Sunday, 13 July 2014


I went to another wedding last night; I was at one last Saturday as well. Last night, while I was at the wedding, another friend of mine posted a picture of her engagement ring. Yet another friend has his wedding planned for September. And yet another couple within our group is engaged and planning their wedding although it is a ways off yet. This seems to be a summer of weddings and engagements. I think this is such a good thing. It makes me so happy to see my friends find happiness.

The idea of making a public, life long commitment to someone, of sharing a life together, is something that means a lot to me. I believe in marriage, in the ideals and opportunities that marriage offers. I am committed to the ideals of commitment, to the belief that you can make a life with someone. It is what I wanted for my own marriage, to be married and to stay married for the whole of my life, until death did us part.

As I sat in the audience last night, listening to the bride and groom make their vows, it gave me great pause to think about my own marriage, about where it went wrong, about the mistakes we made. As I sat in table during dinner, listening to the families speak about the bride and groom, about one another, about the acceptance of this new person into each of their lives and how happy they were about it, I realized how much I missed that opportunity in my own life, how far off the mark I was in my own marriage.

My marriage was not a joining of two families. After 32 years of marriage, when all was said and done and I finally realized I could no longer hold the pieces together, I left. The best response I heard from my in-laws was that they felt vindicated, that they knew the marriage would never work, that I was always destined to leave her. It only took them 32 years to be right about it. I was never part of their family; they were never part of my family. It was as if two opposing sides sat it out watching their respective champions, my wife and I, battle it out in single combat to decide who was the victor, only nobody won. There are no winners in divorce, only losers.

Last summer I was visiting a friend of mine in Nova Scotia. We talked about marriage. She said "You sound more broken up about the failure of your marriage than you do about having ALS." Actually she was right. Everybody dies from something; we all have an exit date. It's just that I know roughly when mine will come. Not all marriages fail; mine did, after 32 years of trying, struggling, working so hard to keep it together. I wish I could have done more; I wish she could have done more. We couldn't.

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