It’s nearly midnight, the eve of July 2, 2016.
We are in our bed surrounded by our critters. Mama Kitty is perched on my dresser, Coach is snuggled in the “meedle” between us, Crockett is laying across the the foot of the bed. Kilo is in the living room, getting his much needed space.
We have our rituals. I’ve arranged my five pillows just so. My nightstand is equipped with reading lamp, journal, pens, books, phone, hand cream, tea, Chapstick and tweezers.
Yours has your essentials–Diet Mountain Dew, phone, CPAP machine, medications, reading lamp, and books.
It’s Friday night. We have worked all week and we’re exhausted. We used to go ride the Harley, usually taking a trip to Nightfall this time of year to downtown Chattanooga, perusing all the other bikes and running into old friends. Sometimes we would go out dancing at Charlie’s, the place we met and where you asked me for that first dance.
A lot has happened in just over three years. Love, laughter, pain, anger, loss, hope, grief, illness, injury, and healing– so much living in our short time together.
As I sit here in our comfortable bed, surrounded by our sweet pets, I am grateful.
We spent a lot of years in separate lives before we found one another. We’ve loved and lost in the past. We have experienced success and failure. Our hearts have been broken and we have broken hearts. We have children who mean the world to us, and grandchildren we adore.
But here, in this moment, I know all of those years were preparing us for one another, so we could find joy and comfort in these times together.
You have held me as I cried, and I’ve wiped your tears. Your loyalty and quiet strength have engendered trust and courage from me. When no one else did, you believed in and supported my writing and my goals to write books, stories, and my blog. I wrote my first novel because I finally found a place where I felt safe, loved, and supported.
You’re my best friend.
My wish for you today, on the day of your 55th year celebrating your time on this earth, is that you continue to know this abiding love and friendship in our union.
I wish for you to see yourself through my eyes-a man with a heart so big he can forget the greatest of wrongdoing by those who hurt him, and who tries to see the best in everyone. You are so much better at this than I am, and you have taught me how to love unconditionally.
Happy Birthday, my dear husband. May we celebrate many more together.
For John, my rock and my soft place to land.