real life

To Jesinta Campbell: "The nature of love is that it hangs in there."

Yesterday, The Daily Telegraph published an article titled ’13 reasons Jesinta and Buddy should postpone their summer wedding’.

In response, Caroline Overington wrote a beautiful open letter to Jesinta.

Caroline writes…

BACK when I was a kid, people used to talk about your wedding day as the best day of your life.

It’s really not.

Weddings are fun, but in my view, the best day of your life comes along quite a bit before the wedding.

I’m talking about that moment when it dawns on you that this relationship is different, and then one of you plucks up the courage to say: ‘Um… I think I love you.’

And then you hold your breath…

And then the other one says… “Well, that’s great… because I love you too!”

And there the two of you stand, one loving the other and being loved right back. That’s the best day of your life.

Then of course what sometimes happens is that he will say: “So… will you marry me?”

You say: “Yes! Of course I will!”

You kiss and you laugh and you get on the phone to excitedly tell all your friends and, this being the new millennium, you also post a loved-up photograph on Instagram, and then along comes a Daily Telegraph columnist with 13 reasons why you shouldn’t go through with it.

Okay, so maybe that last bit doesn’t happen to everyone. Maybe that happens only to Jesinta Campbell and Buddy Franklin.

For those of you who missed it, The Daily Telegraph yesterday published 13 reasons why Jesinta should opt out of her summer wedding to Buddy, most of them pretty vile, like he’s got depression so maybe his kids will have mental problems. Or else, the Swans might be about to cut him from their roster, so he’s not going to be making a million dollars a year anymore.

Anyway, I must be lame, because I can only think of one reason to get married, and it’s love.

Do you love him, Jesinta? Because if you love him, and you want to marry him, then you go right ahead.

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Will the path ahead be smooth? No. How do I know? Because it never is. What might go wrong? Well, we don’t know, do we? None of us know anything about what the future holds.

What I do know, though, is something that Bruce Morcombe once told me.

Who remembers the Morcombes? Their son Daniel went missing from a Queensland bus stop at the age of 14.
For years they couldn’t find him.

Not knowing what happened to her little boy nearly killed Denise Morcombe. She used to have these nightmares where he’d be suffering. She started drinking to drown her grief and on one particularly awful night, she screamed at Bruce: “Divorce me. Please, just GO.”

What did Bruce do?

He said no.

No, I will NOT divorce you.

When I asked him why, he said: “Well, I knew it wasn’t Denise talking. And truly, I’m not the kind of person that can just walk away.”

Then he said: “When you get married, you stand there and you say: for better or worse. That’s what you say, and that’s what you agree to, and that’s a verbal contract as far as I’m concerned.”

Now, when Bruce and Denise stood at the altar and promised to love each ‘for better or worse’ they had no idea what that might entail.

But the truth about marriage is that when you say: ‘Yes, I will marry you’ you are also saying: ‘And in your darkest hour, I will also carry you.’

Jesinta Campbell was quoted recently as saying she’s never felt closer to Buddy than she does right now, as he tackles the demons within.

That’s the nature of love. It hangs in there.

So again, forget the 13 reasons. There’s only one. Do you love him, Jesinta? Yes? You want to marry him? Well then, you go for it, and may the road rise up to meet you, girl, and may the wind be at your back.

This post originally appeared on Caroline’s Facebook page, “Caroline Overington Books”. You can read more from her on that page, which you will find here.

Do you think the Daily Telegraph’s article about Jesinta and Buddy crossed the line?