Rick Dorothy and Jan Dorothy’s first meeting was full of love sparks but happened when they were both married to other people. He met her at work and was smitten with her shy and pleasant demeanor. Knowing that the timing wasn’t right, Rick took a step back and tried to forget about her.
Unbeknownst to him, the universe was busy writing a story where he and Jan would soon be together. They separated from their partners as time passed and entered singlehood again. Rick recalled how it happened first to Jan, and all he could think about was her happiness.
Starting a Life Together
Soon afterward, the newly-divorced pair found solace and serendipity in each other, and a year later, they tied the knot. It didn’t take them long to build a beautiful life together with two children. Sadly, the couple continued to face hardships and challenges along the way.
Neither could Rick kill their daily walks nor take them alone—but was there something else he could do?
It started with Rick losing his job of 1.5 years when Jan had already left work to be a full-time mother. During that time, the Dorothys began having late-night conversations to vent and find logical solutions to their problems. But that wasn’t all they did.
Taking Long Walks Together
Jan and Rick embarked on long walks, which became an integral part of their daily routine. They would use their time together in nature to reflect, recharge, and discuss the future they wished to build for their lovely family.
Their favorite strolling spot was a circular path by a lake close to their house in Michigan. The couple’s “alone time” offered them a clarity of perspective every time they faced a predicament and helped them keep a positive outlook.
With Jan and Rick being out of work, they decided to sell their home and construct another. This was followed by the pair entering the wood business and making enough money to lead a happy life. With their long walks serving as a welcome respite, they were hopeful they could overcome anything.
His Wife’s Illness
But things took an unexpected turn when Rick saw his wife dragging her foot one day. Initially, the pair shrugged it off, thinking Jan might be slightly out of shape. To rectify the situation, they began walking longer distances so she could regain her strength and flexibility.
But with time, Jan’s foot drag worsened until the couple took a walk with their neighbors one day and realized they had heavy statures but didn’t drag their feet. Shortly afterward, the Dorothys discovered that Jan had multiple sclerosis (MS).
When Rick looked into the condition’s history and details, he was taken aback. Still, he decided not to give up and worked with Jan daily, helping her adopt an exercise routine. There were times when Rick admitted he cried, feeling his wife’s pain, but she “never, ever cried one time; she’s never felt sorry for herself,” he said.
The Michigan man noted that his “tough wife” continued to accompany him until she became so weak that she couldn’t walk any longer. Neither could Rick kill their daily walks nor take them alone—but was there something else he could do?
Finding a Solution
After much thought, Rick fumbled his mind for a handy solution, but he later admitted that he had a moment of realization when he saw a Chinese rickshaw on TV. Deriving inspiration from the first four letters in his first name and his passion for inventing things, he began working diligently.
Skilled in woodwork, building boats, and constructing houses, Rick told his family he would build a rickshaw for his wife. Many laughed it off and doubted his sanity, but the determined husband assured them he meant business.
Jan believed him when he asked her one day to sit on a plywood seat so he could locate the balance point. When the makeshift rickshaw was ready, Rick showed it to Jan and took her on their first test ride together. To his delight, she loved it and remarked that it was comfortable and fun.
Carrying On with Their Long Walks
With a belt tied to his waist, Rick was able to pull the rickshaw that he said had been designed keeping in mind Jan’s weight and size. The adjustable ride was easy to separate, and its pieces could be carried in the back of a car.
But most importantly, Rick’s labor of love was worth it because Jan could still be a part of their daily walks, and they could continue cherishing their “alone time” together. The thoughtful husband confessed that he would happily support his wife’s weight while his legs were strong enough. He added:
“As long as I am able to walk, we will continue to have our long walks in the woods together.”
Praise for the Thoughtful Husband
Many people were touched by Mr. Dorothy’s love, commitment, and devotion to his beloved wife of 27 years, and shared their appreciation in the form of touching messages on Facebook. Here are a few comments that they wrote:
“KUDOS to this husband…”
— (@ruth.tim.3) August 5, 2022
“NOW THAT’S A MAN WHO LOVES HIS WIFE.”
— (@pamela.small2) August 5, 2022
“True love and dedication to the love of this life.”
— (@claudette.veinotte) August 4, 2022
“They’re finding other ways to do the things they love. True (sic).”
— (@robyn.difrancesco.1) August 4, 2022
“He’s definitely a keeper!”
— (@lois.knoedler) August 4, 2022
If you liked reading this story, click here to read another one about a 5-year-old boy who was unable to walk until his dad built him an adorable costume for Halloween.