Re(re)thinking “In Sickness and In Health”

I proposed sensible wedding vows: We’d leave out the “in sickness and health” promise. Why should either of us be tied to a sick partner and sacrifice our own lives? What an old-fashioned, masochistic concept! We’d make no vows we weren’t sure we’d want to keep. He agreed.

I’ve never been good at compromising. For many years I thought it would undermine my feminist principles to make any concessions whatsoever for marriage. Yet one of the first things that I, a confirmed city girl, found myself saying to my husband on the day we received the diagnosis was, “When it comes to that, we’ll sell the house and move to a rural area, get away from traffic and crime and noise. You’ll be happier there.” I actually found myself looking forward to someday being a small town old lady. On the porch, reading aloud to my husband, while he sits in a rocking chair and knits, which is what his father used to do.

Read more in Oldster.

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