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Evansville, Indiana
October 10, 1997     The Message
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October 10, 1997

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October 10, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 Just a couple of Beers Couple shares their story of hardships and love By MARY ANN HUGHES Message staff writer As she looked down at her husband who was sitting next to her in his wheel- chair at St. Benedict Church, Mary Lou Beers said, "God has blessed us so much." Mary Lou and her husband Jim were in Evansville last weekend talking about their marriage, both the hardships and the love they have shared over the past 32 years. After only eight years of a marriage loves us, and that's the only thing I'm sure of. that was blessed by four children, Jim suffered a massive stroke. He was left Unable to talk or walk. When Mary Lou received word that he had suffered a stroke, she was asked, "Do you. want to be with him at the mOment of death?" When she arrived at the hospital, he Was having a massive seizure, and she mediately prayed, "Let him dle D;:dt ' lelet him suffer" When the seizure en she prayed. "Let him live." But when a second seizure began, she prayed, "Let him die." ,, When their priest arrived, he said, Hone '. ing G: you need help. You are confus- atLaug hter rippled thorugh the audience "; aUmor. Tears were shed, too. When " ,, ,.:, _ Jtrn first opened his eves, when ,e rOOked I kn .... ,_ at me I knew those eyes, and ,,-"-, ne was in there. St." Themse said me eyes are the windows of the soul, and I looked at his e"es The,, were the onl things that moved." Y Y i"I trusted those eves for thr months spent 12 hours  . ee. . did eve,.,.,,-- a day with him, and I the com'aY.t,nmg I could to get him out of z read the Bible, especially the , . When she went into Jim's room, she saw movement in his right hand. "I said, 'Jim, if you can hear me, tell me how many children we have.'" He motioned four. She said, "Jim, we can spell." She began reciting the alphabet, and he motioned with his finger when he heard the letter he wanted. Immediately, he spelled, "I want to see my children." It was during the children's visit to the hospital that "Jim knew he was going to live, because he knew he was loved. Our children said, 'Bring daddy home. We will help.' That was our leap of faith, bring- ing Jim home." Mary Lou became his nurse, and her chil- dren became her teach- ers. "They taught me how to live and love and laugh." She thought she was providing Jim's every need until one day when he told her, "I could pay someone to be my nurse. I want a wife. I want to be a hus- band. I want to make love, to go out on a date, to go out to dinner. I want to do all the things we used to do." On their first date, she brought a blender to the restaurant, and mixed his food at the table. When she became preg- nant with their fifth child, her doctor suggested that she have an abortion. He was concerned for her health. Along with taking care of Jim and their four children, she was carrying her paralyzed husband on her back upstairs every night and downstairs every morning. She refused to consider an abortion. Instead, members of the football and wrestling teams at a nearby high school arrived twice a day to carry Jim up and down steps. At the hospital during her labor, her husband became her birthing coach. She gave birth to a healthy eight-pound- nine-ounce baby girl who landed into the arms of the doctor who had suggest- ed an abortion The baby was then placed into the arms of her father whose voice she would never hear. "The doctor knelt down in that room and said, 'I don't know how to thank you for your faith.'" Today, their children JOHN MANGIN Owner Decorating Corner 21 East South B Washington, IN 47501 ulis: 2,54-7794 Home: 254-3087 Main Street Pharmacy 217 E. Main St.. Downtown Washington Phone: 254-5141 " 1 Care When You can't be there, turn to SOmeone who can ... a ...... Visit/n2T.dnion careglver from ,- $ urse Plus The have me tralnln s " Y to ca-- - g' kills, and concern . ,, -.' Tor your elderly parents. 'na that means peace of mind for You and your family. VURSE I,'m. Our are anssrea 24 hours a . V r nas.oes3 00ansvme00 385"3 717 (Princeton) Jim and Mary Lou Beers speak about their marriage. The couple was in Evans- ville last weekend, talking about their are grown, and Mary Lou and Jim make their living as public speakers at church- es, marriage conferences and schools. Jim communicates with the help of a lap- top battery-operated voice computer. "We're just a couple of Beers," Mary Lou said, "and like Mary, God asked for our 'yes,' When we say 'yes' labor will Father Earl Rohleder and Bish- op Gerald A. Gettelfinger dis- cuss dedication plans for the the religious education build- ing at Holy Angels Church, New Harmony, with Thomas W. Wathen of Encino, Calif. The building, which houses four classrooms, and which was completed through the efforts of parish vohmteers, was dedicated Oct. 5 in honor of Wathen's late wife. "The Margaret Corbin Wathen Reli- gious Education Building" is attached to the larish center north of the church builldin 8. -- Message photo by Paul R. Leingang marriage, and the after-effects of a mas- sive stroke Jim suffered 24 years ago. Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes come and there will be Some real pain." Mary Lou believes, "We have been very blessed.'" "Sometimes," she admits, "I don't want to be married. But one is holding ustogether who is greater than US. "God loves us, and that's the only thing I'm sure of."