Rants, wise words and stupid conversations
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Happy Valentine's Day
With the commercial con of Valentine's Day over, this Bird's heart can now turn without cynicism to thoughts of true love. I want to share the story of a friend of mine, a big-hearted and loving woman who deserves the best from life. Philippa has wife in the States, who's daughter from a previous marriage knows her as 'Mum', but under US federal law, unlike a heterosexual couple, her wife is not permitted to sponsor her to move to America. They are both fighting tooth and nail to change this heart-breaking and discriminatory law, with endless brave interviews, campaigns and lobbying.
The link below will tell you more than I can of this perplexing legal situation, but the story I want to tell is the one I have seen with my own eyes. This Bird has the esteemed honor of playing in a band with Philippa. She is passionate, talented and full of life. She lives much of this life, however, via webcams, mobile phones and 'facebook'. Her relationship with her wife, Inger, is so real and present I already consider Inger a friend, although I have never met her. Philippa regularly rings her during band practices, and we will play a new tune to the phone to see what Inger thinks of it. We have group phone conversations full of laughter. She also chats regularly with her daughter, helping with homework on the web cams, and even checking that she's tidied her bedroom.
I also see Philippa on the bad days: the days when all she wants in the world is to hold her wife in her arms because she has had a bad day; the times when her daughter has her first day at a new school and she cannot be there to see her at the school gate; the times when she comes to band practice bleary-eyed because the time differences mean that if she want to talk with her wife after a full day's work she has to wait up until 4 a.m.; the times when, despite the soul-deep love she has for her family, she wonders where she can find the strength to carry on. She does carry on, and I have the utmost admiration for Philippa and her wife for their courage and commitment. Even when the fight for legal change is won, Philippa will face a move 5000 miles to another continent, away from family, friends and the life she has known, to be with her family. This alone would be an act of tremendous courage for anyone, but for Philippa this would be the happy ending to the story, a sobering thought.
This Bird cannot help but wonder that, if the US government is so afraid that family values are becoming a thing of the past, surely anyone willing to make such a determined effort to keep a family together should be heralded, not discriminated against. After all, what couple could show more commitment to love and family?
Click on the title of this blog,or here, watch the short film, and I challenge you not to shed a tear.
Happy Valentine's Day x x x x x x
Posted by bird behind the bar at 11:08