The Death of a Fairy Tale

“What makes men indifferent to their wives is that they can see them when they please.”  Ovid

Anne Morrow was born into extreme wealth.  Her parents valued achievement and education and went to great lengths to see to the success of their four children (Anne was second oldest.)  Anne herself became a highly acclaimed writer with lyrical prose and poetry bringing her the highest praise.  She was a romantic and was fascinated by the handsome and famous young man who came to visit her influential father. She would write in her diary about him, revealing her infatuation:  “He is taller than anyone else—you see his head in a moving crowd and you notice his glance, where it turns, as though it were keener, clearer, and brighter than anyone else’s, lit with a more intense fire. … What could I say to this boy? Anything I might say would be trivial and superficial, like pink frosting flowers. I felt the whole world before this to be frivolous, superficial, ephemeral”

He returned the interest  (she was rich!) and married the shy, delicate and pretty young woman in 1929.  It was a fairy tale come true except it wasn’t.

The marriage of Anne and Charles was a sad and lonely relationship for the timid girl.  Her husband traveled often.  He was distant and unemotional when home.  Prince Charming had packed away his charm in a chest in the attic.  He wasn’t mean, angry or cruel just distracted and uninterested as if his mind were somewhere else.

To add to the pain, everywhere the couple went, photographers plagued them and newsmen peppered them with questions.  People Magazine and National Enquirer are modern descendants of the press of the 1930’s.  The intensely private woman was tortured by the rabid attention of everyone in the world it seemed, except her husband whose focus was elsewhere.

Then they had a son named Charles after his father.  Within 20 months, the boy was dead, killed by an intruder.  The crime was a world wide sensation and many of my readers will recognize it when I tell you the boy was the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh.  At that time, Charles Lindbergh was considered the most famous man in the world for his solo flight across the Atlantic ocean. (The couple went on to have five more children none of which could help Anne entirely heal from the death of her first born.)

Lindbergh in the meantime was invited to Germany where he witnessed and was impressed by the size and technical superiority of the Nazi Air Force.  Without actually declaring himself a supporter of Nazi Germany, he vigorously opposed American entry into what was to become WWII. Britain had no chance and would be defeated by the mighty Germans, he argued, so the USA should stay out of European wars.  This led to virulent, angry attacks on the Lindbergh family which brought great suffering to Anne.

Anne Lindbergh lived to be 94 years old and  saw but a hint of the fairy tale life she once imagined. She outlived her husband by 27 years and may have known all along why he traveled to Germany so often (and perhaps the source of his fervent anti-war sentiments.)  He had three other “wives” there and had fathered seven additional children by them.  Like other betrayed spouses throughout history, Anne may have know what she hoped was not true.  Even so she did not admit publicly that her handsome prince was really a toad.

Her abundant fantasies never did come true and life was so much harder than she had imagined it would be.  Joy and pleasure shared the stage with pain and sorrow.

This demonstrates that wealth and fame are often the enemies of happiness.  (Character matters more than looks and power.)  Life can be cruel and often is for even the children of the privileged.  This world is broken and nothing short of the intervention of God can ever fix it.  Mankind will not find a cure for evil because we are the source of it.  Those who follow God need to be wise about such things since we know the truth about life on earth.  Someday peace and joy will come.  Until then…

Matthew 1016 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

ps:  Lest we get the idea that Anne Morrow LIndbergh was a paragon of unrewarded virtue, she had an affair with her Doctor in 1950 which caused Charles great sorrow.  Perhaps it opened a window in his own dark soul.

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