Those who know me know I don’t do drama. I feel some things very deeply, but I rarely speak about them. I take life as it comes. I see things mostly as black and white, though age and experience are teaching me to recognize shades of grey. I write poetry, but it’s mostly dark, introspective, or sarcastic. I don’t do sappy. I’m not a kiss and cuddle kind of guy. To be completely truthful, I don’t much like being touched.
But there is on this big blue planet, one person aside from my daughters about whom I wax poetic. One person that brings tears to my eyes when I’m alone and certain songs come on the radio. One person that truly moves me. That person is my wife, Beverly.
The reason I started with the statement, “I don’t do drama” is that I am still thinking about this upcoming surgery, and being put under with general anesthesia. I know that the odds are very high that I will have the surgery, wake up in tremendous pain, and move forward in my new life with a titanium plate in my neck. But there is a chance, albeit a slim one, that won’t happen.
I think very few of us actually consider the fact that each and every day we face these same odds. We may lie down to sleep and never wake back up. Every day somewhere in this nation someone gets in to a car to go to work and never makes it. People are hit by cars, fall off roofs, drown, get electrocuted, the list goes on and on. The point being, tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone.
I wonder then, how many times some man or woman has walked out of the house angry, or with something on their mind, and died with words unsaid, or the wrong words said, to someone they love.
In considering that small chance that there might be some complication or accident that leaves me dead or in some way unable to say the things I want to say; I thought it prudent to say them now. Not because I want to be dramatic or melancholy. Not because I want anyone to worry about me or express concern. Not because I really care who thinks what about me, or my family, or anything I say or do. But because I have some things to say to Beverly, and because she deserves to have them said publicly.
Beverly and I are not “the perfect couple”. We argue and fuss. We raise hell, and our voices. She calls me insensitive. I call her lazy. I think we both see things in each other we’d like to change. But from the time we first started dating until this very moment, one thing has remained true. Beverly loves me.
I don’t know the personal circumstances of every individual who may read this post, but I have to assume at least some of you don’t really understand what I mean. So I’m going to take a moment to explain it, because this is what moves me, and aches inside, and bring tears to my eyes from time to time.
Beverly doesn’t love me when I bring her flowers (or more accurately tell her to go get herself some flowers from me). She doesn’t love me when I am singing or playing a song that reminds me of her. She doesn’t love me when I do the dishes or take out the trash. Beverly loves me when I am spewing hate filled profanities, advocating genocide, questioning people’s lifestyles, and threatening death and dismemberment. In fact, the day I knew I needed to marry this woman was the day I was in the middle of such a tirade, angry over some perceived slight, and she put her arms around me and whispered in my ear, “I love you, you evil motherfucker”.
Beverly is patient, and in possession of a seemingly infinite capacity for forgiveness. She has endured things that would have had me in prison for the terrible retribution I would have visited on the perpetrators, and she has found it in her heart to let it go. She has endured the sometimes cruel side of me, and returned with each sunrise to try again.
She has endured my quirks, some of which have become more pronounced as I get older. She has endured my failings and shortcomings. She sees me in some way that even I do not see me, and I see me reflected back at me in her eyes…though I do not believe the reflection.
Beverly is no fool. She knows I’m not perfect. But she believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. For her life is fairly simple. If I said I was going to do something, it’s going to happen. No matter how hard, how complicated, or how over my head I am. She believes I can accomplish anything.
This is truly the secret that I think even Beverly doesn’t understand. I can do so much more than I ever imagined I could, because she believes in me. I can fight the dragon in front of me because Beverly is the wall I put my back to. I can endure the struggles and the never ending adversity, because Beverly is the rock I lean on when I need to catch my breath.
The words to Heaven by Warrant just popped in to my head. “I don’t need to be a Superman, as long as you will always be my biggest fan…” That’s the deal. That’s my life. That’s Beverly.
I have listened to “See You On The Other Side” by Ozzy a lot these last couple of days on my ride to and from work. Oddly, though I don’t believe there is an “other side”, the sentiment still touches me.
It is a common thing to find love in this world. It is rare to find your soul mate. Rare to find that person who loves the unlovable parts of you. Rare to find that person who loves you 24/7, good times and bad. I am fortunate to have found that person, and I wrote this blog post just to say that I know it.
Bev…if something stupid happens. I love you. I always have. Even when I’ve had trouble saying it or showing it. If I should happen to be wrong and there’s something else beyond this life, then I will leave you with words from Marc Cohn.
Baby I’ve been searching like everybody else
Can’t say nothing different about myself
Sometimes I’m an angel
And sometimes I’m cruel
And when it comes to love
I’m just another fool
Yes, I’ll climb a mountain
I’m gonna swim the sea
There ain’t no act of God girl
Could keep you safe from me
My arms are reaching out
Out across this canyon
I’m asking you to be my true companion
So don’t you dare and try to walk away
I’ve got my heart set on our wedding day
I’ve got this vision of a girl in white
Made my decision that it’s you alright
And when I take your hand
I’ll watch my heart set sail
I’ll take my trembling fingers
And I’ll lift up your veil
Then I’ll take you home
And with wild abandon
Make love to you just like a true companion
You are my true companion
I got a true companion
When the years have done irreparable harm
I can see us walking slowly arm in arm
Just like that couple on the corner do
Cause girl I will always be in love with you
And when I look in your eyes
I’ll still see that spark
Until the shadows fall
Until the room grows dark
Then when I leave this Earth
I’ll be with the angels standin’
I’ll be out there waiting for my true companion
Just for my true companion