I Fell In Love With A Partially Paralyzed Man: A Facebook Love Story

Photo: Photo Courtesy of Author,, geralt | Canva
Author and her husband she met on Facebook

Queen! Queen! I need you, come here, please. That is the new catchphrase in my house.

I remember a time when I would come home and everything was quiet; I would make dinner and watch television. This was my life: I would come home from a hard day at work, make dinner, maybe go out for a run, and jump on Facebook. I truly believed my life was great. I had everything I wanted, right?

December 17th was just a normal day. I woke up and got ready for work. I was excited that Christmas was coming up since my best friend was coming up to see me.

One thing I often did in the morning was log online and look through my Black Christian Facebook groups to see what the news of the day was. The posts varied from "What's your favorite scripture passage?" to men saying they were looking for a wife. (I tended to avoid those conversations for obvious reasons.)

But one day, I saw a guy in the group post something I liked and I thought he was handsome based on his profile picture. I liked his post, thought nothing of it, and moved on. 

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Later on, when I got home from work, I ate and relaxed. I remember a notification coming in telling me I had a Facebook message. It was from a stranger named Jay who said, "Blessings beautiful, how are you?"

I responded but instinctively wondered what he wanted. There was a part of me that didn't want to be bothered, but I was a little bit intrigued by him, too.

The opening conversation quickly turned friendly and within a few weeks of back and forth, we began chatting for hours. He was a guy I met on the Internet, so I was cautious and didn't really know how I felt about him — his language left much to be desired.

But unlike other men, Jay actually listened to me and he was always teaching me things, from introducing me to different types of music to challenging my opinion. No man had ever done that for me before. Also, I'm an old soul so the fact that he was able to introduce me to different artists I hadn't heard of was huge. 

Eventually, he said to me, "Do you want to talk off Facebook?"

I replied, "Are you trying to ask me something?"

He asked me for my number and we had our first phone call. On that call, he shared that years prior he had been in a car accident and now he was partially paralyzed and couldn't walk.

I was shocked but I remember asking him if it was permanent. He said that he could still stand and move but he couldn't walk independently.

I realized that if my relationship with Jay were to go further, he may need me to be a caregiver. Do I want to do that? Should I do that?  I considered the immense responsibility and all the what-if questions, but it was my best friend who said, "Renea, sounds like you're already thinking about moving forward with this man if you're even asking the questions."

It was scary, but I was enjoying the journey. Yes, Jay was partially paralyzed, but he was a great guy: sweet, makes me laugh, and is God-fearing. Our conversations ranged from talking about God to talking about our dreams and goals.

I'd never met a man like this. Other guys were either intimidated by me and my intelligence, or they thought I was just hot or worse, that I'd make the perfect friend — I've been friend-zoned so many times. 

I decided to move forward with my relationship with Jay and go visit him in West Virginia.

As the months got closer, we would talk on the phone for hours, even falling asleep on the phone together. Jay would call me while I was at work, and then call me after work. We enjoyed each other's company, but there was no control going on and I felt so free being with him. 

RELATED: Being Paralyzed: The Moment I Realized I Would Never Be Able To Use My Arms Again

Then, towards the end of February, I got into a car accident — my car came to a screeching halt with smoke clouding outside. My airbags exploded and I immediately grabbed my purse and got out of the car. 

I took a picture of my wrecked car and sent it to Jay. In the hustle and bustle of finally getting to the hospital, I was finally able to talk to him. I missed him so much. He was scared; he thought he was gonna lose me.

It was then that I knew I was falling for him.

Finally, it was time to meet the man I'd been talking to for the last three months. Will he be short? Is he really in a wheelchair? Will he be touchy-feely or shy? 

The anticipation was palpable and even the flight felt different. We touched down in Baltimore and I had to drive almost two hours to get to Martinsburg, West Virginia.

I walked into the church where we were meeting, and there Jay was, in school for seminary.

My heart was beating in my ears, but he was finally in my eyesight. When seminary school was over we held hands — I couldn't believe the moment had finally come.

When we were officially alone in his apartment, everything melted away and a feeling of joy and relief came over me. We laughed and talked, he kissed the back of my neck and I was so relaxed. But I didn't want to rush things, so I went back to my hotel that night.

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Each day that we spent together after that was even better than the one before. I learned how to get him in the car, and put his wheelchair in the trunk. The hardest day was when I had to leave him and go back to Georgia but I promised I would visit again soon so we could spend more time together.

Little did I know a tragedy would happen before our next meeting.

On August 19, out of nowhere, a car hit Jay. One moment we were talking and the next he was unconscious. What was our life going to be like now? Also, I was so far away from — what could I do?

Jay was in bad shape — his arm was broken, he had a dislocated shoulder and he was in extreme pain. I was frantic wondering who hit my baby. Why did this happen?

It was only later that I saw the effects of the accident — and in some ways I still do. Later on in the nursing home, his leg became contracted so he didn't have a regular range of motion.

At that moment, I knew I was all in. I loved this man. Leaving Jay was never an option and I was going to learn how to take care of him and be the blessing to him that he was and continues to be to me.

We have endured so many obstacles as a couple but they've only brought us closer. From car accidents and a pandemic to a long-distance relationship and even people in our lives who didn't want us to be together, we survived it all.

On May 14, on a beautiful day in North Carolina, we pledged our vows to one another. I'm his wife, caregiver, and secretary all in one. Sometimes his health still scares me but we talk about it and move forward.

Our love was worth the journey and Jay was definitely worth the wait. 

RELATED: 10 Signs You're In Love With Someone (& They Love You Right Back)

Renea Linsom is an author, writer, blogger, and caregiver. She hosts a show on MexitVerse called Crazy Weird News. With her writing business, she writes people's books and legacies.