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Marlon Brando as Mark Antony
credit: youtube

In Julius Caesar, Act V, Scene V, Mark Antony, speaking over the body of Brutus, says:

His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!

Circa 2017, manhood is defined almost entirely in disparaging terms. Mere accusations of behaving like a man are enough to destroy the educations, lives and careers of man-like beings, because all women must be believed, particularly if their accusations are unbelievable. Masculinity is toxic in itself, and everything wrong with the world, after being blamed on Donald Trump, who is, after all, a man, is blamed on men in general.

Every positive thing men do, such as saving countless lives, and cleaning up and rebuilding after hurricanes, must be ignored, just as the media ignores much of the positive, gentle and redeeming aspects of life, particularly those accomplished by—eeeuuuuw!–men.

As always, this scruffy little blog does what it can to contribute to truth and understanding, this time with the help of Fox News. This is love. This is a man:

A woman fighting breast cancer got married at a hospital 18 hours before she died.

Heather Mosher was dressed in her wedding gown and lying in bed wearing an oxygen mask as she and David Mosher said ‘I do’ Dec. 22 at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford. A photo shows her raising both her arms in the air in an apparent display of triumph.

The 31-year-old school psychologist died the next day.

The East Windsor couple fell in love after meeting at a swing dancing class in 2015. David Mosher told news organizations that on the day he planned to propose to her on Dec. 23, 2016, she was diagnosed with cancer. But he decided to go through with the proposal that night as they rode a horse-drawn carriage.

‘I said to myself, `She needs to know she’s not going to go down this road alone,’ he told WFSB-TV.

I am, as I write this, gentle readers, bawling like a baby. Is that manly?

On the day of the wedding, family and friends worked together to get Heather Mosher into her gown and a wig. The couple exchanged vows in the hospital’s chapel.

David Mosher said some of his wife’s final words were her vows.

‘It was just like surreal because I’m supposed to be exchanging vows to her and here I am saying goodbye,’ he told ABC News.

”…in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

Cynics, the kinds of people that would represent all men as not only useless, but dangerous, would doubtless say Mosher’s act of love was meaningless. All he had to do was say a few words and wait a few hours for Heather to die. He ventured nothing, sacrificed nothing; it was an essentially empty act, a bit of theater, perhaps even aimed merely at making himself look good.

Such people aren’t worthy of so much as the pity of good men and women.

There are, in life, no guarantees. When we take wedding vows, we have no idea of the future. Death may claim us at any time. We may die in the arms of our loved ones, or alone, on a battlefield across the globe. The only difference for David and Heather Mosher was they knew the time of Heather’s death with a certainty few ever experience. No sacrifice? David and Heather sacrificed a life together, all their shared tomorrows, that Heather might die wrapped in the embrace of love.

This is a man.

Ave atque vale, Heather. Requiscat in pacem. May you share eternity together.

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