It's been a very trying emotional time for some dear friends of mine. Illness, divorce, financial woes.... it's an ugly list, and my heart feels so heavy as I think of these dear ones. Then today, when I heard of Elizabeth Edwards' passing, as two dear friends put loved ones in the hospital tonight, I was just overcome.
There was no weeping, but anger. And oddly, gratitude.
One of my friends is sitting by the bedside of her very ill partner. She is devoted, and caring, and loyal. Like my dear friend Annie and her partner Anita, this friend is showing the rest of us how to do it right, and that there are those that think they are less worthy than my husband and I to check the "spouse" box on the hospital form? It makes my blood boil. I don't get it.
I just. don't. get it.
Because clearly, that legally binding piece of paper you sign after the ceremony and the party you pay for for the first ten years of your marriage (if it lasts that long) doesn't guarantee squat. Sadly. I mean that. When a marriage is dissolved, for whatever reason, the ripple effect it has on the family, on the community that supports that family, causes stress and tension and heartache for anyone who cares about the individuals at the center of it. Still, it's worth the risk when you love someone. Because it's about hope and the belief in each other, in our promises to be the kind of people we want to be. Together. And that some are denied the right to have a crack at it, as faulty an institution as it is, seems petty and archaic.
And as pissed as I can get about it, there is not anything, outside of voting, that I can do about it.
Except this: make it worth it. Be kind to my husband. Be grateful for him - not just for his humor, intelligence, generosity and kindness, but for his faults as well. I meant it then, and now that we are getting to an age where it really means something, when we are no longer dewy young things, it means even more. I do not take his love lightly, I do not take his presence in my life for granted.
I am grateful.