2014 is not turning out the way Cooldog Concert Series creator Paul Gumerman expected. But, the constants in his life have surprised him and given him a whole new perspective.
In February, when Key of Red debuted its latest lineup at a Cooldog Concert, the Sun Times erroneously referred to its lead singer Trini Lima as Trini Gumerman, wife of Cooldog Concert Series creator Paul Gumerman.
Happy for the band and the concert series to have some publicity, the couple took the mistake in stride and sent the newspaper a quick email to set the record straight.
The two are still not married but much has changed—and, is changing— for the rock music-loving duo. It started late in February. Gumerman was not feeling well but was trying to push through, despite how fatigued he felt.
“Trini and the band had a show that Saturday night and they needed me,” he said, explaining why he wanted to be out even though he knew he was probably sick. “So, we did the gig but when I woke up Sunday morning, I told her she should probably take me to the emergency room.”
Gumerman expected some antibiotics and his breathing was so labored that he didn’t think a breathing treatment would be out-of-the-question either. Instead, Gumerman was admitted to Kent General Hospital, a fact he updated Facebook with on Monday, Feb. 24, by posting “going to be here at KGH for a few days. Bugs chewed up my lungs.”
Gumerman said the easy explanation is pneumonia, not that pneumonia is easy. He likens it to feeling like a sick 98-year-old man. His lungs were filling up with fluid; he was short of breath, tired and achy.
“When I was first admitted, I needed 45 liters of oxygen per minute, which is like needing it 100-percent of the time,” Gumerman said. “By the time I was able to go home, though, I was down to four liters per minute.”
Gumerman spent eight days in the hospital, fighting off the infection in his lungs. Lima was by his side the whole time.
“She spent the better part of 24 hours a day for more than a week right by my side. She never left,” Gumerman said. “I know she was scared. I was, too. I mean, I was admitted for ‘acute respiratory failure. It’s scary.”
As he began to recover, his brush with his mortality made him think about his priorities. He and Lima began dating nearly two years ago but her devotion to him in his hour of need cast everything in a new light. Dating was no longer going to work. He wanted this woman to be his wife.
The hospital released him on Monday, March 3. He was expected to rest and build up his strength but he immediately starting plotting. With a self-proclaimed jewelry store aversion, he started secretly scouting for engagement rings, hoping he could get a proposal together by Lima’s birthday on April 8. Unfortunately, the first ring he ordered wasn’t good enough and had to be sent back. So, he stalled. For Lima’s birthday, he suggested a family dinner, followed by a date night on Friday.
His jewelry connections came through for him and last Friday, following a sushi dinner, he took Lima to 33 West in Dover, for music, where he proposed.
“I couldn’t think,” she said, when asked what was going through her mind when she saw the ring and heard Gumerman proposing. “I mean, all kinds of things were going through my head. We had never really discussed marriage before. We came into each other’s lives and we just fit.”
Congratulatory messages have been overwhelming and Lima can’t help but bask in the glow of it, echoing Gumerman’s sentiments regarding his stay in the hospital.
“It made us realize a lot more about life and love and how all of this life is on borrowed time,” Lima said. “He’s the best person I’ve ever met and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him. It’s not even something I have to practice; it’s just how I live my life with him.”
With the engagement less than a week old, the couple has not quite started talking about wedding logistics.
For Gumerman, who has been married twice before, he is looking forward to being married rather than the business of getting married.
“This is still fresh and new for us,” Lima said. “We haven’t had time to even talk logistics yet. I will say this—Life is short. Live it now.”