Dear Gizmo Guy
I can’t believe it’s been thirty three years since we said our “I do”s. I still feel like we should be celebrating our fifth anniversary, the years have gone by so quickly. (Except for the two boys in their twenties who tower over me of course.)
Heaven knows life has thrown a lot at us in the last thirty-three years–health issues, both our families and our own; the birth of our two boys and raising them with all the worries parenting brings; issues dealing with our own aging parents. We’ve both gone through layoffs and uncertainties about where our next rent or mortgage payment was going to be found. We’ve had our share of arguments which of course ended with a make-up sessions–which is probably why we’ve lasted thirty-three years. So thank you for being there for me at every twist and turn our life has taken. Thank you for being a determined, practical man who faces challenges by meeting them head-on without a lot of drama, and for putting up with me who knows only drama.
You’ve taught me a lot about dealing with life. So many nights I’d lie in bed staring at the ceiling replaying the events of the day, wondering how I’d get through the next, frustrated because you could roll over and drop straight to sleep. I always knew that I could turn over and wake you up (yes, I apologize for those nights I did) and get even more frustrated because you would simply ask “is staying up worrying about it going to change anything? Is it going to make the money appear in the bank to pay the rent/mortgage/bill?” Of course the answer was no, but it took me years–all right, decades–to figure that out. I still stare at the ceiling a lot at night, but now it’s to let those characters in my stories keep me awake, not the bills and other issues. (I’m sure a psychiatrist could say it’s a method of avoidance or something, I don’t care. Those characters are helping me pay the bills 😉 )
Thank you for always letting me know you’re thinking of me even when you’ve been thousands of miles away–not only from the phone calls you’d make or later the IM sessions, but for all those presents you’ve brought back, that show me you’ve scoured the stores wherever you were to find whatever whim I’m following at the moment. Thank you for going into that sewing shop in Minneapolis and buying me a tiny pair of stork scissors for my embroidery. For my collection of angels that you’d add to every time you went away because you knew I needed to be surrounded by goodness because bad things hovered on the periphery of our life.
You are always so darned even tempered — I had no idea how to argue with someone so quiet-spoken after living with the fiery tempers of my parents’ marriage. How could you fight if it wasn’t at the top of your lungs? Well, you taught me how. I thank you for teaching me that.
Thank you for being such a great example of what a real man is like to our sons– you’re a great Dad, and with your patience and quiet manner, you’re a great example of how a man can be a great husband.
And I know I’ve influenced you too–like that first year when I’d curl up on the couch with a book or sink into a tub for an hour at a time with my book, and you thought I was angry with you and avoiding you, not realizing the pleasure that could be found in reading. Now you bring home books for me, and even have your own Kobo reader and devour almost as many books as I do.
When I finally confessed that I wrote, you’d listen to me endlessly natter on about passive voice and showing not telling. And you proved that you listened to me–I mean really listened to me–by sending me a document and asking me to read it. You knocked me for a loop when I realized you’d written a story too. As I sat reading it that day, hearing your voice in my head telling the story, laughing at your subtle humour (and not so subtle sometimes) as you fictionalized some of the things that we’d done, I was both laughing with joy and crying with happiness. How many women, let alone authors, have such proof that their husbands do indeed listen to them?
Thank you for putting up with my muttering and my flights of fancy as I chased this dream and that. And thank you for listening to me talk about how I needed to go back to work in 2006 then for telling me to go after my dreams of getting published, that somehow despite all the trouble we’d been through in the previous few years, that we’d get by on just the one salary. Because if you hadn’t encouraged me to keep writing, I doubt this blog would exist. I know of few other women who have husbands who so actively support their writing–some even have husbands who ask when they’ll give up on their dreams. Without knowing you supported me, I doubt any of my books would have been written, let alone submitted or published.
So you’ll have to wait for a month to get your present, but for the first time in a very long time, I’m buying your present with my very own money. I hope you really enjoy New York and I hope you’ll show me all your favorite things about that great city.
I love you, Gizmo Guy. I hope we see another thirty-three years together…