Give to me your leather, take from me my lace….

Three years. Of good and bad and all of the in between. The first year I wasn’t even there. I was too busy caring for Granny O. Not only did you hang in there with me, you added more value to her last year than you will ever know. She loved you. More than she did me at times. “Lord, Kim, he’s got a dangerous job”, she would say. I daresay she prayed more for you than she did anyone.

That second year was good stuff. I think I spent the better part of it resting from caring for her. We fell into this crazy routine we both call life. You entertained my thrifting whims. Pushed the buggy and perused the book section while I looked to my junkin hearts desire.

Didn’t look at me like I was crazy and wanted to buy the cabin. Our happy place. You’ve swept cobwebs, chased snakes off the hot tub, hung things on the wall only to have me say “No, not there, lets move that”. Granted we almost didn’t survive the burlap curtains. But here we are. Yes, I know you did it for the meals I cooked more than you did for me, but anyway…..

But that third year. We just thought 2020 was bad. It was a cake walk. It was nothing compared to the storm we weathered in 2021. I look back and wonder sometimes how we made it thru. Hanging by a thread and living on a prayer is all I know. Cancer just didn’t even realize. You handled it (and me) with a grace and a determination that can ONLY come from above. I saw it in your eyes a few times. That fear you didn’t allow to surface, knowing that the slightest showing of it would send me over that edge I was teetering on precariously. You, Dylan and God. But all three of you.

Lord knows why He gave me this story. Gave us this story. Gave you to me. Such an important part of my testimony is that when I talked to God during that time I said, “God, you’ve given me this wonderful man and he makes me laugh and I never knew love could be like this. Don’t take me from him”. I never bargained with God. Nor asked for special favor. But I sure talked to him. About how you make me mad, and happy, and sad, but most of all how you make me laugh.

Everyday. You make me laugh. I will never underestimate the power of laughter again.  Never take for granted the comic value of a voice coming from the next room singing in the shower. Of me chuckling when you roll over in your sleep and disrupt Lola, only to have her growl as if she’s fixing to have you for a midnight snack. And a good belly laugh when I ask you if living with me is like being in a circus.

“A three ring one! Lions to the right, clowns to the left and acrobats in the center ring”, you said without a seconds hesitation. I wanted to get offended. Yet all I could do was laugh. You know it, I know it and so does everyone around us. Life with me IS like a three ring circus. Chaotic. Unsettling at times. But oh, so funny. I wouldn’t trade our life for anything. Even with the bad times. The terrible awful as I call them.

Three heartbreaking, wonderful, hard, yet easy together years. Seasons come and seasons go, and Lord knows we are in a sad one right now. I’ve lost my way lately without my best boy. And yes, I meant it every morning when I walked out the door and said “Shine, don’t forget, I love you best”. How could I not with that head tilt and blip hanging out of his mouth? He loved me best too. Adored me even.

But he loved his Poppie too. Wish we had a dollar for every time you threw a “ball ball” and went out “si-si” and squeaked the yellow bones only for him to come running back after rolling in poop or chasing that bear. Good Lord willing, there is more of that in our future. But if there’s not, you win Poppie of the Year hands down. Those mean girls think you’re pretty grand too.

I looked up and the traditional gift for your third year of marriage is leather. This quote seemed fitting:

“Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps.”

~Emo Philips

Three years and a lifetime to go. If you leave me, I’m coming too. And bringing my three ring circus with me……..