Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday.
Last year at this time I was dragging him to Vegas for an epic birthday party, complete with a suite and lots of booze. It was as if we knew the upcoming year would test us in so many ways and be so hard that we needed to let off some steam.
This year is different though. I will struggle to bake him a cake, as Lupus has made lifting my arms tough. The kids will make him home-made cards, and he’ll attend a work party for something totally unrelated and I’ll wait up for him to get home so I can kiss him goodnight.
Since his birthday last year he has taken the reigns of this household and become a superman of sorts. Juggling kids, work, and a very sick wife.
He’s managed it not just with ease, but with what he likes to call ‘style and grace.’ He has brought me bags to the hospital of mismatched socks, the wrong underwear, and lotion I didn’t even know we had under the cabinet. But damn if he didn’t try to get it right. He’s made sure the kids were properly dressed for school, even if the kindergartener insisted on wearing two different shoes and the 2nd grader refused to have his hair brushed.
He’s cooked us all dinner while playing silly games. Clucked like a chicken at the table to make us all laugh while Mom was in pain. And read, and read, and read out loud to us all as we cuddled in yet another hospital bed.
In this year I have seen many things. I have seen friends step up to aid my family, I have seen others retreat from the fierce reality that was our lives. But more than anything I have seen this man I married, this scruffy, once long-haired, punk rock boy… be the man he is destined to be.
He’s the guy that gives his wife airplane rides.
And then tells her how beautiful she is with an orange spa mask on her face, meant to calm the zits popping up from steroids and too much medication.
He’s the guy that insists we all cluck like chickens at the dinner table, and eyes me mischievously when he announces the Icelandic chicken goes BJORKBJORKBJORK.
He’s the guy that promises to spoon feed me pudding in my invalid-ness and whisper how much he still loves me, no matter what. And then write me this:
I will love you in a house.
And I will love you with a mouse.
And in a box.
And with a fox.
and when your funky.
and when I’m drunky.
If I get nothing else this awful year, if I get nothing else ever in this lifetime… I want my husband to get his wishes and dreams. No one deserves them more. And I am grateful every day for the amazing man by my side. Who I’ve watched come into his own over these past 15 years.
It’s sort of lame to say I’m proud of him…because I’m not sure pride is the right word.
I feel like I am witness to a great man. A good man. A man who values his family, and his friends, and his wife. And lives up to expectations where so many others fail. So many times we are disappointed by people. He’s not one of them. And I can confidently say after a year of hell, he never will be one of them.
So many times he could have easily and rightfully buckled under the pressure that was our year. Not only did he stand tall, but he rocked it. He managed to take care of the kids, the house, his job, and his very sick wife with laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. And love. Lots and lots of love.
When people come to visit our home, many of them leave saying the same thing:
There is a lot of love in that house
And they are right.
And it’s because of him.
Happy Birthday Aaron. My love. My hero. My husband. My Superman. My everything. May this next year bring back booze and parties and fun and even more laughter. And I’ll try to throw in hookers and donkeys and blow…but in the meantime I’ve arranged for you to go skydiving on December 31st, 2010. Because we’re ending this year by defying death.