This morning my wife and I crossed paths at the bathroom sink as we were getting ready for our respective days. It’s been a rough few weeks with all sorts of problems including her father getting major surgery. He just came home from several days in the hospital and she’s still recovering from the marathon. We talked a bit about recent events, then just stopped what we were doing and hugged each other in mutual support, grateful for each others company and a quiet moment together in which to enjoy it.
It was one of those moments when I know that I truly found my soul mate those many years ago. As partners we are so much more than either of us could be individually. We make each other want to be better people and then actually accomplish that goal. It was one of those moments when love is so deep, so complete it becomes a tangible thing. Not a vague concept that’s difficult to put into words, but something that wells up from deep in your heart to infuse your entire body and everything in that moment is perfect.
I could tell she was moved as well. She pushed back from the embrace just far enough to look deeply into my eyes and with complete and utter sincerity said “you are probably one of the most important people in my life.”
I did what anyone would do in this situation – I burst out laughing. Not just chuckling or hearty belly laughing, but uncontrollable ROTFL laughing. The kind where your eyes tear up and you think you might pee your pants.
“Wait, that didn’t come out right,” she objected! There’s urgent and there’s important. She’s dealing with things that are definitely more urgent then any of my problems and I understood what she meant. Keep in mind that this is a woman I’ve known for more than three decades. I’m reasonably sure I’m the only person with whom she’s exchanged vows of loyalty and love unto death. I’m not at all anxious about my status in her life but that didn’t mean I was going to let her off the hook.
“I don’t know what’s worse,” I choked out between guffaws. “That I’m not top of the list, or that you aren’t really sure.” I barely got this out before collapsing into another fit of laughter.
“Okay, okay. Let me rephrase that. You are definitely one of the most important people in my life.”
This set me off again. “Stop, stop, I can’t breathe,” I gasped. “But at least I’m making progress. At least now you’re sure I’m somewhere near the top.”
“What? Look, I’m exhausted physically and emotionally. I’m not thinking straight. You know what I mean. Give me a break. You are the most important person in the world to me. I just have a lot going on right now.”
Then when she realized the further implications of this exchange she said “and yes, you can write about this.”
Which is yet another reason why she’s #1 on my speed dial. I took her shoulders in my hands and looked solemnly into her eyes.
“I will,” I told her. “And I’ll do you proud. It will be a testament of our love that will make you fall for me all over again. An army of Internet readers will use up a warehouse of tissues wiping tears away and wishing they had a love like ours.”
At this point I pulled her into a close hug, buried my head in her neck and continued speaking softly. “And when they are all teary-eyed, when they are all jealous and wishing they experienced love with even half as much depth as you and I share, when they are filling the post with gushing comments about how moved they are, in that extraordinary moment of awe and wonder… can I at least make the #2 spot?”
I can’t blame her for smacking me. I more or less got what I deserved on that one. But in all fairness so did she.