Especially when that old fool is mine.
And most especially when it is Christmas.
As a member of the blue rinse brigade of fools,
I stand proudly,
next to the gray haired man at my side.
My partner of over four decades.
Lying next to my computer is a stack of totally tasteless, inappropriate, and extremely nasty and naughty Christmas cards.
I am ashamed of myself.
Laughing, yes, but ashamed nonetheless.
I should do better than this. I write better than that.
So why is the cursor blinking and winking at me, as if the laugh is on me and not him?
Because it is.
You see, my companion suffers this fool gladly.
Like the dear sweet Ove of a recent post,
this man in my life, is a man of deeds, not words.
When it is Christmas time, he ponders for many many long minutes, in the greeting card aisle, searching for the perfect card that will express his love for me. And each and every year, over four decades, he nails it. Somehow, he finds the card that brings me to tears. That touches my heart, because I know how long he has searched,
for the exactly right words to say.
The other night we sat and watched the videos of our wedding, and our first five years together as man and wife. We were blessed. Blessed by the gift from my mother, of a Super 8 camera, without sound. No focus features. No fancy apps.
Our lives sans narration. minus Facebook and SnapChat, slightly blurry and out of focus, yet filled with the true spirit of young lives, hand in hand, walking the world together.
We laughed at our clothes, our taste in decor, green and gold, our choice of cars, awful, the incredibly worst pet in history, our dog, our hair cuts, our mistakes and errors in judgment, our seemingly endless mind boggling lapses of oh-my-dear, what were we thinking???
Then, smiling, we looked at each other and said, almost in tandem…
Were we ever that young?
Were we ever that foolish?
Were we ever that happy?
We were young and happy and foolish and silly and scared and full of wonder. We were far away from family and friends, moving from here to there, packing cars, driving long distances,
only to return each night…
To each other.
A trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, caught on tape, says it all. Eating Hostess Cupcakes for breakfast in a tent that was rented, scrambling up and down the creek bed, dazed by the phenomenal paint brush of Mother Nature, you can see us laughing. Smiling. Side by side. Practicing life skills in the forest that would ground us far into the future. How to be alone. Separate from family. Alone in the wilderness and yet unafraid.
Because we were together.
I had him. He had me.
We would not let the other fall.
We would not let the other fail.
So I will write on his Christmas card,
a message of delight.
A message of extreme joy.
For this gift we have been given.
Our history. Of love over time.
I look out my window,
as the snowflakes dust the landscape.
It was now as it was then.
A love story long and true.
Deep and wide.
Merry Christmas to you.
Merry Christmas with love.
Deeds are words come to life.
This, my dear heart, are the words of a fool.
From one fool to another,
this life of ours has, indeed…
Been a labour of love.
Take a look in the mirror.
Think of yourself in ten years.
Not bad eh?
Not bad at all.
The years have been kind.
Are the kindest man I know.