The Priceless Anniversary Gift

The Priceless Anniversary Gift

Marriage Log, Day 6,205…..

Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. Many couples our age have been married twice that long, but this is a second chance at love for both of us.

I got up at daybreak use the bathroom and my husband, a.k.a Superman, is lying on his stomach on a twin-size mattress that is clearly too small for his man-size frame. He is sprawled out and it looks as though he exhaled and then just melted into that spot. I know he is exhausted…

I am 9 days post ACDF surgery in which I had a cervical disc removed and then fused. My activity has been very limited and he has been there to care for me every step of the way.  He chose to sleep on the floor next to me so he could hear me and tend to my every need. He didn’t want to disturb me by sleeping in our bed.

The first day home he got me cleaned up from the blood, goop and sticky stuff all over me. This included showering me and washing my hair, then using baby oil to wipe away the sticky patches. He put lotion on me, dressed me and carefully got me situated in our deluxe king size adjustable bed. He tucked pillows, blankets and raised my feet. With super-human strength, he placed thigh-high compression stockings on my legs. No easy feat, I assure you! He continued to monitor my elevated blood pressure due to my body’s response to pain.

He organized my medication regimen and set his phone every two hours to check on me. I had water, ginger ale with bendy-straws along applesauce at the ready to take my pills. He alternated ice packs and sometimes heat depending on my needs. For two days he didn’t allow me to walk unassisted.

The second evening home, he was in the garage with our son and he didn’t hear me calling for him. My daughter came to my rescue and I told her I needed Daddy. When he came in, I needed to used the bathroom and was terribly uncomfortable. I took this opportunity to spew some fiery darts of unkind words at him, but he didn’t even flinch. He stood me up and walked me to the bathroom and asked if there was anything I needed or that he could do to help me.  He then helped me back to bed, held my drink for me and saw to it that I was put comfortably back to bed again. He leaned over to kiss me and asked if that was all I needed from him. I opened my eyes to see his face inches away and he smiled at me. I melted and big tears fell from my eyes. I said how sorry I was for being so mean. He wiped away my tears and told me once again he loved me. I can’t remember what he said next, but it made me laugh! (that is so Eddie!) He smiled at me again and I knew all was forgiven.

Meanwhile, he got the kids out the door every morning for school, arranged their transportation to various activities, did laundry, cooked, cleaned and managed it all. It was odd listening to all this activity from behind my bedroom door. That is where I am usually front and center. I smiled knowing Eddie could handle it- probably better than me!

Before this planned surgery, I tied up a thousand loose ends at work and at home, trying to make things easier on everyone. I trained a woman at work to do my job and arranged my schedule so there wouldn’t be as many commitments. At home, I filled out paperwork, audition forms, trip forms, yearbook forms, doctors’ forms, wrote out checks, paid bills and checked the calendar to be sure I hadn’t forgotten anything before the surgery because I knew I would be unable to help and I didn’t want to forget a thing!

Then, I discovered the one thing I forgot, was our wedding anniversary. Maybe I figured we would go out one night in a month or two, but I didn’t even get him a card or present. How did I miss that?

This year however, I received the greatest anniversary gift a wife could ever imagine. It wasn’t diamond earrings or red roses and chocolates. Eddie showed me how devoted he is to me by how he cared for me. His tenderness, compassion and understanding were felt infinitely. He looked at every detail to see what he could do to help or make things better for me. He’s so resourceful and smart. He was always smiling at me. He called me beautiful when I knew I looked like hell. When my appetite wasn’t good, he made tons of soft foods only to have me turn up my nose at them. Then I mentioned that chicken-n-dumplings from Cracker Barrel sounded good and I had them in front of me within twenty minutes. There isn’t a minute that goes by that I do not feel 100% loved by my sweet Eddie.

A3918A84-07B2-47DE-B1BB-830507BCC4FFHappy Anniversary honey. I love you so much!
I know this man would move Heaven and Earth for me and that kind of love is just priceless. If I didn’t think I could love you any more, I was wrong, but this is on a whole new level. As we look down the road to our Golden Years, I hope I can be as good to you as your are to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughing All the Way!

Laughing All the Way!

My husband can make me laugh like no one else. As a matter of fact, I believe it is his life’s mission to make me belly-laugh at least once, every single day. This makes life fun for sure! He loves this if he is intentionally making me laugh, but not so keen with it if I am laughing at something he did unintentionally….

Life has been busy. It’s Christmas and we are planning to move in January. I have been trying to pack things in boxes, and at the same time unpack Christmas decorations. Frustrating to say the least! I would forgo decorating at all this year, but the kids would never forgive me.

We usually make going to get the Christmas tree a family outing. Most years, we go to a farm and cut our own. A few years ago, we picked the kids up from school and surprised them by going straight to the Christmas tree farm to get a tree. I thought they would be so excited, but my 10-year-old son said, “Oh man, why couldn’t you have just done that while we were at school?”

Then two years ago, there was the incident at the Christmas tree farm when Eddie laid on the ground to cut down the tree, and suddenly we all got the whiff of something stinky. Of all the acres on that farm, my husband managed to lay in a pile of dog poop under the tree. Yuck! We all had to ride home in the truck with the windows down in 30 degree temps trying not to gag!

This year however, time just didn’t allow for this. If we didn’t get a tree today, it wasn’t going to happen. Eddie had to drop Ethan off early for a wrestling scrimmage and I told him to just go to the Home DePot and get a tree. I had no worries because Eddie is a bit of a perfectionist. I did tell him however, to not get an overly large tree because I just wanted to do things simple this year.

He had one job.

A few hours later he arrived home. It was starting to snow and I was playing holiday music. It felt so Christmas-y!  Eddie yelled upstairs for me to come and help him, so I put on my Carhart coat and work gloves and helped him haul it to the living room. He stood it up, and that’s when I got a little nervous. The top didn’t quite clear our NINE FOOT ceiling. I thought to myself, “I thought I told him small…” And although the tree was still encapsulated in that tight, orange netting, I was thinking it seemed awfully full. While still holding my tongue, he began to cut off the netting. Next was the scene we’ve all seen from the movie, Christmas Vacation. As the branches were freed, this tree opened up to be extremely wide. Luckily, I had move our end tables. I mean if a tree could be pregnant, she was expecting twins.

Eddie excitedly looked at me and said, “What do you think?” I think he could tell by the look on my face, but I wanted to be careful with my words. So I said, “Um, wow. It’s a little bigger than I expected, but I guess we can make it work.”

We tried to adjust the balance but the crooked  trunk looked like it could have been out of a Dr. Seuss book. I couldn’t seem to find ‘up.’ I stood back while he laid under the tree to turn it, so I could find it’s ‘best side.’ Every time he turned it a fraction of a turn, the view got worse. Her pregnant belly traveled across our living room like a sundial. After the third adjustment I started to giggle. With each consecutive turn, the laugh got harder until I was bent over with my legs crossed, so as not to do ‘the thing’ women my age can’t help doing, when they laugh too hard. I could not control my laughter and my husband was not amused in the least. The more annoyed he got, the harder I laughed. I was trying get the words out to explain why I was laughing, but it was impossible!

The next thing I knew, he announced he was “taking the tree back.” Now I’m lying on my back with tears running down my cheeks and can’t catch my breath. I managed to compose myself long enough to spout out, “You can’t take a Christmas tree back!” To which he replied, “Watch me.”

As he dragged the tree down the stairs and out the door into the snow I vaguely heard him mutter something about ‘dumping it in the woods…’

I’m dying!

After he drove away to return the tree to Home Depot, I immediately texted my bestie. I knew she would understand the hilarity because we get each other. She is a photographer so her first question was, “Did you get a picture?” Somehow I had managed to snap a pic with my phone and sent it to her. She said, “It’s pretty.”  I said, “It is not pretty! It is a Charlie Brown Christmas tree the size of Texas! He just felt sorry for it and brought it home!”

Laughing emojis for miles….

A little while later, I heard the diesel engine as he backed the truck in the drive. I peeked out the front window and watched him emerge from the cab and drop the tail gate, my anticipation rising. I notice how adorable he looked in his red and black buffalo print flannel shirt, and his thick beard. He was dressed perfectly for this occasion.

I cautiously opened the front door and peeked out. Eddie spots me and gives me a sideways glance as he pulls the tree from the bed of the truck.

“Hi honey. How’d we do?” I say. He says, “I don’t know, you’ll have to answer that.” He’s still pouting. I feel slightly bad so I give him my sad puppy face and say,  “Come on babe, don’t be mad, let me see the tree.”

I admit, when he stood it upright, it was significantly smaller. “Perfect!” I say. We bring it upstairs and set it up. He announces, “My job here is done.”

It will be up to the kids and me to decorate it.

He goes to busy himself with something else and I feel like I need to make amends for laughing at my husband’s first choice of tree – even as funny as it was to me.

Last year, our two children wanted their own Christmas trees in their rooms, so I bought them each a small tree to decorate. “Twins!,” I think to myself. I tell the kids to bring their trees downstairs. We finish decorating the tree and set the twin babies beside her. I think this will be a funny and cute way to end the Christmas tree story for 2017.

Later, we show him the little Christmas tree family and I say, “Doesn’t she look great for just having twins?” He just shakes his head and chuckles. He knows we love him.

I hope your Christmas season has been full of laughter amidst the chaos. I am so grateful that I have someone who can make me laugh everyday, because I love to laugh. Laughing is my favorite.

Merry Christmas!