Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What Linda Said

Image result for heart broken
Description: Drawing of a broken heart, the heart looks torn down the middle and is the colour of bruise. Across the image is the word 'Heartbroken.'
Last night I had a chat with Linda.

I have known her for many years and my affection and admiration for her grows every time we meet, every time we talk. I called her because I wanted to tell her the news of Joe and I getting married. She's one of the last calls I had to make. I was a little nervous about the call because Linda is an elderly woman with Down Syndrome. She is younger than me, by two years, but her journey has been hard and the road she's walked has been full of many barriers to overcome, and it shows. She is a very conservative and very faithful woman. Her prayer life is rich and she believes, absolutely, that God love her. I think, quite literally, this belief saved her life.

The church she goes to does not endorse the idea of same sex marriage. Well, that's maybe a tad understated, they are pretty emphatic that homosexuality, along with feminism, abortion and 'liberals' are all going to destroy society and bring down 'the family.' I've never talked to Linda about Joe's and my relationship, she knows us both of course, but I'd never had the 'talk' with her.


It was time.

I told her quite gently. I wanted her to know that Joe and I loved each other and have done so for 46 years. I wanted her to know that we were getting married and that the marriage was going to be done in a church, with a minister, in front of God. All of this I knew she would understand and approve of - well except maybe for the 'two men' thing.

After I finished. Linda sat for the longest time.

And then, quite simply, she broke my heart.

"So Joe loves you?" she asked. I told her that he did.

"And you love him?" she asked. I assured her that I did.

"So you aren't alone?"

"No, I'm not."

"I'm glad. They never let me love anyone. I tried but they always stopped it. It's too late for me now. I'm glad it's not to late for you."


Liz said...

Oh, my it aches. They were wrong. They were high on power. They were douchebags.

What a bittersweet conversation, Dave.

Colleen said...

Oh Dave! That is heart breaking! It brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it's not too late for Linda - I hope it's not.

painting with fire said...

I'm crying reading this - I have no words.

Liz Miller said...

I am in tears.

gps said...

Oh G*d. Heartbroken is right. Such wisdom from Linda. And some people say that people with Down syndrome are deficient. May we all be as deficient as she is.

Anonymous said...

It's never too late to love, Linda! Never!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, it disgusts me that in todays world with all the so called "advancements" people are still so cruel.

Kiwiaussie said...

Wow. I am crying. I am glad that my daughter with Down Syndrome is not going to face such bigotry.

Jayne Wales said...

What a warm hearted woman and how utterly devastating she was not allowed to share that with someone special
Heartbroken for her.

Ron Arnold said...

What saddens me more is the idea of "they." "They" do a lot of unnecessary bullshit and limit a lot of opportunities. Thing is though - "they" can always be boiled down to a person in a given situation. "They" are generally one person with an opinion and some backing to enforce it (sometimes a few more people in the meeting, a policy making body somewhere, etc).

I have made it a personal goal to never again be someone else's "they." Because - I have been and I don't like that fact.

Antonia Lederhos Chandler said...

What Ron Arnold said. Me, too. I don't think there's a dry eye in this blog, Dave.

Unknown said...

So much love for you all <3

wheeliecrone said...

Linda's story is heartbreaking. Too many good people have had similar experiences to Linda.

I hope that it isn't too late for Linda, whatever she thinks. Linda sounds like a wonderful woman who would be a terrific partner for someone who could give her love and respect.

Anonymous said...

How do we fix this for the future? Lasting, nourishing, sustaining relationships are good for people, no matter who they are. I know several couples with intellectual disabilities who are truly in love. But when they talk of marriage, no one takes them seriously. Why are we so resistant to supporting these people as a married couple?