Happy Anniversary Love

From Memphis with love . . .

You are in one state.

I am in another.

But look, in this picture we are together.

 

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My sister-in-law, Laura, tells me she took this picture 5 years ago.  We were so young, only married 21 years then, mere babies, what did we know?

It looks like we are sitting on the bank in our garden, the garden I’ve nagged you about for 8 years, the garden in which you bent your back to lay a brick wall, the garden from which you removed a lot of dirt at my request.  Then I changed my mind and asked you to bring the dirt back.  I don’t think you finished bringing dirt back.  Not that I’m nagging – oh, look at all those hearts – they signify your great love for me.

Though my love has been a bit rough around the edges, a sharp that bled you, sweated you, carved and scarred you, you stuck with me.  You have left me with cuts and bruises too, but you have been more gentle with me than I with you.

I know, I know, it isn’t about keeping a score card.  It is about how you try to be better than you are.  It pushes me to be better than I am, precisely because you love me as I am, never nagging me to change this or that.

Unheard of.

Absurd.

Unthinkable.

But you luuuv me___

wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, you’ve walked in the lion’s den

Twenty-six years together, Honey — together but untouchable today.  That is sad, I guess, but it is hard to feel too sad with years upon years of memories crowding my mind.

Happy Anniversary, Sid.

 

.fda

Ordinary Days ?

Is it even possible to have ordinary days when you know your son is walking around with a tumor in his head ?

Yes, apparently, it is possible.  While there was a surreal quality at times, this past week was mostly solid, peaceful, even joyful.

We celebrated Sid’s birthday last Sunday, when we brought Sidney home from the hospital.  Dear friends came by with supper and pecan pie.

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For me, the week developed a strange weightlessness.

Nothing was important.

Everything was important.

Sidney’s car not working and where college money would come from — Not important.

Bubbles – important.

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Mom came over and ate supper.  She came bearing her birthday card, dependable as ever.

Important.

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Half-finished interior painting?  Not important.

Lazy music.  Very important.

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Memorial Day with friends –Yes!  Important!

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Crazy girl – important.

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Goofy boy – important.

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Boy home from hospital – important.

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Sid killed a snake in the basement.  This is a conundrum.

Not Important?  Important?

Imaginary Brave Tina shrugs nonchalantly and says cooly, “Sooooo not important.”

Real life Tina squealed and shuddered.  Repeatedly.  Her heart pounded out “Important.  Important.  Important.  Are there MORE snakes in the basement?  This is important, need-to-know information!”

My girls stared at me in bemusement, “Calm down, Mom.  It’s just a snake.” 

Rachel diligently researched the internet and we all argued about whether it was a copperhead.  It had fangs.  I shuddered as I typed that.  Rachel finally declared it a black rat snake.  That’s better than a copperhead.  But y’all . . .fangs !#!

On a less snaky note, there were interesting conversations around the house:

“That is the 10th time I’ve sneezed in 2 years!” -Prairie

“If I could run as fast as I sneeze, that would be awesome!  Because I heard how fast sneezing is . . . like 100 . . . miles or something.”  -Prairie

“Let me use this knife to cut my peach with my double vision.  I see 2 peaches.”  –Sidney

“Well, cutting it should be easy since you have 20 fingers.”  –Sid

“Dad, do you enjoy the long division of polynomials?”  — Sidney

Paying attention to our words — definitely important.

 

 

We face onions tearlessly

with goggles and a knife.

Or some of us do.

Yesterday, I announced distractedly to the bodies in the kitchen with me — “I need someone to cut onions for me while I shred carrots.”

A few minutes later, I looked up and saw that TWO able bodies had responded to my general call for help.  And they came fully prepared to face the onions without shedding a tear.

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Hmmm . . . there is something about a man in goggles, prepared to face the onion.

A bit nerdy.  Definitely manly.  And very, very sweet.

 

A night full and golden

My girl came home late,

long blonde hair snarled with sticks and leaves.

Brown smudges around her lips

clue to the hot chocolate she drank

in the cold dark,

waiting with her Daddy

for the travelers to Bethlehem,

so he could prophesy while she

pretended to be a log by their campfire.

No one saw her, and she was content

with invisibility.

Because she was with Him.

And that was enough.

I take the brush in hand,  fulfilling my role

and restore the tangled skeins.

“Daddy, If there was a contest on the Best Dad ever,

you would win!”

Rachel speaks her Truth.  It is no small thing to be the core of a daughter’s Truth.  My husband, Sid, has given our children a secure, joyous Truth.

He also inspires our girls to the pinnacle of creative gift-giving, a place most people don’t realize exists.  It is off the beaten path and few trouble themselves to find it.  Rachel ventured off well-worn paths, creating a septic tank game for her daddy. She sewed a septic tank, stuffed it with poly-fil and concealed a yellow button inside for her daddy to find.  In his business, Sid does a fair amount of trouble-shooting when a system does not work properly.  I think the game is Rachel’s vision of what finding septic problems must be like.

And since these girls of ours typically go everywhere together, Prairie was right there with her sister in the creative zone. Prairie made a chimpmunk bobble-ly pen — a writing pen with a chipmunk on a spring that bobbles and wobbles when Sid writes with it.  She was also thoughtful enough to include a spare chipmunk, in case the first chipmunk becomes defective or meets a tragic end.

Sid always knows just the right thing to say,  “This chipmunk pen is a latent need — a need that I didn’t even know I had.”

The boys did not construct imagination-defying crafts or write syrupy sweet cards, but they did make broccoli salad and peanut butter cookies to go with our Father’s Day feast.  Big boys in the kitchen cooking for Dad has its own kind of charm.