It’s not my birthday, it’s my husband Tim’s. We were born in the same year, but he is (ahem) older by a few months. However, over the years a weird morphing has occurred. Although I won’t celebrate my birthday until summer, I automatically become a year older when he does. This has gone on for so long that when I actually have my birthday, I have to think twice as to how old I actually am.
But, that’s how it is when two people have been together as long as we have, the “you” and “me” often becomes blurred into “we.” In fact, we have a milestone anniversary coming up soon, but I’ll save thoughts on that until then.
So, what can I say about this guy? I’m not sure how I knew, but from our first real meeting, I knew it was going to be different with him. What attracted me from the beginning? Well, I am human, after all, and some of it was physical. He was tall – really tall – crane your neck back tall. He had broad shoulders, and blond curly hair and blue eyes. He was my “type.”
We met through not exactly a blind date, it was more of a myopic date. We had seen each other before at a party. I had a vague recollection of this quiet guy sitting across the room, and every time I glanced in that direction, which wasn’t very often because I was busy loudly and energetically flirting with one of my crushes, there he was soberly watching. Later on he told me he was thinking “She’s cute.” That is another thing that attracted me to him initially. He thought I was cute. I never thought I was cute, having suffered from a robust case of low self-esteem from an early age. From the moment I met him, he started to quiet the relentless barrage of negative self-speak that had constantly flowed from early childhood on. He sees the best in people first.
On the night of our first real date, I was nervously waiting for him to arrive. I lived in a second floor apartment in an old downtown building. It was old and quirky, and because it had hardwood floors and no carpeting, I was allowed to have my dog. I happened to glance out the window and there was a small crowd gathered at the corner across the street, waiting for the light to change so they could cross. In that group of people, or rather, towering above it, was Tim. He had a full red beard at this point and was wearing a red plaid flannel shirt. Even though I’d only gotten a glimpse of him in that dark room months before, I knew it was him.
“My God,” I said aloud, looking down at the dog, “I have a date with a Viking . . . or a lumberjack!” The dog didn’t care, he gave his heart and soul to Tim the minute he walked in the door. Tim is kind to animals and is extremely kind to extreme animal lovers. He has patiently laid out many of his hard earned dollars to feed and care for countless pets, wildlife, birds and farm animals.
He is patient. You would have to be patient to live with me. You would have to be patient to live with our three daughters, who, in a “Godfather” sort of way, each has inherited, learned, or absorbed a significant personality trait from their mother. It can’t be easy for him.
He loves hard work for the pleasure of a job done well. He loves his home. He loves his woodpile out back. He loves his supper, and I love fixing it for him. We like many of the same things, but not all. That would be boring. He knows I am a complete dolt when it comes to most sports, and that I find it difficult to dredge up any fan-like enthusiasm. That’s why I get it when he sits out in the car when I go to JoAnn’s. But, I do care if his team wins. Oh, and the Steelers. I get the Steelers.
Eve, our youngest describes her dad best. (I’m blushing about the part where she says he adores me, but I’ll take it!)
One of the things about Dad that always stands out to me is that while his words are often eloquent (he's the best eulogy speaker I know!) he is usually a man of few words. Instead, he leads with his actions. He does not preach, just leads with his example of what it means to be a good, kind, caring person. I deeply respect him. He is also the hardest working person I know who actually loves what he does, and it’s a pleasure to witness.
Most importantly, he has always sacrificed and put all of us girls first and has been a constant for us every day of our lives. I am thankful to have had such a wonderful father who influenced me to find a husband who has so many of the same wonderful qualities. He absolutely adores my mom, and it has been a joy to see how much he loves her, another way he has led by example and inspired me to find such a good guy of my own.