My mother passed nine years ago today. I woke at 3:30 and rose to meditate. The moon lit up the landscape outside. I finished reading Ann Patchett's book, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. That is the title of one essay in the book, but perhaps because the book is expansive even as it focuses on her life, it is about the wider marriage we share. It is about connection.
I am especially touched by how she came to marry her husband. Her experience of marriage was that it ended in divorce, so she thought their eleven year relationship was just fine, until he became very ill, and it appeared half of the muscle of his heart had died. After their marriage, his heart was fine. One explanation: "The heart wants what it wants."
Ann writes about her discussion on this with her husband:
We have three absolute truths,” I said, holding up three fingers for visual reference. “Absolute truth number one: Half of the muscle tissue in your heart is dead. Absolute truth number two: Heart muscle tissue does not regenerate. Absolute truth number three: There is no dead muscle tissue in your heart.”
“Correct,” my husband said.