A video of Stephanie’s marriage to Mark in 2004 is the stuff that inspires envy. Pretty young woman meets handsome young man. The son of one of the most successful men on Wall Street, the groom earns a great deal, too, working for a division of his dad’s company–along with his brother.
The happy couple is blessed with the birth of two children and leads charmed lives. Then, it all falls apart, overnight. Literally. Mark’s father is convicted of fraud, to the tune of billions of dollars, and is shipped off to jail for the rest of his life.
By now, you probably know that Mark’s last name is Madoff. You also probably know that Mark hung himself while his infant son slept in the next room and his wife and daughter were visiting Disney World.
Did or didn’t Mark know about his father’s Ponzi scheme? Stephanie adamantly says “No!” in her new book, “The End of Normal,” but it hardly matters at this point. Mark is dead.
I would not have called Stephanie’s life “normal,” at least once she became a Madoff, even a pre-Ponzi Madoff. But whatever it was, it no longer is. Life has a quirky way of being inconsistent, surprising, challenging, maddening, depressing, tragic and darn irritating. If we’re lucky, we weather the storms. If we’re not, we lose control of the ship and sometimes even drown.