The couple was passing me on the sidewalk as I was heading into the shopping center and they were walking out. He was slightly ahead of her and all of us were instinctively hunched over, bracing ourselves against the 14 degree temperature and sub-zero wind chill. He looked back at her and gruffly said:
“I’m not tryin’ to leave you, but I’m getting to the car.”
Then he turned and headed off into the parking lot, leaving her there, moving along slowly with a downcast face.
I immediately thought of my husband. I’m not going to say we’re perfect people and have never had a rough patch in our marriage, and unfortunately on this Friday afternoon, I also don’t have time to paint a full picture for you and list all of his best qualities. But I just HAD to write this.
In our 17 years of marriage (plus one year of dating), he has never left me alone. Not without his love, not without his friendship, not without his support, not without his concern, not without his physical presence at a moment when I really needed him. Never left me alone.
And when it comes to cars and parking lots – there’s the truth about him in a nutshell. If the weather was bad or the situation iffy, he’d tell me to stay where I’d be warm, or dry, or cool, or safe, etc. and he’d go get the car and bring it around to me. I admit, there might have been times when this was better for him (he’s a faster walker than me, and if the road is icy you don’t want to walk with me!), but whatever the case, he’s always considering my best interests, and if the kids are with us, theirs as well.
Last weekend when I woke up on Valentine’s Day, the first thing I saw were gorgeous red roses from my husband. And down the hall, my daughter saw pink tulips, from that same good man. Tonight, he will take our daughter to the annual Father-Daughter Dance at her school. It’s the fourth time they’ve been, and my little girl looks forward to it every year. This ritual is close to her heart and I know why. It’s a night where she has the undivided attention of her first love, her dad. I love this night, too, because I know that day by day her interactions with her dad form her expectations about how she is to be treated by a man somewhere down the road. Tonight she gets to practice being the apple of someone’s eye. And my sweet girl is blessed, just like me.
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Love this one Gretchen! So special and heartwarming for me as your mother to know what I have always known. You married a good man, a real keeper, and that’s one thing that a mother wishes for a child’s happiness. Love you, and Chris and the kids so much. Mom