My wife and I have been marriage partners now for almost thirty years. That’s a long time, and like all couples everywhere we have had our ups and downs. We have been excited, depressed at times, and mostly determined to beat the odds and managed to stay in partnership in spite of the unpredictable nature of this life. Things can happen, suddenly. You just have to adjust and go on. That’s what people who care for each other do for each other. They don’t give up. They find a way. That doesn't make it any easier, but it’s easier than running away and hiding your head under a rock.
When we first met I was knocked out by the quiet pride and creative mischief I saw deep in her sweet blue eyes and the proper young woman clothes she always seemed to be wearing. I mean they were ironed and everything! I wore nothing but faded blue jeans and old band tee shirts and earth shoes or sneakers. I didn't have a TV or a phone, I slept on a mattress on the floor and my furniture consisted mainly of bookcases and records in milk crates. Oh yeah I had an old mission writing desk stuck away in a corner with a lamp on it. We quickly learned that we had many things in common, favorite books and authors, Billy Holiday, an insatiable thirst for movies, a love of modern art and all manner of museums, and good tasting food.
We often ate at a local Mexican restaurant that was family owned and operated. We quickly became regulars and were on a first name basis with all who worked there. One time we made one of our greatest discoveries on the west side of town—a family owned Italian restaurant stuck away in a little corner of nowhere. The Mom cooked, the kids waited on the tables, and the food was simply fabulous each and every time. Now that’s money well spent. That kind of happiness stays with you for days at a time.
When our daughter was born we were in for quite another shock—six weeks early and a surgery we weren't expecting. We were scared shitless. Our daughter had to stay in the hospital for 16 more days because her lungs hadn’t developed properly yet. We visited her every day for as long as it was legally allowed, often begging for just one more minute with her. I often would put my finger through the incubator opening and she would grasp onto it with all four of her own tiny fingers. This of course tore me to pieces. I’ll always remember the first thing my wife said to me immediately after her surgery, “Go and make sure Charlotte’s okay.” So we were numb, but my partner and I figured out what to do next, and how to do it, and to make good things happen for our new daughter. We stopped being special and became guardians of the future.
People in this life or so it seems to me if they are lucky get to find someone to love. When I met my wife I got lucky. I got a great partner. And a great family.