Sunday, June 19, 2022

A Birthday Love Letter to My Boyfriend

Yes, I’m a married woman (it’s been 41 and 1/2 years now!).  So what’s up with title of this post?!

Well, you see, that’s the way I think of my husband, even all these years later.  He made my heart skip a beat every time I looked at him, way back when I was a 15-year-old girl in love for the first time.  And he still does.  He’s still the one.

Of all the choices I’ve made in my life, the best one, the most important one, was marrying him.  He has never, in all our years together, failed to put me first and do everything in his power to support and take care of me, to make me happy.  He treats me like a queen (as St. Paul instructed—you know, as Christ loved the Church), and always insisted that our boys do the same.  They all knew that the most surefire way to get in trouble with their dad would have been to speak disrespectfully to me; but honestly, they just didn’t do that. It wasn’t an issue.  They had an excellent role model and they followed his lead, and I’m not just putting on my rose-colored glasses when I say that my husband’s sons treated their mother like gold as boys—and if anything, they treat her even better now that they are men.

He’s one of a kind, my guy—a true family man in every possible sense of the word, the fearless leader of our string of Pearls. He always considered himself a husband and father first; airline pilot was just the job he had that made it possible for him to provide for his wife and sons. He prioritized time at home with his family, which enabled him to help coach his boys’ football and lacrosse teams from youth leagues through high school.  He’s funny, smart, hardworking, soft-hearted (yes, boys, underneath that tough disciplinarian who kept you on the straight and narrow lurked the heart of a big old marshmallow), loving, generous, ethical, faithful, and faith-filled, a talented carpenter and an all-around handy guy when it comes to household projects.  My worst day with him is better than my best day without him, to quote one of the country songs we heard at the Grand Ole Opry on our recent trip to Nashville.

Here is a post called Our Boys' Life Coach that I wrote way back in 2014.  It will give you an idea of the kind of man and father my husband is (and since his birthday falls on Father's Day this year, this will count as his "Happy Father's Day" shout-out as well!). 

I forgot to mention that he’s easy on the eyes.  And strong, too.  Every other day, he does 1,000 push-ups (20 a minute for 50 minutes).  Not too shabby for a 64-year-old, if I do say so. And I do!

My husband was obviously my inspiration for Grace Kelly’s high school crush in Finding Grace.  I mean, who else could be?  And her feelings for him?  All me. That character was not supposed to be like me; but her feelings for Tom Buckley were very much inspired by mine for MY real life love interest.  (Real life: better than fiction!)

In Chapter 10, here’s a peek inside Grace’s 14-year-old mind:: 

Grace couldn’t meet Tom’s eyes, as usual, so she directed her gaze at those arms of his.  He had rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and had his jacket slung over his shoulder...Grace could imagine those strong, golden arms around her, keeping her safe.  She could imagine them tenderly cradling their newborn baby.

“It’s official,” she thought, “I’ve lost my mind!”

She sure likes that handsome boy.  Everything about him, even his arms.

I get that!  I like everything about this man I married, my boyfriend for life.  On our trip to Iowa in May, I snapped this candid picture of him staring pensively out the window while holding our little sleeping granddaughter (#18 of our 19 grandchildren).

Be still my heart!  Here’s what 1,000 push-ups every other day produces, arm-wise: the world’s best baby-holding arms (like Grace Kelly imagined when she looked at Tom’s).  They used to hold our baby boys; now they hold our grandchildren.

Happy Birthday to my best friend and the love of my life.  My boyfriend.  ❤️