How have you done it all these years, kept up with my wild striving, put up with me from the girl you met at a stop-light and followed home all the way to now more than 32 years later this woman I’ve become? How have you always loved me the same way, with no restriction and no bounds, just all in and all about me and our children–our family?
I don’t describe you often to others, my beloved whom I’ve called Pizzaman since we heard Joyce give the name to her Frank all those years ago, us curled up on the couch together watching Hillstreet Blues. I don’t describe you often because it sounds like I’m making it all up like the fairy tale I dreamed you to be as I wished in my little girl mind for the man who would one day win my heart.
And win it you did, boy with the afro in the Mustang at the stop-light, now man who has held my hand all these years through wordless joy and wrenching pain, who has fathered our children and held me at graveside as we buried one too soon.
You have always been here for me, for us, in ways I find it difficult to write.
You were there holding me close the day we learned we were three, the day by the Mustang when we cried scared knowing I was only sixteen and we’d not yet said “I do” and we feared what everyone would say, would do, would think. We almost ran away. Almost, but we stayed, and we whispered our confessions tearful on swings and in dining rooms and we hurried plans and spoke vows to one another from young lips and hopeful hearts in a tiny church your parents built. Vows we’ve kept for a long time because God has never stopped being good.
You have never spoken unkindly to me, though few might believe that possible. I was a stubborn girl all those years ago, fiercely independent and nowhere near ready to be a wife and mother, and how, my love, were you always still so kind?
I wonder often, but especially today, was there ever a husband so good to a wife?