According to the Carpenters, the romantic movie is not even close to telling the true story of faith and commitment that has kept them devoted to each other for 20 years.
It began 10 weeks after their wedding on Sept. 18, 1993 when a serious automobile accident left Krickitt with no memories of her husband or their new marriage.
A severe brain trauma wiped out 18 months of her life — the entire time she and Kim met, dated and married.
While he was still madly in love with her, he was a stranger she wanted nothing to do with.
The glue that kept them together was their faith in Christ and the promise they had made before God.
“Both of us know unconditionally we would not have made it through this ordeal without the Lord being in the center of it all,” says Kim Carpenter.
Krickitt spent months in a coma and then months more in physical therapy, but she has never regained those 18 months of memory. Her recovery was slow, her personality changed and at times she told Kim she hated him.
“At a low point in my life, I didn’t think this marriage was going to work. I didn’t have the faith that we were going to make it,” Kim said. “At the same time, I wasn’t going to leave her in the state she was in; I was vowing to stay with her.”
The media first learned of their story when a reporter came to interview Kim about his work as a baseball coach. In the course of the conversation, the story came out.
When the Carpenters renewed their vows at a second wedding in 1996, it was a media frenzy. People were amazed and encouraged by their story, so Krickitt asked God to use their story to show others His amazing love and power.
“We enjoyed the movie but we were a little frustrated by the artistic license they took,” Kim said. “The dramatization in the movie was much greater, but it is hard to put 20 years of challenges into 103 minutes.”
Krickitt’s faith never faltered, and she never considered divorce.
“A Scripture I really hold onto is Philippians 4:13: ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’ I believed I was called according to God’s purpose, and I followed with my whole heart,” she said.
Kim said he has taken offense to some of the media reporting him as “heroic, courageous, manly.” They insist they are an ordinary couple with two children, Danny and LeeAnn.
“It is amazing we live in a world that there is such a big deal made about a man and woman who simply did what we said we were going to do,” Kim said.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.