Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Man I Love

My husband and I have an anniversary of sorts coming up in the next few days. An anniversary of when we first met - 25 years ago.  "We" are now older than he was when we got married.

Sometimes I wonder where the man I met back then went.  Not that I don't love the one I'm married to now, but the one I first met and fell in love with was such a different man.  First of all he was 19 - I was 30 - and he was a rebel of many causes.  He came with a heavy metal presence - long hair, torn jeans, leather jacket.  To him the outdoors was a place between the house and the car.  He didn't have a job - and his mother told me he would never work.  He didn't have a car and the extent of his knowledge of car maintenance was putting gas in the tank.  He had dropped out of high school and didn't have any cares. But most of all he was cool.  Fonzie could have taken cool lessons from him.  Nothing ruffled that cool.  He was the leader of the pack. The James Dean of the 1990's.

He took some classes and earned his GED.  He got a job. He cut his hair - a little. He stole my heart.  We got married, bought a house, and had a baby.  He has changed jobs often and every job was a career change. He has worked two and three jobs at a time, but he's always had a job.  He is a craftsman of many trades - HVAC, construction, finish carpentry, roofing, sheet metal, electrical - but he always longed for more.

Years have passed.  His hair is not long anymore - but it's longer than most.  His favorite dress is camo, but he also wears khaki's and a dress shirt.  The heavy metal has softened to rock and roll, with some country rolled in.  He has graduated from college with a Bachelors in Social Work and he's planning to go back for a masters.  He still does all his old trades on the side too. He has kept our vehicles running for the past 25 years - changed motors and transmissions, as well as the more common fuel pumps, water pumps, etc. He lives to hunt and spend time in the outdoors.  He loves to camp and spent his university years studying in a hunting blind (where the deer were very safe, because there was more studying than hunting going on).

But there have been other changes too.  He is active in church and doesn't hesitate to tell people who are having hard times that they need to go to church in order to turn their lives around.  He became a father to his step-daughter; he taught her to drive a mere eight years after he learned himself, he screened her dates, he was there for her high school and college graduations.  He walked her down the aisle. He was there for her when her babies were born, very much the proud grandpa.   He has raised a son from the toddler who never stopped moving, to the teenager who wouldn't get off the couch, to a young man who has also graduated from college and is starting his own life, but is still happy to hang out with dad.  He is a wonderful grandfather.  "Pappaw" can do anything and his 5- and 9-year-old princesses are even willing to go hunting with him.

He is the light of my life. He supports my dreams and he works hard to make a better life for us. He puts with all the crazy that surrounds us.  He is more than the man I thought he would be way back then.  He is still cool, but it's an older, wiser cool. James Bond cool.

Yes, he is totally a different man today.  But all that means is that I love him even more.


  1. Stop it, stop it, stop it. You made me cry. But yes, he's the best dad a girl could ask for. :)