Marie, the brave or the lover!

Today I want to share something with you all. Hope you like it.

Marie, an American journalist, worked for the British newspaper The Sunday Times since 1985. She was known for her strong personality and quickly established herself. She was a strong woman, a dedicated journalist, a hard worker and a woman crafted for hardships rarely preferred by women. This had even resulted in an incident where she lost one of her eyes. But she was not one to move away from her goal. Her view of the world was different. She wanted to show people how normal people were suffering in other places while other normals were living unaffected. Most of the people out of the war prone areas only felt a tinge of sorrow and pain and then just as quickly they were out of it. She wanted to change that outlook of people.

She always had one person, whom she would talk about her works and her plans. Gerald. She met him in 1975, while graduating from the Yale University. Things between them, were always different. They had been intimate earlier but then ended up as lifelong friends. She always urged him to write, while he was amazed at the schedule she had and the way she did her things perfectly and bravely. She always asked him to pen down a novel as she believed there was enough material in his life, his eventful life, for a few novels.

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They both shared a love for literature. Unknown to many was the fact that she was a bookworm. Marie agreed to help in rewriting and editing the book. She also took it up on her to get the book published once it was ready. That was the final nudge Gerald needed to put his words on paper. Once he started working on the idea of the story and began to put words on paper, there was no looking back. First it was like forcing himself to write for three hours a day, and then the story started to take a life of its own. And soon he was writing ten, twelve or sixteen hours a day. Every day began with an email to his good friend, Marie, to tell her what he had written and would be writing. She called him to London for a meeting with agents so that he could see her promise come true.

When she was far, on international projects, they mailed and stayed in touch. Covering international events was her specialty, the more scarier the situation, the more she was attracted to it. And then Syria called her. She had the opportunity she was waiting for, to go to Syria and cover the siege, the crisis there. Not one to be deterred by wars or risky places, she took it up. She entered the Syrian borders, the war zone at its worst.

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She remained in touch with Gerald through mails or calls whichever was possible. Yet on that fateful day, something made him change his routine. On February 22, 2012, instead of writing to Marie, Gerald googled her name. What he found shook the ground under his feet! There was an eleven-minute-old story of how she had been killed in Syria. On hearing this, totally shaken by the unexpected news, Gerald drank for days and days unless he couldn’t take it anymore. And then he realized he had something more to do. Something to do for her.

At her funeral, Marie’s sister Cathleen Colve told him about the things they had found with her, at the place she had been struck in the war zone. Her backpack, lying near her dead and still body, included just a few things: a change of clothes, two satellite phones and the 387 pages of Gerald’s manuscript. Cathleen realized her sister’s wish and they sent the manuscript to one of the agencies Marie had contacted. After some changes and edits were made, the book was ready. Gospel Prism was dedicated to Marie, by Gerald Weaver.

Was this true love? Was this friendship? Sometimes, we always carry a person within us in ways which not just them even we do not know. Sometimes the relationships are so strong, they need no names. Ironically, Marie and Gerald married, but it was not to each other. Yet their bond was stronger than many, which are named or accepted in society.  They both saw the same dream. She wanted him to see his dream come true. She became his foundation, his base. Sometimes love lives longer and forever in the most unique ways. And such was the cord that connected Gerald with Marie.

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Marie, her college days.

Fact: Gerald Weaver’s “Gospel Prism” was published in United Kingdom on 21 May 2015.
His novel “Gospel Prism” came to light when the American-born British journalist, Marie Colvin, aged 56, died whilst covering the siege of Homs in Syria on February 22, 2012. Her backpack when recovered was found to contain basic supplies: a change of clothes, two satellite phones and Weaver’s manuscript.

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My Note: War comes with a huge price. One can never know the extent of loss unless one has lost someone in it. One can never repair the destruction caused. War takes away many, but how much do you get back from it.
There have been many other journalists/photographers who died like her, but her story came to my knowledge through the man himself. It was a heartrending true story but it made me feel honored to be given a chance to write about it. Thanks Gerald Weaver. Stay happy and blessed. Marie is always going to be with you and I hope her blessed soul looks over me too! 🙂

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S.F.R.

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