Story for Valentine’s Day: Couple demonstrates great love
On June 6, 1991, 44-year-old David Seijo went to the emergency room to find out why he was having constant abdominal discomfort.
While there, he began having convulsions and seizures. His brain was deprived of oxygen. The result was David lost his memory, especially short-term memory and all recognition of his family. He lost his ability to walk and feed himself. After a year in the hospital and three years in therapy as an outpatient, he went home.
For two decades, Eunice Seijo has cared for her husband with selfless love and devotion. “I can’t deny that many times I have wanted to flee the situation. But I think the reason I’ve cared for my husband all these years is that I still love him, and marriage is a commitment,” said Eunice. “Of course, without the support and help of my family I could not have done it.”
The three grown children he and his wife raised would surround their father with love. Eunice found a strength she never knew possible, which she attributes to God.
David Seijo came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1957 when he was 10 years old. He met his wife Eunice in their teens. On April 16, 1966, the couple, both 18 years old, married in New Jersey. David worked as a barber. Eunice was a homemaker. They had a happy marriage. They had three children, David, Elaine, and a daughter they named Eunice.
After moving to Miami, David got a job for Roadway Express as a truck driver.
He was involved in his local church, studied at a Bible institute, and served in the youth ministry of his church. He was a trumpet player, wrote songs, and had a Christian band that played in local churches in Miami.
It was through David’s illness that Roger Felipe met his wife, Elaine. “As a pastor I visited David and the family at the hospital,” said Felipe. Roger and Elaine married a couple years later
After leaving the hospital, David Jr. and his wife, Miriam, helped Eunice care for her husband. After two years, David and Eunice moved in with their daughter, Elaine, and her husband, Roger.
David is now 68 years old and he and Eunice still live with the Felipes on Marco Island. Granddaughter Katherine Felipe, now 17, is a senior at the Marco Island Academy. She has only known her grandfather as an invalid. She has grown up with her grandparents in the house and is very close to her grandmother.
“I love to play my acoustic guitar for my grandfather,” said Katherine. “He seems to enjoy my music. “
Although David Seijo lost most of his ability to talk, a few times in these past two decades he has remembered people and events in his life.
“Like a light that sometimes shines through a crevice he gives us a glimpse from his past,” said Felipe.
“The family believes the greatest support they provide is just being together, and providing physical assistance so Eunice doesn’t have to do it all alone,” he said.
“Perhaps what we have learned the most from her is the meaning of love and commitment, as well as compassion and empathy for those who suffer,” said Felipe.
“We don’t know what the future holds for David and Eunice, or any of us, but one thing is certain, although life is both unfair and a mystery, God is good and worthy of our trust and devotion,” said Felipe. “Eunice has chosen to love, serve, sacrifice, and hope. I think all of us can learn from her.”