Archive for March, 2017

An Ode to J.R. Revisited

Our_Wedding

            An indulgence, if you’ll permit, to honor what would have been my dear husband’s 69th birthday: This condensed version of a 2012 post commemorating our 25th wedding anniversary—which I noted at the time was “a stark reminder of how quickly time scoots by, and how precious is each month, week, day, and hour, to be wrung limp with an appreciative squeeze.”  

An Ode to J.R.

            Fear not. There will be no declarations of devotion to a certain Texas-based, primetime soap opera character here. The focus of my devotion is the husband with whom I recently celebrated a 25th wedding anniversary–an occasion that smacked me right in the kisser with the awareness of just how much I have to give thanks for, and to cherish. I will, of course, elaborate.

            First of all, I am blessed with a life-mate who ignores, guy-like, the fact that I haven’t dusted in weeks, but listens intently as I ramble on about the specific kind of tank-top I’ve been searching for and then shows up a few weeks later, having hunted down six perfect matches.     

            A guy who waits patiently as I make multiple stops shopping for an allergy-elimination diet, then later sacrifices his lunch hour driving to the one health food store that carries Rice Dream dairy-free frozen dessert, to replenish my supply. Who seems not to be fully tuned in while I describe in tiresome detail what I am looking for in a watch, and then surprises me with the ideal model at the next appropriate special occasion, i.e., Happy Friday! 

            The man—and this will never cease to impress me—will patiently troll Kohl’s clothing racks looking for items he thinks I might like, while I’m locked in a dressing room, slogging through the tedious process of Trying On Clothes. And, while I am an animal lover, my husband is an animal liker. Yet he welcomed the feisty felines I brought into our marriage, supported me through related bereavements, and once back-tracked several blocks in the family vehicle because I saw a confused-looking kitty wandering around a commercial area and felt compelled to try to rescue it.

            His capacity for indulgence extends to rushing me to Wal-Mart to buy a cage and seed for the injured bird that had bounced off our front window and landed in the flower bed, only to discover on our return home that the stunned critter had recovered and flown away. U-turn back to Wal-Mart to return the emergency items. No drama, no recriminations, just a tolerant tending to the needs of the situation. My needs.

            While my sweetie and I are very much aligned in all the important areas, on some smaller issues, there is an occasional Venus/Mars split. I am pretty fanatical about conserving things, while my honey takes a more reasonable approach. Still, when he is finished with a shaker of body powder, a bottle of liquid soap, a tube of toothpaste, or a jar of mustard, he will open another, but leave the carcass behind for me to shake, scrape, dig, squeeze, or swoosh the very last drop from, knowing that it satisfies something within me to use the last drib and drab of anything.

            Then there was that phase I went through where I was reassessing how much toilet tissue I was reeling off the roll, and would sometimes lay the excess squares back on the dispenser for later use. Lesser men might have seen this as material for ridicule. My J.R. saw it as material for bathroom art, creating a Cottonelle sculpture gallery of the remnants that ranged from paper dolls to elaborate, three-dimensional palm trees..

            Ah, the everyday stuff. My guy always walks on the traffic side when we take a stroll, insistently offers his jacket even when I’ve foolishly rejected his pre-walk suggestion that I might want to wear one myself, and unquestioningly restaurant hops until I find a menu that suits my mood.

            After two-and-a-half decades, you’d think we’d know all there is to know about one another, but  just a few weeks ago I learned the reason he always insists on going with me to run errands. “Because I would never forgive myself if I was here and available to take you but didn’t, and something happened to you when you were out.”  Talk about a silver anniversary present to remember.

            Indeed, my multi-faceted husband continues to present new sides of his quiet self. Like the side that spends energy helping a reclusive neighbor with household challenges or time, polishing his Spanish to better communicate with our new friends down the block.

            And who knew he would become a fan of Bollywood cinema at this stage in life, and through that budding interest discover some true gems of touching, values-based entertainment that we can enjoy watching together—our own unique in-house date nights, no makeup required.

            What is no surprise is that he allows himself to be used by God in so many ways, as when the Lord led me-of-lapsed-faith to this decent, forgiving believer, and changed my life forever—and for eternity.

            Simply put, generosity is his heart. Cars, computers, an unexpected check; re-gifting all of his birthday cash to help out a struggling co-worker. This man of modest means has, without a second thought, carried on his parents’ legacy of giving to others whose need is greater, and we are both the richer for his servant’s spirit.

            I have a friend who is fond of saying of her husband, “He lets me be me.”  I am similarly blessed, but alas, all these years later I am still learning to be the wife God meant for me to be. Meanwhile, I recently came across the following crossword puzzle clue: Name which translates to “gift.”  Answer: Isador.

            My J.R. He is not perfect, of course; that would be intolerable for both of us. But he is my Isador, and that is definitely something to celebrate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 5, 2017 at 7:59 pm 1 comment


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