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My husband is dying, and caring for him is an act of love

The saying ‘opposites attract’ could have been written for me and my husband Dave. 

When we met in 1995 through mutual friends we were both seeing other people, but even if we had been free agents, I wouldn’t have gone for him. He was a blonde builder who had left school at 16, I was a journalist and had always gone for dark-haired, academically minded blokes. 

When we both found ourselves single two years later and Dave asked me out, I hesitated – but then thought, why not? He was fun, and that’s what I needed.

Three weeks later, he proposed and I said yes. A couple of friends thought I was being reckless, that I was on the rebound, but in those weeks I got to know the real, kind-hearted, family man that Dave was, and I fell in love. 

Seventeen years later, we are still happily married and living in Florida with our three amazing daughters.

I have worked at my dream job on a national American magazine. Dave has coached little ones at YMCA soccer and basketball. For a long time, life was everything we dreamed it would be. 

Then in August 2017, after experiencing issues with his legs and then muscle twitches all over his body, Dave was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, also known as ALS: a progressive, neurodegenerative condition where the motor neurones that connect to muscles die, rendering them useless. He was 45 years old. 

Most people diagnosed with ALS die within three to five years after having lost complete control of their bodies, and there is no effective cure or treatment. 

I remember the moment we found out. Dave was quite level-headed considering – his main concern was for our daughters, and how much we should tell them.

He promised he would fight to make every day count, and was determined that this diagnosis wouldn’t define him or our lives. 

As his wife, however, I was totally crushed. I’d never had a doubt that we would be together forever, that we would grow old together with our grandchildren and God knows how many dogs.

Yet there we were, our bubble burst, and I was faced with watching the love of my life gradually lose all movement and die a premature death. 

Dave said to me at the time: ‘I bet you wish you hadn’t fallen in love with me!’ I wept, not because I was sad, but because I was thankful that even with this death sentence, I would get to spend every day with my soul mate. I knew then that we would make the best of it. 

Dave’s progression has been pretty steady. For a while, we vowed to do everything on his bucket list, which included trips to Alaska and Cuba for our wedding anniversary. 

Last summer we went to Yellowstone Park, cramming 3,000 miles into two weeks, but I realised it was probably the last time we could embark on such an undertaking. 

Dave is now in an electric wheelchair all the time. A couple of fingers on his left hand work enough to drive his chair but that’s pretty much it. He can still just about talk and eat but it’s getting harder. 

I have gone from being a wife and a lover to a full time carer, something that if I’m honest doesn’t come easily to me. I get him up, bathe him, dress him, feed him, take him to the bathroom – it’s not something I ever expected I would have to do for my husband and I hate seeing him lose his independence.  

Inevitably it has changed the way we love each other, too. In some ways, our love is deeper and we are more connected on a spiritual level. We value the little things more, like a kiss and a hug, or my hand on his while we watch TV. 

Dave tells me all the time how amazing and beautiful I am and how much he appreciates what I do for us all.

Looking after him is an act of love – when you can wipe another person’s bum, feed and bathe them, it’s love for sure. 

We talk about what’s to come – he wants me to meet someone else so I won’t be lonely after he’s gone. Death holds little fear for him because he feels his parents will be waiting, so he is able to comfort me and talking about it has made our relationship stronger. 

Death is one of the oldest taboos and I believe he will never be far away once his body has left this world. 

Sadly, the passion isn’t there as much anymore. I think Dave misses it more than me but he is limited physically and I have such different priorities now – just keeping him comfortable and alive for as long as possible are the things I think about more than anything. 

By the time bed time comes around I am mentally exhausted and just want to sleep, ready to do it all again the next day.  

Dave once asked me: ‘If you knew I would get ALS would you still have married me?’ and without a doubt my answer was – and still is – yes. 

The thought of not having our kids, or having lived a good life together and created so many memories – I’d do it all again just to have them, and to have him in my life.

To support Sharon and Dave in raising awareness about ALS, visit facebook.com/pg/livefasttakechancess/

Last week in Love, Or Something Like It: My husband became my wife and it’s made me love her more

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Love, Or Something Like It is a regular series for Metro.co.uk, covering everything from mating and dating to lust and loss, to find out what love is and how to find it in the present day. If you have a love story to share, email rosy.edwards@metro.co.uk

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Victoria Beckham marks husband David’s seventh year since hanging up his boots with sweet throwback clip – The Sun

VICTORIA Beckham paid tribute to her husband David as he marked the seventh year anniversary of finishing his career in football today.

David, 45, stopped playing the sport professionally back in 2013 and was keen to look back on the various memories he enjoyed during his highly successful career.

Sharing a montage clip on Instagram, 46-year-old Victoria captioned the post: "Can’t believe it’s been 7 years today since @DavidBeckham played his last game as professional footballer.

"We are all so proud!!!! We love u xxx Can’t wait for your next chapter @intermiamicf x."

The cute video included several epic moment David had on the pitch, and even showed him cuddling up to a baby Brooklyn Beckham.

David also shared the clip on his own profile, and added: "I can’t believe it’s 7 years today since I played my last game as professional footballer. Such great memories.

"I was so lucky to have played with incredible teammates and had amazing support from the fans. Still miss it. Can’t wait for the next chapter @intermiamicf."

The dad-of-four was inundated with sweet comments, including some from his former teammates.

Robbie Keane wrote: "It was our pleasure pal 🔥🔥," while the official page for Inter Miami CF commented: "What a ride, boss. So much more to come!"

In February 2014, MLS announced that David had exercised his option to buy a MLS expansion team for $25 million, which he had received as part of the contract he signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007.

The ownership group, led by David, originally hoped the Miami-based team would begin play in 2016 or 2017, but due to delays in getting a stadium deal completed, MLS announced in January 2018 that the team had been approved and would likely begin play in 2020.

The club made its MLS debut on March 1, 2020 in a 0-1 away loss to Los Angeles FC.

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Joe Exotic's husband Dillon is living his best life: Inside the star's Instagram

Netflix’s new docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness had us gripped from the get-go with its wild subject matter and colourful personalities.

Joe Exotic’s love life was a big part of the series and we were introduced to the many relationships from his polygamous marriage to John Finlay and Travis Maldonado to his most recent husband Dillon Passage.

The two were married in a small, strange ceremony with ex-husband Travis’s mother in attendance.

In the seventh and final episode of the rollercoaster of a documentary, Dillon and Joe are still together despite Joe serving a 22-year jail sentence for murder-for-hire and wildlife charges.

And from Dillon’s Instagram page, he’s having the time of his life considering the circumstances.

The Florida resident is doing what most 20-something people do, hanging out with friends at the beach and going to clubs.

View this post on Instagram

Badass weekend on the river 🤙🏽

A post shared by Dillon ♌️ (@dillert_lclm) on

What is he up to now?

From the looks of it, Dillon is spending time with his large group of friends.

Cracking open a cold one with the boys in ‘gator infested rivers is already the most Florida thing we can imagine.

Dillon uploaded a series of pictures of him and his friends, thanking them for the constant support.

He and his friends were pictured with alligator-shaped floaties, parties with friends and many tie-dye shirts.

Is he still with Joe Exotic?

Exotic – real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage – is nowhere to be found on Dillon’s Instagram page.

The only thing reminding us of him is the tigers and Exotic-esque bio: ‘Animals are cooler than people.’

In a video of him dancing, a fan asked whether the two are still together, and Dillon answered: ‘I’m still married to joe but my social media platform isn’t used for any joe things. Thank you though.’

In the meantime, partying and hanging out with his besties is the way to go.

View this post on Instagram

The good place 😉

A post shared by Dillon ♌️ (@dillert_lclm) on

What about the animals?

Joe Exotic going to prison hasn’t changed Dillon’s love for tigers and other exotic animals.

If you scroll past all the parties and good times, he also shared snaps of his favourite tigers and snakes.

A post about his tiger from Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park read: ‘#DoublePost but I’ve never experienced quite the same connection as I do with these cats than I have with any other animals.

‘These awesome animals may seem big and scary but if treated and cared for with respect, they’ll treat you the same.’

Considering almost everywhere is in lockdown, we don’t know how often he gets to see the animals.

EDM festivals are definitely no longer and option at this time with many concerts and events getting cancelled.

Does hanging out in gator-infested rivers count as social distancing?

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