"Yes, I do" - at the peak of Corona
Consistency is a virtue that sounds somewhat out of place, especially in times of the Corona pandemic. This makes the deep relationship between Anna-Birgit Gebhardt and Elvira Weigl from the small town of Garching an der Alz in Bavaria all the more beautiful.
A chance encounter with a happy ending. We're really not too sure what got into the parish priest - maybe he's a big fan of Don Quixote or he took the following proverb by Miguel de Cervantes too literally:
All that love waits for is opportunity.
Because one day in August 2020 he took this opportunity for love, rang Birgit and Elvira's doorbell and rushed into the house with the words:
"Today is the wedding day."
Much to the astonishment and surprise of the two ladies. As they had not arranged a blessing date at all. But let's start from the beginning before we get to the bond of marriage.
It all began in 2015, on a Friday, with an encounter and a single glance. The venue was the Sonnenschein facility, a refuge for mentally ill people who need support in everyday life. It was Elvira's first viewing appointment. She was shown around the building and that's when Elvira and Birgit's eyes met. Just a brief moment for both of them. Birgit immediately enquired about the new arrival, whether it was a new therapist or a protégé. The answer satisfied Birgit. The following Monday, Elvira entered the facility with her packed suitcases. Glances quickly turned into conversation and friendship into love.
Over wine spritzers and pizza at their favourite Italian restaurant, they celebrated their engagement just three months later. However, an odyssey of serious illnesses with doctor's appointments and hospital stays was not long in coming and presented the two with a formidable challenge as well as being a test for the still young relationship. Birgit, who was already tracheotomised, soon developed a cataract, which at first went unnoticed. Elvira, who remains the driving force in the relationship to this day, provided the incentive for the visit to the ophthalmologist in Munich. Birgit underwent surgery and was able to see well again afterwards.
The desire for a shared flat was now top of the agenda. After numerous discussions at the facility and with the caregivers, an advertisement in the daily newspaper with only a single response, the new home in Garching an der Alz was finally found in mid-2017. Six months later, however, Birgit's complaints began, she had difficulty swallowing and suffered from pain in her throat area. The diagnosis followed quickly: laryngeal cancer. And if that was not tragic enough, an aneurysm had to be treated as an emergency at the local hospital. Afterwards, she was taken by helicopter to Regensburg, 140 km away, to receive professional care at the university hospital. Surgery lasted nine hours. Only rarely was Elvira able to visit her Birgit, but the daily phone calls helped. It was during these weeks in the hospital that a common wish was expressed repeatedly: "We want to get married."
Thanks to Elvira's dedicated support during radiotherapy and subsequent rehabilitation, Birgit is doing well these days. Between the two of them, they can cope with everyday situations in style. Hence, plans for the wedding in 2020 could finally begin. Numerous conversations were held, among others with their parish priest, who spontaneously appeared at their doorstep on 04 August 2020 without prior notice. In the middle of the living room, he blessed the ladies who had until then had to struggle so hard along their shared path. The civil wedding then took place on 18 August 2020. Due to the situation prevailing at the time, a wedding party was out of the question. Therefore, the newlyweds toasted to their marriage in the café and looked back on the time they had spent together:
"We are happy together. We are glad that we met. That was destiny. We were intended to meet."
The honeymoon followed directly afterwards. And as is fitting, the offspring was not long in coming. Now the happy family also includes two white-headed cockatiels named Fipsi and Stupsi. The four of them now make music, which is one of the great passions of the recently married couple. Birgit plays the bongo drums and Elvira sings along. And by the way, Elvira is a classically trained singer. And what will the future bring? For the couple who live in harmony, their greatest wish is that Birgit stays healthy. The next priority is a new flat in the small town of Burghausen. Which is where they want to continue pursuing their musical passion in cafés or at festivals. We wish them both the best of luck and above all good health for their future together!