Sunday, May 25, 2014


I've had one of those weekends where extremes are measured at both ends.

In a few short days I've seen my Dad in the hospital and seen good friends celebrate the beginning of their marriage. 

"to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."
I watched Richard, a work colleague marry his beautiful bride 
Jacy and begin their marriage journey together.

Richard and Jacy

I also watched my Mom as she stood beside my Dad's side in the ICU unit after he suffered a stroke. 

Both on their marriage journey but at very different points. And that's the thing about life and marriage - you just don't know what lies ahead.

As I work in Palliative care, I know of many couples who are working through the end stages of one and sometimes both of their lives. I will never forget a phone call I received from one man. His wife had just passed away. He was tearful, and he struggled as he said "my wife has just died - I can't believe I'm saying those words."
Indeed, how does one, after spending a lifetime with someone adapt to that?

My parents have been married for I think 55 years next week. That is a life time of good and bad!

Mom and Dad with Me and my two sisters, 1964

They have had no money, and some money. They have celebrated and partied through the 60's and 70's. They have watched one daughter die of cancer at the age of 25. My Mom has had heart issues and beat a bout of breast cancer. And now they will face this new challenge together. My Dad, still working and affectionately known as "antsy Jack" because he really can't sit still for any length of time, will have some adjusting to do. But they will face it together, like they have everything else.

And what lies ahead for Richard and Jacy? A lifetime of happiness, adventure and a few surprises, good and bad. But they too, will weather them together.

I think Jon Mayer sums it up well in his song "Heart of Life"

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

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