hope — hope that life can go horribly wrong, and still we can choose to focus on all that is right.

Kimmer (Kim) and Krickitt met in 1992 when Krickitt was on the receiving end of a phone call at a company she worked for. Kim, on the other end, was hoping to buy athletic gear. Kim knew by Krickitt’s “bubbly personality” that he wanted to get to know Krickitt more. Something ignited within Kim and he found reasons to call Krickitt about “the order(s)” regularly. In April of 1993 the couple met in person, and they fell in love even more. Kim recalls Krickitt had the “most beautiful blue eyes, and was rock solid in her faith.” By September of the same year they were married.

Tragically, their love story took a horrific turn not even 10 weeks into their marriage. The couple was in a car accident where they both suffered severe injuries, but Krickitt’s were far worse. Krickitt sustained a Traumatic Brian Injury, and was in a coma for roughly 21 days.

When she woke, there was an 18-month pre-accident memory lapse and four-month post-accident loss. Krickitt had no memory of any of the time she and Kim had shared or spent together. For her, there were no binding experiences; Kim was simply a stranger. Thankfully and heartbreakingly, Kim remembered it all — the conversations, the love, the shared ideologies, their short history. Kim had memories to carry him through the hardest fight he had ever met but, unlike Kim, Krickitt can’t recall (even to this day) why she was initially drawn to Kim.

Let that sink in. Krickitt can’t remember the reasons or whys that their marriage began. When your service member is gone, you cling to the happy memories until they return, don’t you? Imagine how hard it would be to look forward to what may come if you can’t remember the past, the whys and the hows that shaped your relationship.

For me their story isn’t just nice; it is inspirational. The love and commitment of the Carpenters can be inspirational to us all. I received an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with this amazing couple, and learned through them that love is an intentional, everyday action.

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