Monday, February 14, 2011

For VALENTINES DAY this year, I decided to write a thank you to my Love of 24 years.

Dear H, we have been together so long that it is hard to recall all of the things that I would like to thank you for.  When I was just 20, you came into my life in an accidental and unexpected way.  Like when you find money that you didn’t know you had in winter coat that had been stored away, you want to remember where it came from but you simply cannot.  I want to remember where my love for you came from.  Sometimes it seems that it was like the opposite of when a lightning bolt splits a tree and it separates it forever; divine karma hit us and brought us together forever.  I cannot take this letter or these words as casual as Hallmark sentiment.  I must make it count because you know we both forget the meaning of commitment and the meaning of family as we wind our way through the rugged and scenic path of our joyful and tough times.  Remember the time you made me a chocolate cake in a small roasting pan because we didn’t own any baking ware?  You told me to close my eyes and when you flipped it out of the pan it had a huge vein running down the middle of it ~ I laughed so hard until I saw the three red roses and tiny birthday candles and the look in your eyes told me that you were really proud of this romantic feat. Some of my best memories are of when we went on road trips all over the U.S. without worries and without plans in your Honda Prelude.  We blew money left and right and never really thought about tomorrow ~ later we realized we could have bought a house with the money we spent traveling, but I wouldn’t change it for anything because together we managed to see almost every state from Minnesota to California.  Essentially we were children running from the inevitable, the way a rabbit runs from a fox, x-crossing the ground hoping to deflect the looming threat which we called adulthood.  I loved spending Christmas in Vegas in a motel that had more blue velvet than Elvis’ wardrobe, years later, we found out that my family thought that we had run away to get married! New Years Eve in the Mayflower in downtown Seattle was the classiest experience this Midwest girl had ever had.  I remember feeling like a fraud in that jazz club as I looked around at the older more established couples in their dazzling clothes and perfectly crafted facades.  Now I see those people all the time and call them colleagues.  Ahh how perspective changes as we age and experience life!
Then there was the time you went to jump out of an airplane and arrived home several hours later than you said you would, I paced back and forth in front of your 600 sq. ft. rental house until you arrived...thinking all the while that your parachute didn’t open and you were for sure dead.  You loved it so much and tried to go back the next day but the winds were too strong so they canceled it and I was so relieved.  During that same period, I decided to make you pancakes for breakfast while you were at class.  I turned the oven on to keep the cakes warm until you returned but managed to blow up the kitchen because I didn’t realize the pilot was out on that 50 yr old stove.
The explosion was pretty minor, just burned my eyelashes clear off my face and started the wallpaper on fire behind the stove.  I was just about to call the fire department when you walked in.  You were so angry with me that you blew up and screamed at me for the first time.  I crumbled like a child and you felt so bad that you took me out to a restaurant for pancakes ~ you hate pancakes but still obliged me and pretended that you didn’t mind me dictating the food we ate.  Remember the time we were driving down the road on the way to Grammas’ cabin and you sprayed your pop all over the place?  You barely got the car door open before you exploded in laughter.  To this day we still talk about that moment but we cannot remember what I said to make you laugh so hard.  That’s one of the many things I appreciate about you.  You have always liked that I have a sense of humor and you told me that I was an “Equal Opportunity Offender” ~ I never forgot that because you never tried to change me.  To this day, you allow me to be me and that counts for a lot since I can be described like Cyndi Lauper’s break out album “She’s So Unusual” and your nick name for me was Colargol because of my wide-eyed looks and boundless enthusiasm for life.  I didn’t really know what Colargol was until I recently discovered it on YouTube, and yep that’s me in a nutshell.  As hard as I try to weave a unique story for my life it still ends up not as a complex novel, but more as a pop up book.  I guess what I am trying to say here is thank you for your unwavering commitment to me through thick and thin, through all of the stressful moves and very depressing times.  It still amazes me that at 23 years old you had enough maturity to step in and help me with my Dad.  He was homeless and out of control, he showed up at our apartment screaming at me because I wouldn’t give him enough money for a hotel.  I kicked him out and he yelled back that he was going to go jump off a bridge....I ran to our bedroom and threw myself on the bed collapsing in tears and utter helplessness.  You held me and talked me back into this world, “You said, “Lis, he’s not gonna do it.”  Sure enough about a half an hour later my Dad came to our door and apologized for what he had said.  You invited him to stay for dinner, you gave him your P.J.’s while he took a shower and I washed his filthy clothes.  You offered him our sofa and the next day you helped me and my sister get him committed to the V.A. for help.  This didn’t just happen once, but multiple times over a period of seven years and through it all you were my rock never complaining once about how badly he treated you and what a bum deal you got for in-laws. Your family on the other hand, was (and still is) the Norman Rockwell fantasy to me.  Your diplomatic father who rubbed elbows with the important dignitaries and businessmen of his time who taught me about Ibsen and the four C’s: Cognac, Caviar, Chocolate & Coffee. 

His intelligent observations and wise words were always delivered like he was talking to the Presidents cabinet, he made sure to meet everyone’s eyes with his and then he would carefully place his message on the table the way a glass blower lowers a hot vase into cool water.  He was serious but delicate with me because somehow I knew (that he knew) that I hailed from a much unsophisticated upbringing.  Your Mom is the Grand Madame with beautiful olive skin and a Sophia Lauren glamour that keeps getting better with age.  Your Mom is at once intimidating and inspiring to me, because I had never met two people in their age group with bachelor and masters degrees.  Her quiet strength and huge determination are such an inspiration to me.  I am in awe of the job she did at raising 6 successful children and have tried to model myself after her ~ an iron fist in a velvet glove.  Being with your Mom is’s like coming home to a crackling fire on a candle lit winters night and smelling cinnamon in the air.  She’s that good!
Lisa Ekanger Your Hometown Realtor!

No comments:

Post a Comment