On the tenth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me...
...a "10" for a husband
...my "nine-year-old" favorite story
...eight hours of sleep
...seven book group buddies
...six hours of (good) sleep
...five Messiah solos (and one duet)
...four Mighty Oakes
...three Hallelujah cheers
...two chemo drugs
...and an MRI with good news we could see!
I've had this gift within the privileges of holy matrimony for a little over eighteen years and seven months. I've been in love with this man since November 1982 (a little over 24 years and one month), and for many good reasons.
I know this public praise brings on the risk of making him an even hotter property if he should ever find himself a widower with kids who need a stepmom, but that's all the more reason for me to try and hang around as long as I can.
The scriptures tell us that we should "...live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die..." I think we've met that requirement. My husband had two cancer scares before I was diagnosed, and I remember the awful pain of realizing that our mortal separation (albeit temporary) was actually possible. I pained as I considered him having to go through a cancer battle, and I wept with relief when the biopsy results were negative. I had no idea that while this was going on, I was not far from starting my own cancer battle and putting my husband through those same awful feelings. I had no idea what he would have to bear for me and our family, but I have never been surprised by the strength and grace in which he does it.
This was not the first proving ground. There have been many other opportunities for me to marvel at how well I married, when I was just a silly young girl with a huge crush on this tall boy who danced with me and became my best friend.
I still remember conversations I have had with my parents, as they have each expressed their heartfelt gratitude for such a good husband for their only daughter. I still see on a daily basis how our home lights up when he comes in the door after work. He is not only a good husband, but he is a good father to our children. My daughter looks at me narrowly as "not Daddy." My son begs to know when Daddy will be home so they can play together. Even the dog is happy to see him, because he is the one to always check, "Did Chip get fed?"
The one who always takes out the trash. The one who has cleaned out the fridge more times than I have. The one who balanced on a very tall ladder to hoist a decorated Christmas tree up to the second-story ledge overlooking our entryway (while I napped). The one who teaches my son to "open the door for Mama." The one who changes diapers, cleans throw-up, juggles wiggly kids in church. The one who notices when I do something different with my hair and who calls me "gorgeous" at times when I know he must surely be saying it with a huge "love lens" over his eyes. The one who sings with me, plays with me, and (when the mood strikes and I give him my "Bambi eyes") will drag in the masonite floor from the garage and put on his tap shoes and dance with me.
We have many pet names for each other (we are still so squishy in love) but the one I call him most is "my Jared." I am his, and he is mine, and he is a very special gift that I enjoy every day, but he especially comes to mind at the mention of the number "10" ('cause he's such a "10") on the tenth day of Christmas.