Fifteen years ago today I scared the bejesus out of Joanne by talking about “our future” over a romantic dinner.
Since we had only been dating for a few months Joanne panicked and, after dinner, held long, torturous phone calls with her mother and sister. Here every word and nuance was examined in minute detail; numerous scenarios were teased out, discussions were held on whether she was being honest with me…or herself, and whether she should stop seeing me.
Obviously, being a guy, I was oblivious to this – which can be best explained by reading this.
Two years later, almost to the day, Daniel was born!
I’m not sure who said what in those conversations. But I am certain that I’m eternally grateful that those post Valentine ’s Day conversations went my way.
Valentine’s Day is a double-edged sword for me because Joanne can be terribly difficult to buy presents for. She doesn’t need much in the way of material things (she isn’t particularly interested in jewelry), and my fashion sense is so poor that I would never think of buying her clothes…unless they came from Frederick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret.
On the other hand, Valentine’s Day is one of those times when I stop taking things for granted, at least for a few hours, and actually let her know how appreciated she is.
Joanne is the heart that beats in the center of our family – a constant source of love, strength and common sense that we all rely on to a ridiculous degree.
Our paths were so different that I really should never have met her – but I am so glad that fate intervened, because I have found my soul mate. She is so much more than a wife. She is my lover, my mentor, my confidant, my best friend, and the best mother my children could possibly have.
In the fifteen years since that Valentine’s Day dinner I have learned an incredible amount about life, love, family and, of course, Joanne. I have discovered Joanne’s two evil twins – the fun one that appears after the third screwdriver, and the sharp-tongued one that appears when her sleep is disturbed. Along the way we have collected memories and stories that made us cry with sadness and cry with laughter. I wouldn’t change any of it.
I believe it was Theodore Hesburgh who said “The most important thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Fortunately Joanne makes this so easy to do.
A few years back I bought a book for Joanne called “Six Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak”, which contained the following:
Scared her a lot. She stayed.
I’m so glad she did.