Thursday, April 8, 2010

You Make Me Smile

We really take our loved ones for granted, don't we?

I don't know...Maybe it is J's newly-diagnosed illness. Maybe it's the pregnancy having me all hormonal and emotional.

Last night, J's doctor advises him to eat a great supper because today, when he wakes up, the sugar-free, fat-free whirlwind begins. So we go to an upscale burger joint, J, E, and I. And as we are all sitting around the corner booth in front of burgers the size of E's noggin, I look at the smiling faces of my husband and son. The picture of beauty. The men in my life. And this song was playing in the restaurant. I remember seeing part of the video on CMT as I was flipping through the channels from my permanent home on the sofa, and I remember thinking, "Wow, what a cute song". But suddenly, it's more than cute.

J has never been sick. I have. I have had some doozies. It was this time 3 years ago when I was having blinding headaches that would cause me to pass out and the doctors told me I have a benign brain tumor. It ended up being okay. There is a tumor, but it is small and nothing that cannot reamin there. But I remember that time. We had the best summer we have ever had. Because for weeks, we had thought I was going to need a surgery that, because of the tumor's location on my brain, would result in me having to learn everything all over again, including my own son's name. I was off of work then, too. So we spent the entire summer by the pool, with me memorizing every detail of J's and E's laughter, of mapping out every freckle on J's bronzed shoulders, of focusing on the exact location of every teensy sparkle in E's eyes when the sunlight hits them at certain angles. My boys.

I've gone on and on about E. But what about J? I have spent a decade of my life with this man. It's been hard at times. We've had times where we liteally lost everything we had and had to build anew. Not one time. Times. Plural. But we've had our share of good, too. After having dropped out of college when my mom died, it was J who convinced me that I was too smart to not go back and finish. And it was J who was there as I walked off the stage, having finished my degree with academic honors, top of my class. Right there. As in he didn't stay in his seat, but was literally at the foot of the steps, with open arms, to hug me. It was just the two of us when E came into the world. His mom visited afterwards, and of course medical pesonnel were present, but otherwise, just us. And when I made my return home to greater Cincinnati, after having been gone for 6 years, he is the one who drove the U-Haul out of the way just to pass over the bridge into downtown so I could see the skyline of my hometown at night. We had left here in defeat when E's pregnancy drove us to financial ruin, and we were returning again in triumph,better than ever before, and he knew I needed that.

Looking back, it's always been him, even before I met him. How can that be? Well, quite simply, we all want to find the person out there who understands us. Who can get to the very soul of what makes us tick. For me, J is that person. Does he drive me crazy? Absolutely. This man can get under my skin and aggravate me like no other. He can drive me to insanity and back.

I have never even tried to picture a world without J. I don't want to, ever.

He makes me smile.


  1. Your observations are profound and your writing is moving. Bravo for a beautiful post about your family.