Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Anniversary Card to My Wife

37 years. 37 years. 37 years.

Let me try to put that in perspective. No, on second thought that is impossible. You have to be there to understand what it means.

As my wife rests peacefully in the next room, she will soon awaken to the fact that she is beginning the 38th year of a life sentence. One simple "I do", two little words, three little letters (by the way, there is nothing smaller in the language than a complete sentence containing a noun and a verb and only three letters).

She has stirred and walked into the room where I now am writing this love note to her. When I repeat my first line, she replies that it sounds like fingers scratching across a chalkboard. She then exits stage left. She has made her point.

I wonder the universe she envisioned 37 years ago. Did it include a person like me, with all the fractures and foibles, bad puns and worse voice? Did she notice even at the beginning that my toenails were starting to turn strange colors, my hairline was making a retreat faster than an overwhelmed army and my sense of humor made sense only to me?

I know she tries her best to tolerate my eccentricities and embrace the different way that I stumble through each day. It is not easy having to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and again and again. It can become cumbersome.

With all due respect to Ryan O'Neill and Erich Segal (for the few of you old enough to remember those names) love often means having to say you are sorry. for the shortcomings, the disappointments, the visions that never became reality.

But marriage at least my marriage, is a very flexible, pliable being. It can absorb the worst of moments and come out unbowed, unbroken. It can find the morsels, the hidden gems, the little pieces that only she and I fully comprehend. Like the remark about the chalkboard. An inside joke, even though only two of us hear it.

It is 6:30 AM on the first day of the 38th year of our marriage. As I exercise my brain with my ramblings, and I know that my wife would dearly love if one morning, just one, I was the one who got up to do the laundry, she now puts in the second load of wash. Like I said, I am not perfect. We all have our strong suits, and our many weaknesses. I know what she is thinking if she is reading these words. And it is not particularly funny.

So how do I make this sound like the happy anniversary greeting that it is intended? How do I tell my wife that I love her and hope, as strange as she may think it is, that we have as many days together in front of us, and are now in our rearview mirror? Maybe I can start by getting out of this chair and helping her separate the whites from the darks.  Gotta go.

1 comment:

Alan S. said...

Happy anniversary, you crazy kids!