Category Archives: True Love

Beauty and the Beast pic

Learning You Can Change: My Experience Watching A Tale As Old As Time

Bravo! Magnifique!

You could hear a pin drop when the movie ended. Even the baby by me stopped crying. The brief silence was then followed with the theatre bursting in applause.

But let’ back up. Let me restart the song, “Evermore,” on YouTube. Here goes.

Hours before…

It was past three and I knew I should get going. I was home alone and a little nervous. Yep. I went by myself but had the little butterflies you get before a date. (Let’s just channel Gaston to make me feel better–of course anyone would get giddy if they went on a date with me!)

But I wasn’t necessarily alone. My parents were already watching Beauty and the Beast in California. My sister and sister-in-law and perhaps my brother, were going to see it later in Texas. So we were all seeing Beauty and the Beast at least a half hour together.

So, maybe twenty minutes in, I got this text from my Mom:
“Hope you are enjoying the show! It is so fun! Love, Mom.”

(Don’t worry. I silenced my phone and would reply after.)

So my mom was so there. I could so feel her presence. When a new sort-of-favorite character was pointed out by Gaston, I gasped and imagined myself turning to her and my sister. We would be saying things like. “It’s her.” “Yes! Yes!” “It’s the—” Then there would be a “Shhh!”

Wait, have to restart “Evermore.” (Sorry Josh Groban; I’m listening to Dan Stevens. I just want stay close to the movie. =)

I know the exact moments I would have interacted with them. Then further in the movie, I got a text from my Dad. I saw it had a picture on it. After the movie, I opened the text that was forward to me and my sisters and saw that it was a picture of my parents dressed in their green shirts holding hands in front of The Beauty and the Beast movie poster.

Then I had the thought.

This is what the movie’s about.

Just pure love and true kindness.

One of my favorite moments was when the um, beggar woman, took care of Maurice. The whole movie was super, but amidst the special effects and extravagance, the tender moments like those stood out to me.

So now let’s go back to the moment the movie was over. Well, it wasn’t really over; the credits were beautiful. The elderly gentleman next to me told his wife, “Boy they have a lot of people working on these movies.”

This couple, maybe six other people, and myself stayed for the entire credits. But I felt like I was almost (almost) with my parents who also most likely stayed through the credits too.( Oh, yeah, at the very beginning of the movie, the man was closing his eyes, and his wife was smiling at the screen, wide-eyed, I thought, This is so like my family.)

So, of course I recommend it! Even the Texas crew loved it. I agree with my sister-in-law that it was better than expected. Absolutely loved it!

The whole experience was refreshing. Learning you were wrong definitely applies to me here.

Okay, one more time listening to “Evermore.”

Or maybe one hundred.

img_4658

My Angel

Who said angels have to be people?

This post is dedicated to Angel on her birthday.

 An Unexpected Gift

Christmas Eve day in 2004 was a very special day. I was slow getting ready, and I believe I was staring at the Christmas tree when the phone rang. My older brother answered it and then quickly hung up.

“There’s a lab at Save Mart who needs a new home!”

With that, my family and I went from lazy to rushing to meet up with my mom.

When my family met up with Mom, she was with a mother and two little girls holding a black puppy.

A puppy?

I wanted a young adult dog. But my expectations changed as we took turns holding her.

baby-angel

My family outside of Save Mart with our new “edition.”

We quickly found out she was named after her mother Angel. She was most likely part Labrador Retriever and Australian Shepherd. She had been born September 22. My family had fallen in love. Mom paid the previous owners, and we carried a very scared puppy home.

Angel hardly moved, wouldn’t eat, and ignored us when we got home. We had her rest in my  brothers’ room. I was in the hall trying to get her out. I gently talked to her. She would start approaching me and then go back in the room. Then she finally came and curled up in my lap.

Best Friend

Angel’s eyes show compassion when she knows you’re sad, and so she sits with you. She use to jump around when she could tell you were happy. She prefers sitting down now and wagging her tail. My dogs have always tried to make people happy.

As I mentioned before, Angel was very shy when we were brought her home. Her shyness was one of the probable reasons why she was the last pup of the litter to find a home. I had just returned from school and taking the winter off. Most of my friends were out of town going to college, and my family had their busy lives. I worked some, but I was basically alone. I think that’s why Angel and I became so close.

Angel’s Other Friends

Though socially awkward, Angel had a chance friendship with two dogs behind our yard. People love to see her. She’s come out of her shell. One person who broke through to her was a five-year-old girl. She’s thirteen now and is kind of like a second owner to Angel and my other dog. Angels also loves the girl’s little sister. Angel opens up more quickly to people she senses have gentle souls. She especially adores little children and babies.

Angel has aged quite a bit now. I don’t know how long she has to live. But she has had a good life. One individual that kept Angel going and probably preserved her life is our very energetic Australian Shepherd, Zane. He makes sure she gets plenty of exercise!

And of course, my parents. Angel has a harder time being around men, but she loves my dad. Angel really loves my mom.

I’m not there to take care of Angel, but I can rely on my mom to take care of the dogs.

img_4761

My mom shows so much love to the dogs.

And that is not always easy. The dogs are mischievous and have a new—and delicious— diet because of Angel’s special needs.

Angel easily makes me happy. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I believe Angel was sent from above.

img_4666

Happy birthday, Angel!

 

kindle-785695_960_720

Review of Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars

Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy by Elena Maria Vidal left me a lot to think about. 

Elena Maria Vidal is a fantastic writer and researcher. She paints a realistic portrait of Marie-Antoinette with facts to back all of it up. It’s very exciting. This book is spiritual, adventurous, and sweet.

I was especially surprised to learn about two specific pieces of unique artwork. It was fun to find out that Louis XVI kept a certain, flirty picture of Marie-Antoinette on his desk in which she’s dressed like a goddess holding a vase with his profile on it. The other one was a tearjerker sketch of Marie-Antoinette entering heaven to her welcoming husband and her two children who died before her.

One of the most memorable scenes comes from a memoir of a servant who witnessed Louis XVI coming into Marie-Antoinette’s room. While he’s being comforted by his wife, she commands the servant to leave.

From other examples, it’s obvious he suffered from depression, but with all the exterior events and past memories, who could blame him? And shouldn’t Marie-Antoinette get the most dedicated wife award? She stuck with him despite the multiple times he wanted her and their children to go to safety.

The spouses gave each other strength and were concerned parents. After their deaths, their daughter was provided for thanks to Louis’ emergency fund and Marie-Antoinette’s diamonds that had been sneaked out of France.

Thank you, Ms. Vidal, for providing so much information that makes me want to learn more!

 

background-647559_960_720

The Return of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast

Being three decades old, I know it’s hard when people give advice freely—especially about marriage. There was a recent meeting/discussion about the topic. I liked what was said, but it made me think of two past posts I wrote. I hope those in the discussion will read this as well as those who contacted me right after I posted those articles! New readers of course are always welcomed.

Last year, I compared myself to the (non-Disney) Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beauty. In the Little Mermaid post I told how I related to the little sea princess mainly because past hopes and heartbreaks. I would also like to add the reason I have a problem with the story is she died after that heartbreak. That’s an easy way out. It’s harder but to live. That’s where my comparisons with her stop.

As for Beauty and for the Beast, it was about how I fell in love with myself by coming to the realization I have surprising accomplishments. (They’re surprising to me anyway.) And how it’s important to live.

The thing is, I still am connected with all these fairy tale characters.

Like the Little Mermaid, I have a fascination with discoveries and sometimes wonder too much. There are times I wish I could be more like her—take risks. Yes, caution is necessary but I think there are situations when it’s appropriate to step into the unknown.

As for Beauty and the Beast, I still see the beauty and ugly in me. I’ll never forget the night when I came to the unexpected conclusion that I loved myself. I’m telling you, it’s a wonderful experience falling in love—even if it is with yourself.

I guess I have no real advice about finding the one—which can be refreshing. Hopefully, though, my story will help others.

LouisXVIMarieAntoinettekingandqueen

Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI: A Fairly Odd or Fairly Normal Couple?

Thank heavens Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI married!

The marriage of Louis and Marie-Antoinette would affect brought light to future generations.

The marriage of Louis and Marie-Antoinette would bring hope to future generations.

Unfortunately, Louis inherited the last king’s heavy debts. His grandpa and great-grandpa also left the royal court in a disgusting state. It was embarrassing. Fortunately, he had a good companion by him. He was fifteen when he married fourteen-year-old Marie-Antoinette. It was good for the people and for them.

rose-243630_960_720

For The People

American Power Couple

Marie-Antoinette and Louis were not Americans, but let’s face it–none of Americans’ founders were technically born United States citizens.

Louis provided supplies and military forces for the needy Americans and Marie-Antoinette was supportive and involved. I include the power couple among the founders of the United States. When I look at the list of American founders, I am embarrassed with the loose morals of some of them. I’m proud that Louis and Marie-Antoinette held on to their high standards. In a way, they remind me of Abigail and John Adams in the fact that they were  also a power couple that helped America become great.

I believe the marriage of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI was literally a match made in heaven. I’m very serious, and we should sincerely thank heaven for their marriage. Americans would not be enjoying freedom–or perhaps not be Americans at all–if it had not been for Marie-Antoinette and Louis.

The People’s Champions

You can say that the Queen and King were interested in freedom in general. He played tug-a-war with nobility. He wanted them to pay higher taxes to benefit the poor. Some of Marie-Antoinette’s stand out projects included a safe haven for unwed mothers and educating the less fortunate children with her own. The King and Queen were generous with their own personal funds.  Marie-Antoinette and Louis were very aware of France’s needs. They were true Christians who practiced what they preached.

rose-243630_960_720For Them

In the Beginning

They had a beautiful relationship. At first there was none–they were strangers. Plus, like many other in the French royal court, Louis was leery about an Austrian becoming queen of France someday. But gradually over time, they established a friendship, and eventually it went beyond that.

It’s mystified the past and present why Marie-Antoinette and Louis didn’t consummate the marriage right away. Some have thought of legit reasons and some are downright disrespectful and crude.

Whatever it was, here’s a simple fact:
Marie-Antoinette was fourteen and Louis was fifteen years old when they got married.

My conclusion:
Come on! They were much too young!

Forget royal expectations of starting a family right away. Whether or not they were attracted to another, both were still getting to know their own bodies.  I think it’s very probable that it wouldn’t have felt natural for these two individuals at this age. It would have been premature. Meanwhile they were developing a friendship.

Dauphin Louis Auguste in 1769. A year later, he would marry "the Austrian." He would associate that stigma with her the first part of their marriage.

Aw…Dauphin Louis Auguste in 1769. A year later, he would marry Marie-Antoinette. Some negatively used “the Austrian” to describe her.

471px-Louis16-1775

King Louis XVI at age 21 around 1776. Tall and well-built, he surely  knew by now that Austria wasn’t that bad.

I think the timing of the intervention by the Emperor of Austria, Marie-Antoinette’s brother, was perfect.

By now–seven years after their wedding– the couple was more ready for his frank talk. The couple soon acted like newlyweds and started a family the next year.

Marie-Antoinette was twenty-three and Louis was twenty-four years old when their first child was born. Much more natural.

In short and in order they were strangers, then friends, and then lovers.

Marie-Antoinette took an interest in hunting, one of her husband's favorite activities. Here she is looking adorable in hunting clothes at 16.

Marie-Antoinette took an interest in hunting, one of her husband’s favorite activities. Here she is looking adorable in hunting clothes at 16.

 

Here Marie-Antoinette is painted in her 1778 hunting garb. She's be a mother by the end of the year.

Here Marie-Antoinette is painted in her 1778 hunting garb. She would be a mother by the end of the year.

Throughout the Marriage

I believe they were faithful to another. Believe it or not, sensational storytellers, couples don’t have to be mushy to love each other. In the royal couple’s jobs and in child-rearing, they showed support one toward another.

I’m amazed the couple stuck by each other despite terrible and bogus rumors constantly surrounding them. Their love was shown through respect. That example of loyalty extended to their children and Louis’ sister. It reminds me of what Jeffrey R. Holland said, “The crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.” That’s what Marie-Antoinette and Louis’ union and legacy are actually about.

Families Are Forever

The Bourbons’  writings in prison are touching and revealing of their deepest beliefs. Marie-Antoinette’s last letter is written to her sister-in-law, Elisabeth, and it is heart wrenching, but also full of hope. In regards to her late husband, she writes:

“I have just been condemned, not to a shameful death, for such is only for criminals but to go and rejoin your brother. Innocent like him, I hope to show the same firmness in my last moments.”

There’s tremendous comfort in Marie-Antoinette’s belief of being reunited with loved ones and family. She continues, “Where can one find friends more tender and more united than in one’s own family?”

Marie-Antoinette and Louis’ daughter, Marie-Therese, wrote her thoughts on the walls of the Temple prison, and you can feel her emotion and know she believes that she’s being watched over. The following tells how she feels about the afterlife, her parents’, and God:

“Live, my good mother! whom I love well, but of whom I can hear no tidings. O my father! watch over me from heaven above, O my God, forgive those who made my parents suffer!”

Marie-Antoinette and Louis believed and also instructed their children to forgive. One could argue the couple wasn’t always on the same page but they were always in the same book in the sense they shared the same faith and spiritual beliefs as well as doing all they could to better children and country.

rose-243630_960_720

Fitting In

It’s hard to categorize the couple into one group. They weren’t your typical American patriots and they didn’t agree with all the royals’ lifestyles either. In that way they are odd. But you chip away their positions, though, and you’ll find they’re not so weird.

It’s time accept Marie-Antoinette and Louis were a good fit for each other, and they were a a very normal couple.

rose-243630_960_720

 

Sources:

Holland, Jeffrey R. “The First Great Commandment.” Www.lds.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Oct. 2012. Web. 9 Aug. 2016. <https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/the-first-great-commandment?lang=eng>.

“Louis XVI of France” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 7 Aug 2016. Web. 9 Aug. 2016.

 

“Marie Antoinette.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 8 Aug. 2016. Web. 9 Aug. 2016.

“Marie-Therese” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 July 2016. Web. 9 Aug. 2016.

Vidal, Elena Maria. “Last Letter of Marie-Antoinette.” Tea at Trianon. N.p., 26 May 2007. Web. 9 Aug. 2016. <http%3A%2F%2Fteaattrianon.blogspot.com%2F2007%2F05%2Flast-letter-of-marie-antoinette.html>.

 

 

Images:
Featured image: Coronations commemorative medallions  of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Pd-Old.

Engraving of the wedding of Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette. {{PD-1923}}

Portrait of Louis XVI of France by Joseph Duplessis. 1776.{{PD-1923}}

Picture of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette talking to her brother  by Joseph Hauzinger.

Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria, the later Queen Marie Antoinette of France, at the age of 16 years by Joseph Kreutzinger, 1771.  {{PD-1923}}

Queen Marie Antoinette of France, 1778 either by Antoine Vestier or Jean-Baptiste André Gautier-Dagoty.  {{PD-1923}}

 

Portrait_of_Mrs._McKinley another one

Meet the McKinleys

You know what couple I absolutely love?

Ida and William McKinley.

463px-Portrait_of_Mrs._McKinley

Behind Ida is a portrait of her daughter, Katie, who died at three years old. William’s portrait is on the table.

While reading about Ida, there are times when I think she is the unluckiest and feel so bad for her. Then there are times when I think, oh the lucky diva!  Read on and see if you can understand where I’m coming from. (Also why I think hers and William’s story is so beautiful.)

Bring them back!

Ok, what I mean is bring a loving couple to the White House–a couple who is strong in politics and has integrity.

Hmm…perhaps that’s hard to find in the world of politics. But there are some exceptions.

carnation-cropped

When the former Union major William McKinley set his eyes on Ida Saxton at a picnic, he was smitten. The bank manager didn’t seriously notice him till one of his speeches.  She admired his integrity. He would just happen to be passing by the bank to make small deposits–and give Miss Saxton bouquets of flowers.

bouquet-71811_960_720

There’s a legend that shortly before or after they were married, Ida knew William was going to be President of the United States someday. What’s obvious is that William would always treat Ida like the First Lady.

The couple had two daughters who both died young. One died after a few months of being born. The other didn’t reach four years old.

Katherine_McKinley

Ida and William’s daughter Katherine

Around these deaths, Ida’s health became more fragile, and she developed a seizure disorder. Both Ida and William went through depression. I still can’t go over the pleasantly surprising outcome of their marriage.

William was very attentive to her. She was as active as she could be and encouraged him in his law career and then when he was elected into Congress and became governor of Ohio. When William was in the running for president,  people had doubts if she could be First Lady. To show the doubters they were wrong, she threw a party for her and William’s 25th wedding anniversary which accumulated 600 guests.

During the presidential campaign, her face appeared on promoting badges. Her husband gets praised for his “front porch” campaign in which people from all over the country came and gathered to hear his speeches he gave from his front porch of the McKinleys’ house in Canton, Ohio. That was partially so he could be close to his wife. When she had the strength, she would join him outside. One time a boy asked why there were so many people at the house and why William McKinley’s picture was all over town. Ida said, “Because he’s a dear good man and I love him!”

CPortrait_of_Mrs._McKinley (1)

Ida absolutely loved it when William became president and she was the official First Lady.

carnation-cropped

William made sure she sat by him at dinners; if she had a seizure, he would cover her face with a handkerchief and after it was done she would resume where she left off in the conversation. For more serious seizures, Ida was slipped away with the help of aides.

The public knew she could get sick easily, but very few knew she had epilepsy. Ida made sure she was by her husband’s side when he received guests or any public event when she was able. If she was looking unwell people applauded her for going on. Harper’s Bazaar reported that Ida was “an inspiration for women who for one reason or another are hindered from playing a brilliant individual role in life.”

William McKinley’s presidency dealt with money issues, the Spanish-American War, and making the United States a world power. He would travel a lot, but he would cut tours short if something plagued his wife.  He constantly worried about her well being. In Washington, William and Ida would take daily carriage rides. She was always on his daily agenda. The majority of his free time was spent with her. William’s adviser, Mark Hanna, said, “President McKinley has made it pretty hard for the rest of us husbands here in Washington!”

Pretty extraordinary, huh? Some didn’t approve how she was such a top priority for William McKinley. But William said to them that Ida was “the most beautiful girl you ever saw…She is beautiful to me now.”

Wow.

I don’t usually get sentimental like this, but to someone like me who can relate to Ida at a certain level, William McKinley is beyond impressive. This is where I get jealous of Ida a lot. The snot. Just kidding–but seriously, I think she was the luckiest girl in the world.

Ida was also concerned with her husband’s health and thought he overworked. Supposedly on their carriage rides, they talked about retirement after William’s second term and how they would live the rest of their lives back in Ohio.

carnation-cropped

Their visit to Buffalo, New York in 1901, made Ida one of the unluckiest. She wasn’t feeling well enough to attend the Pan-Expo with her husband on September 6. Her husband was shot there.   He told people assisting him, “My wife–be careful how you tell her–oh be careful!”

Temple_of_Music_postcard

Ida showed strength. It looked like he would get well She would sit by his bed, but when it became apparent he would die, she said, “I want to go too.” He responded, “We are all going.”

He died on September 14. She said, “He is gone and life to me is dark now.”

Understandably, she was in a funk for a while. She went back to Ohio and found certain things to live for like being involved in the building of the McKinley Monument. She died four months before its completion. She, her husband, and two daughters are interred there.

McKinley Memorial

Ida and William McKinley died in the early twentieth century; yet I feel like they lived and died much closer to today. I’d like to imagine they got a chance to retire and danced to “The Way You Look Tonight.” I feel a sort of a kinship with them when learning how they took care of each other.

I’ve covered many people who didn’t really have the best of marriages, and it still leaves me heartbroken. In contrast, the McKinley marriage–though they had heartbreaks along the way–is heartwarming and uplifting. Even if you’re no romantic, you have to admit the McKinleys are good examples of caring for people.

carnation-cropped

Sources:
Boller, Paul F. Presidential Wives. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. Print.

“Ida Saxton McKinley.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 03 June 2016.

“William McKinley.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 03 June 2016.

 

Images:

President and Mrs. McKinley on reviewing stand at Plattsburgh Barracks, N.Y. / Woodward, Plattsburgh, N.Y. 1899. Library of Congress.

Ida S. McKinley, full-length portrait, standing, facing front. Picture of President McKinley on table beside her, and picture of daughter behind her. Circa 1897.  Library of Congress. Photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston

“Temple of Music, Buffalo, NY (Where Pres. McKinley was shot) [on 6 September 1901]”- historical postcard; CARTHALIA – Theatres on Postcards: Buffalo, NY: Temple of Music http://www.andreas-praefcke.de/carthalia//usa/usa_buffalo_temple.htm

MikeTwekesbury. https://www.flickr.com/photos/7687126@N06/7411108344. “McKinley Memorial” Photo taken 6-19-12.

 

image

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Last Friday, Rosemary finally came! Beforehand, I had noticed her on Amazon’s best sellers’ list, researched her online, placed a hold, and researched her a little more. I couldn’t wait to read about JFK’s remarkable sister. Finally I was alerted Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson had arrived.

It was a quick read.  As soon as I started reading Rosemary, I felt like I was being introduced to a new friend. Whenever I had to do something else, I closed the book, looked at the cover with Rosemary’s  portrait, and promised I’d be back.

image

The book starts out with Larson dedicating the book to those with disabilities and their families. Larson narrates Rosemary’s story the way she sees it. It’s honest, heartbreaking, and hopeful.

I watched videos of the author on her book tour, and Larson is more frank with her opinions. However, in the book she gives the reader more lead way to decide if Rose and Joseph Kennedy Sr. did the right things for their daughter. Their concern for perfection and family seemed to be a constant conflict.  The Kennedy family cares a lot about image, and they worked hard to include Rosemary while strategically positioning her in public or hiding her so no one would notice their gorgeous daughter’s learning disabilities and mood swings. At the same, Rosemary also wanted to please her parents—from adjusting to multiple schools to the fateful lobotomy.

I enjoyed reading about the love between Rosemary and her siblings—especially Eunice who was especially talented when it came to calming down Rosemary. Whenever Eunice appears, you feel safe.

I’ve always had reservations about the Kennedy family—and still do—but have a new respect and admiration for them. Learning about how Eunice Shriver  founded the Special Olympicsis of course impressive. But I was happy to learn how much they personally cared and didn’t (and still don’t) do this charity work at a distance. The last part of Rosemary’s life, the Shriver family put a lot of effort into strengthening bonds with Rosemary. They made sure that Rosemary made frequent visits to their home. The visits could be challenging but also uplifting. The visits seemed to have inspired the Shriver children to be better people, and they would continue to be involved with the work their mother started.

I texted my mom right after I finished reading Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. I highly recommended the book to her and recommend it to you. Rosemary is so compelling—so get to know her! Place a hold at the library.  Read this book. It sounds cliché, but you won’t regret it.

Recommended Videos:
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter 

Timothy Shriver Remembers His Aunt Rosemary Kennedy | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

Eunice Kennedy Shriver discusses her life and legacy

Recommended Sites:
https://bestbuddies.org/

http://www.specialolympics.org/

Petrus and Catherine Gonsalvus

Did Catherine the Beauty Know Petrus the Beast Before They Got Married?

The “characters” from the supposedly real story of Beauty and the Beast (Catherine and Petrus Gonsalvus) are mysterious.

Here’s a big mystery: Did Catherine actually know she was going to marry Petrus Gonsalvus?

It’s portrayed in the Smithsonian documentary’s “The Real Story of Beauty of Beauty and the Beast,” that she had no idea. I believe, however, that she had an inkling. I’m open to the possibility that perhaps they hadn’t talked to each other, but the chances are high that she knew of the Queen and King’s “experiment” to raise the wolf man as a gentleman. Catherine’s father had been a servant in the royal household and so had access to court gossip.

Do you think my theory of Catherine knowing about her husband-to-be is more probable than Catherine being the clueless bride?

Image taken from Joris Hoefnagel’s Animalia Rationalia et Insecta, Plate I. Public Domain.

 Text Copyright (c) by herstoryline.com and Sarah Patten

anniversary-153412_640

The Good Wife

The rabbis say Michal was a model wife. I believe it. The Midrash says that though she wasn’t required to, she wore the tefillin—scriptures on bands that could be worn around the forehead and arms. This was a reminder of how God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt as well as a sign of a clean mind and body.The Greek  word for tefillin is “phylacteries” which means to guard and protect. Whether Michal wore the tefillin or not, I believe she was prayerful, remembered scriptures, and for sure she protected David.

I have no doubt she strove for perfection. She supported David. The following Bible verses show she  cherished him very much:

“And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul’s daughter loved him. And Saul was yet more afraid of David” (1 Samuel 18: 28-29)

I’ve seen emphasis more of why Saul was afraid of David. And I agree with the common consensus: Saul was scared because he was even losing support from the people in his family. If that happened, he could lose the support of the nation.

What I also get from this verse is that Michal was helping out David. A lot. She wasn’t just this princess brushing her hair longing for her prince. She was a princess at work. She was a good example of a Israelite, military wife and princess. She would have showed her support for him when she was out in public and when he was gone.

The scriptures say from the start that David is wise and well-behaved but he continues to grow and gain more support following both the mentions of Michal and Jonathan’s love. Like Jonathan, Michal would have also tutored him on royal behavior. Shortly after his marriage to Michal we see that “David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul.” (1 Samuel 18:30) Good job, Michal!

I’ll agree that Michal was attracted to the handsome hero, but I believe she looked more on the heart. Saul sent David on dangerous missions, and whatever Michal did he while he was gone, scared Saul. Rabbi David Kimhi said that Saul was scared of David because she found out Saul’s plots to kill David and prevented them.

Saul hoped David would die on these missions and that David being away from Michal would prevent the newlyweds from starting a family. Saul probably didn’t want his daughter producing an heir that would support David. Likewise, later on it seems David didn’t want have children with Michal because he wanted to prevent the blood of Saul from inheriting the throne.

But she still loved him. I wish with all my heart that she did had children. She was very deserving. I also wish the Bible gave more details about her show of love and how she stopped Saul’s plots to kill him. Jonathan gets credit his multiple rescues but she had been hard at work even before her famous heroic window scene.

Sources:
On-line Tanach Class: Michal taught by Mordechai Torczyner
(http://ohave.tripod.com/chumash/michal.htm)

“Tefillin” Wikipedia article.

1 Samuel 18

Henri_Fantin-Latour_-_The_Two_Sisters

The Austen Vs. Barrett Sisters

Sisters.

One sister was near marriage but outside forces dashed those hopes. Her writer-sister had a proposal of marriage and….

How will such a story end?

The Austens

Cassandra’s fiance  worked in order for them to get married. He went on a military mission but died after he caught yellow fever in 1797. Cassandra now had some money, but no man to share it with. She never married.

Then we all know Jane.

CassandraAusten-JaneAusten(c.1810)_hiresParties, balls, humor, but never she seemed to find Mr. Right. She briefly accepted a proposal in 1802. The man was financially secured and perhaps it would have been perfect if she loved him. She didn’t and soon declined.  One portrayal of possible romances include Becoming Jane.

The Barretts

Henrietta could have been a character out of an Austen novel—was religious but determined to have fun and find romance at balls and parties. It seemed marriage was in her grasp at one point, but  any suitor was kicked out of her life by her father.

Mr. Barrett would never let his children marry.

Elizabeth couldn’t spend time outside like she used to, but kept contact with her family, friends, and intellectuals through  correspondences and others visiting her.  Her mind was active, but felt close to death till fellow poet Robert Browning showed intense interest in her.Elizabeth-Barrett-Browning,_Poetical_Works_Volume_I,_engraving One of the sonnets she wrote during their courtship starts:

“My future will not copy fair my past.”

The sonnet talks about the new life she feels like she’s been given. She can’t go back to the past where she thought love was lost.

Elizabeth couldn’t make the same mistakes other did. She had to be stealthier than Henrietta. And unlike Jane, Elizabeth had the means to support herself and was in love with a man who loved her. But could Elizabeth back out at the proposal of marriage from Robert? Would she find enough strength to go through with the marriage?

She did. She eloped with Robert Browning to Italy in 1846.. Elizabeth’s father disowned her but she continued to compose poems.

Now what of Henrietta?

Could she find true love? Even if she did, could she find a way to marry?

Four years after her sister eloped, Henrietta married a Captain William Cook.  Like Elizabeth, she too was disowned by her father.

We don’t know much about Henrietta but we know she displayed gumption. Some of that gumption is portrayed in, The Barretts of Wimpole Street.

Though the Barrett sisters could afford marriage, could they be indebted to the Austen sisters who gave some do’s and don’ts when it came to marriage and love?

P.S. And which film is better–Becoming Jane or The Barretts of Wimpole Street?

Sources:

http://www.browningscorrespondence.com/biographical-sketches/?id=977

wikipedia.org
Pictures:
"The Two Sisters" by Henri Fantin-Latour
Portrait of Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Engraving September, 1859,      by Macaire Havre, engraving by T. O. Barlow