While I was running around from event to event in Kansas City, Gizmo Guy was left to fend for himself. Oh, he’d come with me, and made sure I stayed sane–and properly fed. Then on Saturday when I came into the room to change outfits and lay down on the bed for a quick nap, he asked if I could read a Word document on my iPad. Once I assured him I could, he emailed a document entitled “Blog Fodder.” He is often in the habit of sending me dirty jokes or funny cat pictures to make me laugh, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I opened the document, I started to cry … don’t let anyone ever tell you guys can’t write love letters. I may have added a few parentheses, but yes, these are all his own words…
[T]he 35th wedding anniversary falls between the silver (25 years) and gold (50 years). Coral is the traditional anniversary gift (yeah right – try walking down to your local jewellers and ask to see the coral selection) although jade appears to have replaced it in the modern era (might be able to handle that.)
35 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. A baby boy, now in his late twenties, six foot tall and working as an electrician. A 2nd boy now towering over both mother and father still living at home but itching to get out there and find his life.
For me work devoured the years. Twenty years in the mainframe computing field at a large bank – followed by a 2nd career in the public sector. My life revolved around computer rooms and airports. It was a blur of projects and deadlines, technical diagrams and blueprints, industrial air conditioners and fast food. Thank God for Diet Coke (my caffeine of choice), Tums and Tylenol.
But there has been one constant through all those years, one thing that kept me sane and rooted and that was you Leah.
I’m sure there were years when you thought you were a single mom, raising two young boys and holding down a career of your own while I was off in (fill in the City here) doing God knows what. But I’d come home and find the boys healthy and happy, the house clean (ok – might be a bit of a stretch) and my bed warm and inviting (might be venturing into Leah’s written words here.)
How can you thank someone for giving you a life? For sharing theirs?
In good times and in bad. Sure there have been good times and bad, and a few down right awful times. But you pulled me through those and allowed me the luxury of time and patience. The time for my mind to come to grips with life, and your patience to put up with me while I did.
In Sickness and in Health. Those words spoken so fleetingly during our vows have taken on a much deeper meaning as we, dare I say it, approach middle age. In the words of the great philosopher Confucius ‘Getting old sucks’.
For Richer, for Poorer. Yeah well at least we have our health (see above.)
Until Death do us part. Let’s just hold off on that one for a while… Remember you promised that we both reach the age of ninety-two and just go to sleep after a night of amorous adventure….
As my career wanders off into its twilight years, Leah, you seem to have gotten your second wind.
I sit here tonight in a hotel room in Kansas City, not for one of my computer installs or work, but to be with you while you attend the Romantic Times Conference as a ‘Multi-Published Author.’ Let me say that again cause it sounds so nice, a ‘Multi-Published Author.’
As I write this you are up on the 40th floor of the hotel wining and dining with editors and publishers as well as other authors.
There are stacks of postcards and bookmarks all over the hotel room – every flat surface is piled high. All swag to be given out to fans. Yes, I said the word fans. Some love your work so much they want to be a part of it, to have some involvement in the process, and have created a fan club and street team.
God, what a ride.
But they don’t know what I do. They never met the shy little girl scribbling in pencil in tiny journals the stories that were intended for no one else’s eyes.
Or the young woman writing fan fiction weaving Tolkien tales, and gaining a large following on the web.
No one else understands the courage you mustered to take your own work and send it out into the world. Well maybe there are a few hundred others in this hotel that have like stories. But your story is unique and I, like your Street Team, am glad to be allowed to be a part of it. I thank you for that.
And I thank you for the last 35 years. Here’s looking forward to the next 35.
I am supposed to be the romance writer, but I think Gizmo Guy got me beat today.
Happy Anniversary, Gizmo Guy. I love you.