This morning, I ran my Saturday morning errands alone, the first time in a very long time I’ve done “our” routine by myself. Although nothing we did was exciting, and generally calling it “mundane” may have been a stretch (bank, grocery store, car wash), we were together and made the best of it. Have you ever kissed someone while your car was slathered in soap and being pulled through the automated car wash? If not, I dare you to try it; there’s just something silly and somewhat wicked about it. Almost as if you are getting away with something sneaky.
If we got separated at Walmart, he would sometimes ambush me in another aisle, either goosing me and laughing when I quickly turned ready to smack down the culprit, or using some cheesy pick-up line as if I were a stranger. No matter what his method, it would make me giggle. Forever a man-child in many ways, he truly believed that old quote from Marilyn Monroe – “If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.” He spent a lot of time trying to get me to smile, even when I was angry with him. Especially when I was angry with him. He knew I was putty in his hands if he could just make me laugh.
Well, this morning, no sooner had I left our community when this song came on. Followed closely by a cardinal swooping across the divided 4-lane county highway, in a spot where it’s common to see cranes and birds of prey, but not usually smaller songbirds. Although I’ve heard the song before, this time I listened closely to the words and truly believe my husband was trying to tell me that he has no regrets about the life he lived. This “visit” was definitely a timely one, especially given yesterday’s blog. The words of the song seemed to mirror my own thoughts about what we did have rather than what we didn’t.
Those two weeks he was in the hospital, I spent countless hours by his bedside holding his hand, stroking his forehead and either talking or singing to him. He was such a big man, that, even though I’m far from small and fragile (the understatement of the year from the gal who hails from hearty German and Irish stock, among others), he always made me look and feel dainty and feminine. His hands dwarfed my own, and when I touched his face, my hands looked delicate and small.
“Oh, if all I got is your hand in my hand
Baby, I could die a happy man”
Like the song, I, too, have a red dress that he loved to see me in, but my “black dress” was actually black and white and whenever I put that dress on, it would stop him in his tracks and he would give a little snort / grunt thing. He had a special way of making me feel beautiful even when I didn’t feel beautiful. He often told me that every time he saw me was like the first time, and I would joke that my weight fluctuated so much that each time was the first time because I hadn’t looked the same the day before.
He wouldn’t let me brush it off most of the time. He wanted me to know exactly what he thought of me, and of us. He would tell me how beautiful and sexy and desirable he thought I was. He would talk of where he’d want to take me someday, and the things he’d want me to have. He believed I was worthy of the best the world had to offer and it bothered him that I didn’t have it all. I tried to reassure him that I didn’t need much… just needed to know he loved me. And I needed to laugh. He did a phenomenal job on both counts.
I can die a happy woman, too, my love… I’ll be waiting until your next visit.
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