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Love Stories of Hawaii

Timeless Love

True Love
Dedicated to Ken Bakken

Submitted by Sally-Jo

A love story is roses and candlelight dinners. It sounds romantic, but my love story is the stuff that makes up real life.at least my life. I met my husband, Ken, in 1973. It all began when he invited me up to his apartment for hot chocolate. To my surprise, that was his real intent! This would not make a person swoon with envy. Actually, the only part of my life that would make someone envious is that Ken is in it. He is my love story. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 13. It was very severe, but I did my best to hide it. Who wants to be different at that age? I was extremely good at the game of "being normal". Few knew my real world. Things were going along smoothly with my fake identity until I met Ken. This relationship was going to be that "forever" one. How could I share my world of physical pain with someone? It didn't seem fair to involve someone else. I trusted this guy though. He had offered hot chocolate on our first meeting and had really meant it! That's someone you can trust! I confided my fears to him. Ken didn't hesitate in reassuring me that he was there for me. Neither of us knew to what extent he would need to be. After our first year of marriage, I had my first surgery. It was a total knee replacement. That was the start of my surgical adventures. I can't list all of the surgeries and fractures that I have had. It would be too long and actually seem fictional. The most major, however, came in 1980 when I had another knee replacement. I had an infection and my knee would need to be fused. This, however, was not our greatest challenge. A leg that doesn't bend throws you off balance. Many falls have occurred. In August 1998, I shattered my leg after falling. When I was told that I needed to rehabilitate in a nursing home, I fell into a black hole of despair. I could hardly face Ken, but he brought me my favorite coffee each morning, and washed my hair to cheer me up. I was bedridden and unable to care for myself. He took care of my every need. Slowly, I started to see a light, but it was through his eyes. I was in a wheelchair and Ken was my everything. Christmas approached and I was able to get out of the wheelchair a little bit when the wheelchair arm caught the cord of our deep fryer and 1/2 quarts of 400-degree oil poured over my leg. I am now recovering from a broken arm. Does this guy ever get to relax? Ken only relaxes on the beach in Maui, Hawaii. It is our escape. It is there that we remember all the good times and are able to wash away the painful ones.


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