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My first wife had CP. We parted because we had divergent views on where we were both headed – want to get that straight at the beginning. And, no, I didn't marry her because of pity but because she was (and still is) a good person. CP was incidental.

She did not have a supportive family. I think they were trying to be kind in reducing her desires because they didn't want her to be disappointed. They saw her as incapacitated (her legs were affected and she walked with a rolling lurch) and, therefore, unable to achieve what her sisters could. So they in their own way tried to prepare for disappointment: don't expect to have a job or be attractive to men or marry or have children as her sisters would.

For a number of years she believed all this yet, one day, when she was 19, she cracked and set off with determination to get a job. She was hired by Bell Telephone as a 411 operator (realize this was 48 years ago when you still could talk to a person at the telephone company). She got raises and got promoted.

She worked for Bell for several years and then we met. Once again the preparatory to disappointment: who is he and how could he love you? He's a 25 year-old copywriter and you know how unstable that is; he's taking advantage of you because you have a good job. Yet she was determined to go through with it and we married.

We had three absolutely incredible children. She looked after them as a SAHM while I toiled in the word vineyard. At 30 she had everything her family tried to shield her against: a history of working, a marriage, and three children.

Life with me in those days wasn't easy. I skittered from job to job and sometimes we had a lot and sometimes not. Yet she had that determination to just 'be'.

Now she is surrounded by grandchildren (another thing not prophesized by her family). She lives in her own home, takes care of it, and does her own shopping. I wonder if some look at her wheeling her shopping basket down an aisle with that lurching rolling gait and think how bad it must be for her when, fact, she got what she wanted by believing she could

In my way I still love her.


Gwen, coyote's money is no good. Whatever he wants, put it on my tab.

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