Two very different stories this morning — the loss of a young mother in Wales. . . and a mocking, snide piece on gay marriage on Arianna Huffington’s new blog — both via Michelle Malkin, and I want to tie them together this morning. The first story is real life; the second politics — where they meet, here, is Politics in Real Life. . .
Helen and Ffion
Tributes to mothers were everywhere this weekend, of course. But the story about Helen Harcombe’s death was among the saddest. Helen died at age 28 after a battle with breast cancer, leaving her husband Antony to raise their daughter Ffion, age seven, by himself.
Helen, however, left a “Mummy Manual” for Antony, and mothers everywhere, in every country, will recognize some of the issues she worried her husband might need a little female input on:
Xmas time, don’t forget smaller things like stocking fillers to make it look more + fill the stockings – chocs, bobbles, clips, make-up, joke stuff, fun stuff, girly fun etc.
Make sure serve food with veg/peas – get fruit down her – don’t let her live out of cans, noodles + toast etc.
Regular trims on hair – may need extra conditioner or leave in conditioner for knots. Ensure hair is tied back for school – neat parting, no bump. Smooth with tail comb if necessary, ensure fixed with spray & hairspray to keep neat + no straggly bits.
It’s the “girly fun” and the “no straggly bits” that get me. It’s a mom thing.
Which is precisely the point. When confronted with the loss of a mother, or a father, we all instantly understand — in our gut, where it really matters — the empty space left in the child’s life. And it’s not just the person, per se: It’s also their role as Mom, as Dad.
Ffion still has a Dad. But there is still a place in her heart, and her everyday life, where Mom should be . . . Helen understood that. So she left the Mummy Manual, that covers uniquely mum things.
So skip with me over to Arianna’s blog, where you will find your daily quotient of pseudo-sophistication — the very top post is from Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (she of Seinfeld fame) and her husband, Brad Hall, with a snarky little entry on gay marriage. . . Here’s some blue-state sarcasm from Brad on the Defense of Marriage Act. Ironically, he stumbles into an important truth in the middle:
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Brad Hall
I have been married to a beautiful, smart, funny woman since 1987. Together we have had two happy children and shared nearly 18 years of marital bliss. Now the whole thing is ruined.
Like most Americans, I had hoped that the Defense of Marriage Act would do just that: defend my marriage. Apparently not. Look around and you’ll see the gays getting gay-married all over the place, and, to quote, well, everyone: gay marriage destroys real marriage. Now, when I come home to my wife, I feel nothing. How could I? SHE COULD BE A MAN. Thanks a lot, gays. Thanks for rendering our vows obsolete. Thanks for illegitimizing our sons. Thanks for tearing asunder a great institution that has heretofore withstood Las Vegas, Elizabeth Taylor, Larry King and Britney Spears combined.
She could be a man!! Right. My point exactly. . . She couldn’t be a man.
We can make a lot of arguments about the importance of marriage between a man and a woman — from natural law, from philosophy, from sociology, from epidemiology, from tradition, from theology, from utilitarianism — all of those are worth visiting. Today, in the wake of Mother’s Day, I want to point us back, for a moment, to a gut check.
Helen left a Mummy Manual for her husband and daughter because she wasn’t a man. And she knew in her heart that being a woman, a mom, was important. And irreplaceable.
I think I’ll go get my girls’ hair trimmed today. . .thank you Helen. And God bless sweet Ffion.