My Funny Valentine

standard | Published on February 15, 2017 by Michelle Wirth

Madeleine’s angle for why we should move in together, was so that we could have time together after our dates when we weren’t arguing. We would often start arguing on a date and not resolve the argument until long after, on a phone call. This was years before I learned the term “anxious-attachment style.” It just seemed normal, romance between the daughter of an attorney and a woman headed to law school.

In the early days of reeling from losing Madeleine, in those months when it hurt to breathe, when I looked back on the issues we had just transformed in our marriage and those we were planning on working on next, what gave me peace was knowing how hard we had worked and how far we had come. We had earned credit with one another. We knew we were good for it.

The twenty years we had were a good start. We were partners living life at full speed when cancer crashed through everything. We wanted 40 years together. I think about the 20 years ahead of us we will never have. I have wondered how we would have worn those years, wondered if those years would have worn the clanking edges off of us.

And then I read the words of Isaac and Rosa Blum, who met in a war ghetto, survived the Nazi Holocaust, and lived to argue with one another for over 75 years:

“We have a different point of view, but somehow we’ve survived,” she said. “What keeps us together are the quarrels. That’s the cement of a marriage.”

“I love him in spite of all his defects,” she said. “It’s not so easy, but I wouldn’t change him for somebody else.”

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