Kelly Irvin – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 2

Shannon here: Amish romance author, Kelly Irvin shares insight into her real life romance plus a chance to win a copy of her latest title, The Beekeeper’s Son. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated March 18 – 20 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: March 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:

Kelly Irwin and hubbyKelly Irwin shadowsKelly Irwin cover

People often think couples who’ve been married for many years don’t really experience romance anymore. I’ve been married 27 years and I beg to differ. The nature of romance changes and deepens. It touches you in a way that the early flush of physical infatuation can’t. It reveals itself in unexpected ways. The most romantic thing my husband ever did for me didn’t involve candy and flowers or a weekend romantic getaway, as lovely as those things are. The romantic gesture that made me cry came just this past year.

In July I started having difficulty picking up my feet. That progressed to having problems walking. In September, I learned I would need to have surgery or I would end up in a wheelchair. When I sat down with my husband to explain what was wrong and what was coming, he said not to worry, he would take care of me. “In sickness and in health, those are the vows,” he said. I’m still moved to tears by the memory.

Neither of us really understood at the time what exactly “in sickness” would mean. The procedure took twelve hours. I spent six days in the hospital. When I came home I had to learn to walk again. My sense of balance was completely gone. For Tim, it meant getting up in the night to turn me over because I couldn’t turn myself over. It meant helping me to the bathroom and assisting me in the shower. It meant tying my shoes and helping me get dressed and taking me to doctor’s appointments.

He showed me how much he loved me by rearranging the furniture, putting a bed in the downstairs living room, buying a shower chair, putting a lifted seat on the toilet in the guest bathroom, buying slick sheets to make it easier for me to get out of bed, all before I came home from the hospital. He researched and found a gadget that helped me put on my socks without bending over and a gripper to pick things up when I drop them—which is still often because of numb fingers.

For Tim, it still means doing the laundry, buying the groceries, and doing most of the cooking. It’s getting better. I’ve graduated from a walker to a cane. I’ve gone back to work, but I still struggle with daily tasks that take much longer than before. The road to complete recovery is not a sure, straight shot. Some days I’m all too ready for a pity party. But I always know Tim will be there with a smart alack remark or a dry observation that mostly means, “stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’re blessed. You’re loved.”

Whatever you do, don’t buy into the Hollywood version of love. Find true love and stick with it through thick and thin. That’s when you’ll see and feel true romantic love. It’s about the lows as much as the highs. It’s about being there for that person who made your heart skip a beat the first time you saw him. But it’s also knowing he’ll be there when your heart is broken and only his hugs and kisses can make it better.

About Kelly: Kelly Irvin is the author of the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper’s Son, called “a beautifully woven masterpiece” by Publishers Weekly. The book is the first of three in The Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins. Kelly also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishers. She has also authored two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She wrote nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. She has worked in public relations for the city of San Antonio for twenty-one years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and serves as secretary of the local chapter, Alamo Christian Fiction Writers.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-seven years. They have two grown adult children, two grandchildren, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.

About the book – The Beekeeper’s Son:

Sometimes it takes a barren landscape to see the beauty of God’s creation.

Phineas King knows better than to expect anything but shock and pity wherever he shows his face. Horribly scarred from the van accident that claimed his mother’s life, he chooses to keep his distance from everyone, focusing his time and energy on the bees his family raises. If no one sees him, no one can judge him. So why does he start finding excuses to seek out Deborah Lantz, the beautiful new arrival in town?

Deborah can’t get out of Bee County, Texas, soon enough. Once her mother and younger siblings are settled, she is on the first bus out of this dusty town. She is only waiting on the letter from Aaron, asking her to return to lush Tennessee to be his fraa. But that letter never comes. As she spends time getting to know Phineas—hoping to uncover the man beneath the scars—she begins to realize that she no longer minds that Aaron hasn’t sent for her.

As both Deborah and Phineas try to come to terms with lives that haven’t turned out the way they imagined, they discover that perhaps Gott’s plans for them are more extraordinary than they could have dreamed. But they need to let go of their own past sorrows and disappointments to find the joy and beauty that lies just ahead for them both.

Question: Have you ever had an illness, surgery, or event that left you unable to care for yourself for a while?

Come back March 20th for Kelly’s Story Behind the Story!

25 Responses to “Kelly Irvin – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 2”

  • Hello Kelly. What a beautiful love story. Glad you were so lucky to be with the husband GOD made just for you. Yes, too many are gone through the bad times or illness. Yes, I fell hard backwards back in June last year and had a severe huge bruise on my left side of my hip. I got a severe sprained left wrist. And both still give me fits and so many things I can’t do, like doctoring my right arm or neck or side when they are hurting for makes my left shoulder hurt too much. Still think must have had a crack in my wrist.Been 9 months now. For months couldn’t do so many things needed doing with my left wrist and my daughter would come after work and care for me, like massaging, doctoring, and doing things I couldn’t do. She was a real blessing and still is when I need her. I have been want this beekeeper ever since I saw it. Should hope I might get to win it. Glad you are slowly getting better. And, may GOD continue to bless you and Tim. Shannon, thanks for having Kelly on your blog. Hoping to get lucky and win this book. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  • Judith Smith says:

    Kelly, I really enjoy your books, and just know have tears in my eyes after reading this part of your story. I knew through other postings that you were going through a lot, and have been praying for you and your family. God does know what He is doing when two soulmates are both Believers and are brought together through marriage. Your husband sounds wonderful, and he took his vows to heart, and is living them by helping you. My husband Jymm is the same way. I was coming back from lunch with a girlfriend almost 21 years ago. A semi-truck kept on rolling, and turned in front of us when the light was yellow. There was no way my friend could stop or get out of the way. We knew we were going to get hit. I broke my neck at the base of my spine, but my Guardian Angel was with me that day. Any lower, I would have been paralyzed from the neck down. I still go for treatment and therapy after all these years. Though frustrated at times, my husband has stood by me. I can never say thank you enough to him, or to God for sparing my life that day. I was 37 years old, with a 12 year old son when the accident happened. Yes, it has changed my life in so many ways, and there are more changes down the road. Jymm has literally taken me to a few hundred doctor and therapy appointments, and never complains. I feel extremely Blessed! May God continue to heal and bless you also.

  • Loretta Shumpert says:

    How blessed you are to have a life-time love, so many people never find that. God bless you as you continue recovering, sounds like you have come a long way. Be patient, it will come in time.

    The Bee-Keepers Son sounds very good, will try to read this one even if I don’t win it.

  • Michelle Conti says:

    I have been blessed to have married my soul mate. We have been married over 28 years. The trials we have faced together has made our love for each other stronger.

  • Connie Saunders says:

    I had total hip replacement this past December 1 and for the first time, I was dependent on others for some of my needs. I was very blessed and was soon able to bathe myself and go to the restroom by myself but I am just now able to completely bend over to get something out of the cabinet and I have also been limited in lifting. This experience has shown me how lucky I have been in the past; it makes me appreciate my husband and the other people who have helped me and it has shown me that none of us are immune to illness or injuries!

  • Shelia Hall says:

    Yes, had foot surgery 1 1/2 years ago and was down for 4 weeks

  • Cathy Carruthers says:

    I was extremely obese, I elected to have bariatric surgery
    After the surgery I stayed at a rehab/ nursing home. Since
    I’m single they would not let me go home alone. A trying time
    But happy to say well worth the discomfort, I have lost 170 lbs
    And am off all my mess for diabetes, high blood pressure, and
    High cholesterol !

  • Melissa B. says:

    I had my tonsils out as an adult. I was down for nearly two weeks. My mom and my husband waited on my the entire time.

  • Cheryl Baranski says:

    I had my thyroid taken out several years ago. That laid me up for a few weeks. I also had an unexpected operation right in the doctor’s office. That one laid me up for almost 4 months. My boys sure learned to do a lot of things to help out at home then. I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis now I am dealing with it. Thankful for my Heavenly Father. I sure have sent up some prayers lately.

    Keep up the wonderful writing Kelly.

    God Bless,
    Cheryl Baranski

  • Mary Ellen Ashenfelder says:

    I have had c-sections, a hysterectomy and several hand surgeries. I will always be grateful for those who were there to help me during those times. Kelly and her husband are an inspiration and an example of true love. I am a big fan of Kelly’s work and would be thrilled to add this book to my collection. Thank you.

  • KayM says:

    Kelly, thank you for sharing your experience and especially your example of romantic love.

    I haven’t had the total experience of not being able to care for myself; however, when I was 16, I had a severe case of mono and was in bed for 6 weeks. My parents were great in the care and extra-special ways that they made the illness less tedious. My mom, who was a great cook, bought ingredients and made many special dishes to tempt my to eat. My dad hooked up special speakers in my room, so that I had “surround sound”. It was amazing!

  • Kelly Irvin says:

    It’s inspiring to me to hear your stories as well. Thank you to each one of you who took the time to leave a comment. Your prayers are appreciated and you’ll be in mine!

  • Melanie Backus says:

    Some husbands really take their wedding vows seriously, even the sickness and health part. I am so very thankful that my husband is one of them. We will be married 40 years this year and he has helped me through several ups and downs with health issues. Kelly, I hope you see healthier days soon.

  • Juanita Cook says:

    Yes, had a back surgery that went terribly wrong and had to have it done again 15 days later. Still having some problems as my sciatic never was permanently damage by one of the screws breaking through the bone and still have some problems with it after 19n years ago.

  • Patty says:

    Tim sounds like a very special guy! Thanks for sharing your love story.

    I have never had an injury/illness like that.

  • No I haven’t but my husband has had several and I’ve been the caretaker, still am for some of his daily needs. I’m sure it is just as hard for him to ask for the help as it is for me to see him as ‘needy’ in these situations.

    I think this sounds like a great book, thank you for the chance to win a copy of it.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  • Deanna S says:

    No I haven’t but I have been a caretaker. Your husband is a gift! I know mine would do for me.
    I’d love to read your book, thanks for the giveaway..
    dkstevensneAToutlookD OtcOm

  • Carol Wong says:

    My husband is the same way as the author. He does all the housework, most of the cooking and does so many things for me. I have a sense of balance that is geting much worse and muscle weakness. We are planning to go to Mayo for a diagnosis. My neurologist said that my problems are too complicated for him. Hoping for a diagnosis and then some kind of treatment. Think I have the best husband in the world!

  • Karen R says:

    Wow, that’s true love! Ptl you’re doing better. Other than some minor surgeries and back injuries my dh has had, we haven’t been tested this way…yet. Watching my parents go through this has been a life lesson for us though. Love is action indeed. Your book sounds good!

  • chris granville says:

    I couldnt drive for 6 weeks after neck surgery but I can sympathize with people who have more extensive problems
    God bless all of you

  • Frances Cavalli says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful love story! I have been a caretaker all of my life, but it is really wonderful, when you can be the one being taken care of sometimes! My husband, who treated me like a queen, and cared for me though a severe nervous breakdown, is now gone, himself, to be taken care of by God, our heavenly Father!!! I would be so truly blessed to win this book! God Bless You and Your Family and have a wonderful, blessed day!!! Good Luck to Everyone!!!

  • Karen G. says:

    I had a hysterectomy 20 years ago. I was done during hunting season. I know the hubby was upset that it got scheduled during hunting season but he didn’t say too much about it. He missed a week and I let him go after two days at home. I’m not one to sit around unless I am totally sick and can’t do anything. I did over do it on the fourth day by going shopping with my mom because they had to take me home earlier than we planned. The doctor was amazed at how quickly I healed – told him I was constantly on the move. He said that’s probably the best thing to do instead of sitting around all day.

  • Thankfully, I’ve never had any major health issues or surgeries. But after our son’s birth, I got a taste of it. I was numb and had to have help walking. I remember being really grateful for my husband. And the nurses.

    Kelly, I’m so glad you’re able to still write. I would think numb fingers would make this difficult.

  • Kelly Irvin says:

    Thanks to everyone who has left messages with their inspirational tales. We’re all in it together. You’re in my prayers!

  • Joy Hannabass says:

    I would love to have this book!! Thank you ladies! I had surgery back in 1993 that left me not being able to Wait on myself and it was very frustrating. Thankfully it was during the summer and my son was out of school and he was fabulous waiting on me.
    Thanks for all your stories!

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