Sunday, December 6, 2009

He Loves Me

At their 50th wedding anniversary, my father joked that he and Mom had been “happily married for 35 years, and that’s not bad out of 50!” A couple goes through ups and downs in their marriage, and anyone who thinks all the years are going to be happy probably hasn’t made it 50 years. Or 34. Paul and I’ve been married 34 years and to be quite honest, at times I’ve not always been the happiest married person alive. Neither, I’m sure, has he.

Yesterday he bought our Christmas tree from Freedom Recreation Services. We like to support their program and we get a Christmas tree that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg while supporting a good cause. The trees are never perfect and sometimes they more closely resemble a Charlie Brown tree than not. There was the year with the 3 tops – Paul had to clip two of them off so the tree topper could be placed. And the year where it was so tall and spindly that the branches near the trunk created a perfect cat ladder – our kids woke us up one morning yelling, “Sandy’s climbing the Christmas tree!” We raced down the stairs to see the kids bravely hanging on so the tree wouldn’t crash onto the floor, while our cat clung wild-eyed near the top. Paul wired it to the window locks in the bay window so if he made the climb again at least it wouldn’t tip over.

Yesterday I went and took a nap while he hauled the tree inside and put on the strings of tiny white lights. When I got up from napping, he was still working on the lights. Not that they were tangled, or broken or bulbs needed replacing. Patiently, he was wiring each candle of four strings of special candle lights onto individual branches. I had admired these special lights some years ago and one Christmas morning he got up early and secretly added the lights to our already trimmed tree. It was a wonderful surprise and each year since, he’s repeated the process (not early Christmas morning – usually on a Saturday afternoon!) First the regular lights, and next the candle lights. It literally takes him hours. Yesterday I admired the lights he grinned, “And why do I do it?” I smiled and responded, “Because you love me.” Yesterday’s blessing is that through the ups and downs of marriage and life, I have a husband who loves me, and I know it. I am blessed!

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