…and today would have been my husband’s birthday…
We’re all still adjusting to this newer, emptier life (at least for me) but we are getting through the days. The nights are a little harder.
After more than 38 years with someone wonderful by your side I guess it’s natural to be lost. And he was wonderful, truly the love of my life. When I met him he was divorced with three children to support. A dream come true, right? I used to joke that when he said he had bills, I thought he meant green ones and that’s why I married him!
The truth is we were so head over heels for each other that nothing could have kept us apart. He was the best husband and father, working two jobs for a long time to support us. He said he was fascinated with electricity when he was young and knew from the time he was about eight that would be his career. He was from rural Tennessee and enlisted in the Navy, getting a chance to be an electronic tech and then later going to school on the GI Bill and eventually became an electronic engineer.
This year the grief is still very fresh, but I’m grateful my three sons will be over tonight with their families and we are planning to eat pizza and drink their dad’s favorite Merlot and probably share some funny stories. And we’ll get through another first this year and keep moving forward…
If you were here for the A to Z Challenge last year, you might remember it’s birthday week at my house! Oldest son (JP’s daddy) had his birthday yesterday, today is mine and youngest son’s is Saturday. Poor hubby had his in January and we remind him this week is so not about him!
We are going to Top Golf on Saturday with some of the family. I’ve never been before but have heard good things. It’s basically an indoor golf place/sports bar kind of atmosphere for people of all ages and they have food and drink, lots of televisions, games and golf in a bay that’s enclosed on three sides and you hit the ball to the outside. Can you tell I only have sons?
It’s been an interesting and busy last year for us, more surgeries than I would have liked — I guess one is more than I would have liked 🙂 — but things are looking up for sure. I’m not crazy about the short, white hair after chemo but I’m trying not to whine about it. Well, not all the time anyway! And I’m grateful for moisturizers and cosmetics that really work miracles!
Oh, and I’m also grateful for my family and friends in real life and this crazy blogging world and surviving cancer and just getting on with life and doing what we love ❤
Jerry’s head snaps back. “Jeez, honey, you think I drugged you? My own wife?” I see shock and hurt in his face. My mom and dad have their heads close together whispering to each other and then my mom is holding my dad’s arm and shaking her head slightly.
“Well, then, how exactly did I wake up in the backseat of a limo, all by myself, in this sundress and these? “ I look down and hold my foot out, momentarily distracted by the sparkly, strappy sandals. They are rather gorgeous. But no, I won’t be pacified by a little bling. I punch his arm again and he cringes dramatically. “You are SO not funny,” I hiss.
“Yeah, Jer,” pipes up his brother, Jack, “how’d she get here without waking up and changed into that dress? Sounds like something crazy happened.” He’s smiling cheerfully, happy to throw fuel on the fire.
The maître d’ is trying to get our attention and speaks to Jerry in a low murmur. Obviously they’d like us to move out of their entryway and into the little room in the back before everyone in the entire restaurant is staring at us. Or maybe our table is just ready. Jerry motions everyone to follow the maître d’ and still holding onto my hand he propels me forward with his other hand on my lower back. I stiffen instinctively so that he’s barely touching me.
“We are so not through talking about this,” I say. But I’m slightly mollified that there could be a reason for what happened, even if it means my husband is the biggest doofus ever. Or the most devious. As we walk toward the beautifully decorated room in the back, I can see that he’s put a lot of thought and effort into this day. There had better be a seriously sparkling gift involved, too. In a very elegant light blue box.
We take our seats and there are carafes of lovely red wine at each table. Jerry generously fills our glasses and proposes a toast to me and my 40th birthday — and many, many more. Everyone raises their glasses and the waiters begin bringing in plates of appetizers — mussels swimming in garlicky sauce, the restaurant’s famous bruschetta and baskets of warm crusty bread. I realize I’m starving and reach for a piece of bread to nibble on. Dinner is really lovely, all of my favorite dishes served family style, the platters and carafes of wine replenished often. I walk around to hug and thank all of our family and friends for coming and my sister whispers in my ear that she helped Jerry get me changed into the dress and sandals and into the limo. “You were so sound asleep that I was almost afraid you had overdosed on that sleeping pill, but Jerry said you’d be fine,” she laughs. “And you look great!” I smile at her and nod my thanks. Finally everyone has eaten their fill and the cake is cut and served. I stand and thank everyone for coming and get a big laugh when I tell them how truly surprised I was.
As we walk out through the now busy restaurant, everyone seems to be ignoring us and has gone back to their own dinners. Jerry leans down to whisper in my ear, “You really don’t remember taking that sleeping pill on the plane so that you could rest on the way home?” I do vaguely remember drinking something on the plane and maybe, but no, I just can’t really remember for sure. As we wait for the valet to bring the car around, Jerry puts his arms around me and pulls me into his embrace. His hands slides slowly from my waist up my back and he rubs between my shoulder blades. “Relax, baby,” he whispers. “Dinner was fun and I have one more surprise waiting at home.” His hand is now rubbing the back of my neck and his thumb unerringly finds the tiny little bump that is barely sore anymore. His thumb makes slow circles over the spot and I jerk my eyes to his. He smiles blandly at me. “Let’s just enjoy tonight, okay?”
Which is what we’ll be doing by the end of today, the third birthday celebration this week. Today is youngest son’s birthday (the little cutie on the left) and the last in April for us. When he was about this age, he’d always ask me why his birthday had to be last… I told him it was kind of his choice. Had he waited until his May due date, he could have had the whole month to himself!
Those are little casts on his legs in the picture because he had just had a heel cord release to help him walk more easily. He has cerebral palsy and has had several surgeries over the years.
And while he was at the hospital, volunteers brought puppies and kittens to visit. Youngest was sure it was part of the package and asked if the dog was his, could he keep it? The poor volunteer! So, of course hubby went over to the Humane Society the next day and that’s how we got our first dog, Rusty.
Now that he’s grown up, youngest son wants to go shopping and pick out CDs and DVDs or tee shirts that he wants, so we will do that today. And even now that he’s older, we try to make sure not to run out of steam too soon so we can celebrate the last April birthday as much as the first!
(My A to Z Challenge theme is birthdays!)