You know those blog posts that discuss an important issue, or educate people, or are so hilarious that you don’t care if it is just there for entertainment purposes. Yeah, this post isn’t any of those things. There are posts that are incredibly sad, and it isn’t that either. This is a post that is happy, sappy and will either illicit sounds one makes when seeing something adorable, or the reader to throw up in their mouths a little. Because this post is dedicated to my husband, Roy, and it is nothing but happy, sappy love.
Roy is the most amazing man I have ever met. In fact he is so wonderful, sometimes it can be kind of annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold him on a pedestal: he forgets everything, like most husbands he practices selective listening, and if he disagrees with me he’ll do it his own way, sure that he knows better and then play dumb when it doesn’t work out. He also can’t multi-task, and has issues with prioritizing. But the man is a flipping saint, so these are just nitpicky things that remind me that he’s actually human.
2014 has been a hard year for Roy. From January until, well we’ll see, it seems like this was the year that life kept taking swings at him. I’ve never questioned Roy’s capabilities or his strength, but I’m not sure if he would have ever thought of himself as strong. You don’t know how you’ll react or how you will handle something terrible until something terrible actually happens. Speculation doesn’t matter because we rarely know ourselves as well as we like to think we do.
But Roy impressed me with how he has handled the past year. He has done the right thing for him, in terms of a new direction in his life, a reassessment of priorities, a scary but necessary career change, and still taken care of the things he needs to. All while handling the miscellaneous life blow here and there (my bone marrow disorder and the time it takes out of his day to take me to treatments, etc. and a leaky water main that is going to cost four figures to fix next week, for example). I think about how I would react, and I have had years like the year he has, so I can guess. My mentality is, “if I’m going down, I’m going to take every other motherf*cker with me that I can.” I fight, the end always justifies the means with few limitations (one limitation is violence for example; I would never go there, unless it was actual fear for my life kind of thing). Roy had plenty of chances this year to right wrongs, and put people in their place. But he always took the high road, even when someone wronged him. I felt a mixture of pride and bewilderment. Just being honest.
I asked him when he shifted career gears, not to think about us or what we would do while he figured things out, and instead think about what he really wanted to do. Because there were a lot of well-paying jobs he could take that would have him, based on his experience, skill set and awards and recognitions. But if he wanted to do something different when it came to what he would be doing in the long-term, he needed to figure that out. Because I wanted him to be happy, even if it meant figuring out some things for the short-term financially. But Roy being Roy, took care of both. He figured out what he wanted to do, what he was passionate about and what made sense to him. And while he was doing this, he did what he needed to do so that he had ways to contribute and all of our savings didn’t disappear (because otherwise it would have, our household relies on TWO incomes).
I know that this year weighed on him, but he didn’t ever show it, and it never seemed to weigh him down. A person’s character is best shown when they are tested, and I guess this year it was time for Roy to show me just how much character he has.
I told him so last Tuesday, Election Day, which was also his 37th birthday. The dignity and grace he has demonstrated this year astounds me (I wish I could be graceful!) and the one thing he should feel now is pride, even though I know he won’t because it’s not his way. But I am proud of him. And I wanted him to know everything I have basically said in this blog (minus his faults that wouldn’t be too appropriate on his actual birthday). For birthdays sometimes I go big, on what I call “dream gifts” and other birthdays not so much. I’m not always trying to top the last birthday (which really shows how much I’ve grown, because that used to be a classic me thing to do) but every now and then I want to go all out, if I can afford to.
Roy’s birthday in 2011 I bought him his dream grill. I always knew when we got a house that I wanted to get him a grill. I knew how much he wanted one, how much he loved grilling, and we had just moved into our own house September 30 of that year. It was going to happen. Then the following year it was time to go big again. Roy’s laptop was falling apart (quite literally actually). The frame kept coming off, the computer would not charge and went through three batteries a week, the CD drive did not work, the ports did not work, and there was a whole list of other problems that aren’t even worth mentioning. It was a PC, but Roy’s heart belonged with Apple, and I knew with money being tight he would keep trying to work on a computer that died every six minutes. I built a (Mac) laptop with the specs I knew were his “dream specs” and had it waiting at the kitchenette table for him one morning before his birthday. It was booted up and I had preloaded all of the software he uses like Adobe, etc. The screen saver was a birthday cake with candles, because we’ve covered how I am kind of sappy. It wasn’t just need that year, we got married that summer and he was a trooper when it came to the planning the wedding, humoring me and dealing with family drama. We also added on to our family (our cat was my anniversary gift to him).
But last year there wasn’t a reason to go big, and since I’m not rich, I can’t go big every year. So, I didn’t. Even my big gifts are really just thoughtful gifts that happen to have a hefty price tag, and both of us are much bigger on the thought than the material value. But this year, with him soldiering on the hardest year he has had since I have known him, I wanted a celebratory, “You did it! You deserve this!” dream gift. But for once my husband was kind of lacking in that department. He has an ancient iPad (the original version) that isn’t compatible to watch cable streaming, or to FaceTime so I thought about doing that. But he wasn’t set on that idea, and I know he is still worrying about money, so I told him he has until the end of the month to come up with something or I would become obscene with whatever I chose for him. (He really is impossible when it comes to buying him things because I ask him what he wants, pester him about it and he just replies, “I don’t need anything. All I want is you.” Can you believe that?)
I guess this post has been kind of all over, so a recap: this has been a hard year; Roy’s birthday was on Tuesday; I am set on giving him something worthy of a “dream gift”; and my husband is fucking wonderful. He is the person who goes out of his way for a total stranger. He is humble, generous, thoughtful, kind, and gentle and he sees the good in everyone, even as a person is trying to screw him over. (He really is “too nice” but how many people want that kind of problem? So I am not complaining, usually.) He is incredibly bright, he wants a family as much as I do, he loves to laugh and can make me laugh, even when I really don’t want to. He’s great with kids, he’s handy around the house, and he can cook and bake to boot! He goes out of his way for me, worries about me to the point where I am annoyed. He is always trying, always letting me know how much he loves me, and he puts up with me because I have enough self-awareness to know that I can be quite trying at times. He’s handsome, dare I say sexy (I tell him he’s the pretty one in our relationship), and he’s a great kisser. He would do anything for me, give me the world if he could, so I can at least do this.
Roy, I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone else. You were the man I dreamed about (I have the bad poetry to prove it) that I was certain didn’t exist. I am lucky to know you, lucky to have found you, luckier that you chose me, and luckiest that we have the rest of our lives to just keep on loving!
*I apologize to anyone who threw up a little, but I warned you. 😛