Well, there were some forty year milestones in the news and none of them were happy. First, there was the death of 40 year old Andrew Koppel, who went on a long drinking binge during the course of the day and ended up dead in a seedy apartment in Washington Heights, NYC. It's thought that he died from alcohol poisoning. I want to write something profound but the words escape me. All I can picture is the horror of drinking and dying in one's own vomit and feces. And yet he talked earlier in the day to the new drinking buddy about his daughter that he loved so much. Love isn't a match for alcoholism. It gets beaten back every time.
And love brings me to the next item in the news. I heard as many did the announcement that Al and Tipper Gore were separating after forty years of marriage. Forty years is a long time to be together. Forty years is a lot of shared history-- a lot of honey-do's, a lot of honey please don't, a lot of hugs and kisses, tears and laughter. A lot of a lot.
A sponsee asked me whether I thought that people were meant to marry anymore. I honestly don't know. I think that fewer people have the commitment that it takes to weather the hard times. The easy times are the gravy but the difficult moments are the grist in a marriage.
I think that failing to communicate and isolating from each other create a chasm that is hard to bridge. C. and I still reminisce over silly moments that we've had. Last night we talked about the time we stuffed manicotti using "cookie shooter" and it shot the stuffing for the manicotti all over the ceiling. We often bring up these moments that have been shared. They bind us together.
I guess I hope that Mr. and Mrs. Gore remain friends and perhaps just separate. Maybe with some time and space, they will decide that they will stick it out for the rest of their years. I would like to tell my sponsee that marriage is alive and well today. And that familiarity just brings us closer, makes us love each other more, and doesn't drive us apart.