Saturday, July 7, 2012
husbands, dogs and unconditional love
Yesterday I had a very specific recollection of walking the beach with my spouse many years ago. We were alone and we were talking about our future, as we were known to do fairly frequently. Despite the fact that my spouse was a successful engineer, we had a blended family, our first home together and barely two nickels to rub together. Nevada Power's regular monthly invoice could send us into a tailspin, a car repair, a medical expense (and there were many back then) and we had kids in college who needed help. We weren't complaining and we weren't whining. We had faith all would be well. One day on this solitary walk he looked up to these stunning beachfront properties and said, "Someday I will take you here."
It reminded me of our honeymoon, if you want to call it that. One Monday morning we drove to Washington, D.C. in a beat up orange VW bus to be married at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. My sweet sister in law was with us all the way from Calgary, as was with my mother-in-law and father-in-law from Texas.
That very next Wednesday we drove back to that beautiful Temple and spent a few hours in there before driving the 500 miles home again to Boston, alone this time. We had a few days off and walked the streets of Boston and Cambridge together with barely enough cash to buy ourselves a plate of fried clams at Bishop's. We walked by the newest furniture store in Cambridge nobody had ever heard of, Crate & Barrel, and he said it again. "Someday I will buy you this furniture." And he did. Now I know it isn't important. A tiny bit of wisdom comes with being 56 years old. I've given away every diamond I've ever owned, happy to see my children enjoy them. Do I love this oceanfront bungalow? YES. But it isn't things that make me happy. Yes, I love a nice bag and a good suit to wear to church. More than anything I love making a life with a companion who accepts me (and loves me) for the damaged soul that I am, unconditionally. You usually only get that from a dog. My life is far from perfect ...but my spouse is that close.
P.S. I still might like that Volvo station wagon we talked about in 1983.