My son and his wife experienced a real challenge at a time that should have been their greatest joy. My daughter-in-law fell victim to post-partum psychosis after the birth of their first child. Through the year that followed both families supported the young couple as best they could. I came to help take care of the baby for a time.
Her aunt came when I needed to return to work and stayed until my daughter-in-law was able to care for the baby on her own. My husband and I helped them relocate for his job a few months later. We provided a listening ear when our son was bewildered by his wife’s lingering illness.
My daughter-in-law had been reluctant to marry. She had not felt the need to formalize their relationship by going through a ceremony, but my son believed it was important. He didn’t want to just move in with her; he wanted to make a commitment to her publicly in front of God and all their family and friends. During the time of her illness my daughter-in-law came to realize what a difference that commitment made. She understood that it was the promise that her husband had made to her to stand by her in sickness and in health that kept him by her side in those difficult days. She understood that he wasn’t with her just for the good times or as long as they were having fun. She understood that she could count on his love.
I believe the grace of the sacrament of marriage sustained my son and his wife at that challenging time. Watching them grow in their love for each other makes the love of God more present to me. I rejoiced when they welcomed a second child into their home recently and I look forward to celebrating the baptism of that child in the near future.