I Love You More

Never Changing With The Season

Never Changing With The Season (Photo credit: dprotz)

There, I said it, in print, published in black and white. You can call it or I can call it when we first see each other in the morning or at 3:30am for a bathroom break but I think this counts a hundred times more. I am the “I Love You More” champion because truly, I do love you more. You can’t call me a cheater, either. To my husband: I’d be lost without you. I know, way down deep, I could get through it, if I had to, but I don’t even want to contemplate that situation.

You accept me for the: overly sensitive, moody, quirky, hungry, anxious, mean, hurtful and impatient person I can be. I know I am also loving and sweet and funny but it’s the bad qualities that are harder to accept. I haven’t even mentioned the Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and chronic pain that I have. You support me with driving, if you can, or help me upstairs or out of the car with an outstretched arm at the ready. Your never-ending kindness is (mostly 🙂 ) always there. That means so much to me and I thank you.

I know when we first met you COULD NOT BELIEVE that I had NO sense of direction and you that I would get lost on purpose. HA! Why would I do that? You couldn’t understand if I had driven someplace once or twice or thirty times before how I couldn’t reenact the same route again. My answer: genetics. My father was the same way. The kids make fun of me (mercilessly) but I truly cannot picture in my mind where things are and how to get to them. Thank goodness for the GPS, the best invention ever and yes I know, I still get lost but it helps.

However, I will recognize a person I went to seventh grade with in a different state, in a different setting (like a bakery) and go up to the person and say “Nora?” and know, without a doubt, that she was my friend 40 years ago. I am always right too. You can meet someone an hour ago before, meet them again in five minutes and have no facial recognition. Our minds and brains are wired totally differently. What do we both say? ” Valuing differences.”

You make me a cup of coffee each morning, in my favorite flowered, thin-lipped mug. When I am sick you bring it upstairs to me, with love and a napkin. Sometimes there is a dish of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries already washed, in a dish in the refrigerator. You do that for me. FOR ME. I buy you dark chocolate covered apricots for Father’s Day and tell you they are from the dog because my dad is no longer alive and even though you are my children’s father, it is a lonely, miserable holiday for me. You understand that and you are blessed to have both of your parents still alive. You even understand that I am envious without holding it against me.

I am lucky to have you in so many ways. We are best friends. Sometimes, I need some space but begrudgingly, you have come to understand that too. Through the years I think we have become more like each other, which to me is still puzzling. I used to be the one that liked to stay home and you used to like to go out, now it’s the opposite. I want adventure, you want peace.

Let’s walk together now and hopefully in years to come. I’ve already slowed down and you have tried to walk slower for me. Maybe we can find a shady bench in the park in the future and sit, side by side holding hands. I pray we can get old together, this is my dream. I want nothing more than that; that itself would be heaven.

Dedicated to my husband, Danny

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I’d Be Lost Without You

2008-10-22 - 010 - Kona, Hawaii, snorkeling, f...

Image by cfinke via Flickr

Every morning I am greeted with a smile, a hug and a freshly brewed cup of coffee. He even sniffs the milk before he pours, knowing I have a super-sensitive nose and will gag if I even think something has gone sour. Today there was a small fruit cup with blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe, sliced with love from a steady, beautiful hand. My hands shake so he carries the full cup of coffee to me, so I don’t feel bad and so there will be no spills on our fake linoleum Spanish tiles in the kitchen. In the middle of the night our feet or hands search for each other for reassurance and comfort. I don’t even mind when he snores loudly, though I do punch him lightly in the arm. Without protest he turns over. I used to say “turn over” but with our marriage code I have shortened the phrase to “apple” as in apple turnover and he knows exactly what I mean.

We have our own language, he and I, built on twenty-five years of togetherness, love and friendship. We are each others’ best friend.  I am not saying we have always had the perfect marriage because no marriage is perfect. We have had our rough years, our tough times but we struggle through it together, knowing that home is not just a place but a feeling. I sat through a Gordon Lightfoot concert for him, he came to see Neil Diamond for me. Sometimes he blurt things out that are supposed to be secret; sometimes I reveal my feelings when I shouldn’t. Sam Adams for him, Diet Coke for me. His Scotch is my Yoo-hoo, his dark chocolate is my milk chocolate.

I want our children to see that our marriage is strong, loving, yet not without flaws. I want them to know that marriage, like any relationship, needs work, a strong commitment and loving companionship. We help each other when difficult situations arise, and in life, they always do. When we were first married, we went through the infertility process together; it breaks many couples apart yet it brought us closer together. We share pain and joy, I am more emotional, he is more practical. We balance each other like a delicate balancing toy, sometimes tipping over, always able to right itself to startling precision.We try to laugh even during hard times. He has taught me to be less pessimistic; I have taught him that it is okay to be vulnerable.

Through the 25 years of our relationship we have grown closer together even after we have grown apart. He likes skiing, I like sunshine, he plays racquetball, I need to write. For a little while we thought it was odd that we did not share activities in common but we adjusted and compromised. We trust each other so that if he wants to go skiing, he goes with a friend. If I need sunshine in the middle of a gray, cold winter, I have flown to Florida for a few days. We can be independent of each other yet always happy to reconnect. We share the joy of traveling together, France, Australia, Amsterdam,  Aruba, Rhode Island. We held hands when we snorkeling on our engagement trip in Hawaii, my most favorite memory. While he would prefer to stomp through old ruins, I would rather walk on the beach finding seashells; we compromise.

He is an atheist, I believe in G-d. We have two amazing children, a boy, 18 and a girl, 16. We share their triumphs and their pain; we help each other deal with our ever-changing reality. If the children attack us, as teenagers often do, we immediately look at each other. The silent language of marriage is a subtle one, but we speak it fluently.

I fear the day that one of us is left alone. I pray it won’t be for a very long time yet thinking about it frightens me. He is the one person that I trust with my life, that I can count on without question. He feels the same way about me. We know the best and the worst of each other and accept and acknowledge both. If I had to, I know deep down, that I could survive without him; I just don’t want to.