“Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.”
~ Jean Anouilh
Ok, I need to brag on my honey. [I know, I never do that, right??]
Here he is. Ain’t he purdy?
Ok. This blog is not just about how cute the little booger is, so I’ll get to the point.
Let me just start this out with a simple little 100% true and accurate statement. I am NOT an easy person to love. Oh, it’s true. When I’m mad, I’m FURIOUS. When I’m upset, I’m DISTRAUGHT. When I’m a little irked, I’m FULLY ANNOYED. You get the picture, right? No little responses to anything – everything is temporarily grandiose. And, as you might guess, this little teeny tiny eensy weensy flaw sometimes leads to some turbulence in the relationship. Now, it’s not all me, mind you. My boyfriend Richard has a teeny tiny little flaw too. He despises conflict. (I know, right? *WEIRDO!*) And when said conflict arises, his fight or flight response is always…always…’flight.’ Well, for this ‘fighter’ that he’s in love with, that crap just don’t fly.
You can imagine how our disagreements go.
1. Something happens (Richard’s fault, of course).
2. I get IRATE.
3. I fling accusations and demand responses.
4. Richard runs.
5. I get MORE mad.
6. Richard stays quiet.
7. I get even more dramatic because of the lack of response.
8. He gets even more quiet because of my increased level of crazy.
9. Time passes.
10. I get tired and chill out.
11. He comes out of hiding and remembers that sometimes I’m not crazy.
12. We talk. We kiss. We make up.
13. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Get the picture? Here, let me give you a literal picture in case my words weren’t clear.
Yep. That’s us. Well, sometimes.
(And honestly, it’s really not all that often. And heck, while we’re being totally honest here, that dude and chick in the picture need to be switched….)
(Ok, one more parenthetical. If our relationship sounds a little too familiar to you, you may be in a turtle/hailstorm relationship too. What the heck did she just say? Here ya go. Read about it here. We’re a textbook case, and you may be too. Pretty fascinating stuff.)
Ok, let’s get back to the bragging I promised at the beginning of this story.
Nope, our relationship is not always sunshine and roses, that’s for sure. But then again, there are times like the past few days.
As some of you may have read in my last blog, my Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother had a little mishap at the nursing home, and was found on the floor. What they thought to be a broken hip from an initial x-ray, ended up being an old injury from before (poor little lady) and she didn’t end up having to have surgery after all, thank goodness. But before we knew that for sure, we were just told that she was being transported to the medical center in Bristol, Tennessee, and was being prepped for surgery on her frail little 85-year-old hip. So, naturally, my mom dropped everything and traveled here to come be with her momma. And, also naturally, I dropped everything to go be with my momma. I worked it out to miss work on Tuesday, and I left Monday after work to go stay in a hotel with her, at least for the first night, so she wouldn’t have to be alone.
And what did Richard do?
He dropped everything to come be there for me.
He drove me there, stayed with us, drove us everywhere we needed to go while we were there (that’s one thing my mom and I definitely have in common – we hate driving in areas that are unfamiliar to us). He went and got drinks and coffee for the family as we waited, and sat right there with us as the hours drug on while we waited for news, and listened to my poor little grandma as she moaned in confusion and/or discomfort (it was hard to know which was which). Without technically being “blood” family, Richard played a role in this just like the rest of us did. He did everything he could to be there for the one that he loved. Me.
And boy, did I notice.
My little Richard sure can be hard on himself sometimes. Maybe it’s because he has a fiery redhead fussing at him all the time? Naaaah. Surely, that doesn’t have much to do with it…. But, seriously. I think it’s important to remind him every now and then how very much I notice and appreciate these little things that he does for me. The past few days would have been a whole different story if I, and my mom, hadn’t had Richard along for the ride. These “small” things will one day be the big things as we look back over these years we spent together. I hope that we will be one of the lucky couples that make it to the very end. And, if (when) we do, I hope we look back on our life and see the moments like yesterday. Not the fights, not the nights in the ‘doghouse…,’ but the moments like these. The ones where we sacrificed ourselves to each other during our times of need. Because that is what love is all about.
This is the “us” that I’ll remember most.
I sure am in love with a great guy. Thanks for letting me tell you about him.
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”
– Benjamin Disraeli