The first chapter of The Ultimate Dating Guide to Widowers tells the story of Joe Biden who lost his wife and daughter to an automobile accident a month after being elected U.S. Senator from Delaware. I picked Biden’s story to lead off the book because of all the famous, remarried widowers I researched it seemed that he had done the best job of putting his life together and moving on. At a time when it would have been easy to give up on life and being a father tow his two surviving sons, he managed to rebuild his life in a remarkable and spectacular way.
But even the best, most inspiring stories don’t always have a happy ending. Even those who have managed to overcome one tragedy often have others. In Biden’s case his son, Beau, died Saturday of brain cancer at the age of 46.
Two weeks before his son’s death, and knowing that his son didn’t have long to live, Biden gave a very personal commencement speech to Yale graduates. As part of the speech he said “I’ve observed that most people who are successful and happy remembered a third thing: Reality has a way of intruding.” Biden then went on to tell his story including this bit:
I can remember my mother — a sweet lady — looking at me, after we left the hospital, and saying, Joey, out of everything terrible that happens to you, something good will come if you look hard enough for it. She was right.
Prayers and thoughts are with the Biden family during this time. And for the rest of us, I hope that we can all find something good when reality intrudes on our lives. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
You can watch Biden’s speech below (forward to 1:10:00) or read a transcript of his speech here.