Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thank You, God
First of all, I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family, friends and fellow Loopers near and far. As always, we have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Thanks for our family, especially our kids and grandkids. Thanks for our friends, our co-workers, our health, our work, and our countless other blessings. In my Thanksgiving prayer as always I will remember all of those.
But today, besides being Thanksgiving Day, Carrie and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. We weren’t married on Thanksgiving Day in 1984, but whenever the 24th falls on the holiday, like this year, I am reminded of what I truly am most thankful for.
Actually, we did get married once on Thanksgiving Day. In 1994, on the tenth anniversary of our civil marriage we renewed our vows and were married (in the Catholic Church). That was a pretty cool Thanksgiving. We didn’t want to make a huge deal of it, so we asked our friend Monsignor K. to marry us early, prior to the eight o’clock mass. Only immediate family and our closest friends (who stood up for us) were there. In true Monsignor K. fashion, the ceremony was quick. We hoped to just duck out quietly before the churchgoers arrived and head home for a traditional Thanksgiving Day of parades, football and turkey with the kids and our good friends. No such luck.
Afterward, as we walked down the aisle to the back of the church, an old Irish character named Norm Montgomery appeared. Uh-oh, Norm was an old friend of my late fathers and he was about as quiet and subtle as a herd of dairy cows. He was also one of the funniest characters you would ever meet. As we approached the rear of the church, Norm jumped up from his knees, clasped his hands over his chest as if having a heart attack and bellowed, “By God an Irishman sure needs to get up early to beat an Italian. There I was all proud of meeself for getting’ ta mass bright and early this fine Thanksgiving mornin’, and you’ve already been up long enough ta get yourself married!” All the parishioners filing in were smiling and congratulating us. So much for being quiet and discreet.
One anniversary many years ago we were vacationing in a tropical paradise somewhere. The vacation was supposed to be our anniversary gift to each other, but, I somehow managed to sneak a “bauble” (Carrie’s term for jewelry) under her pillow the first night as a surprise. Subtle, huh? Anyway, when we went to bed that night she discovered it and without missing a beat squealed, “Look what the Jewelry Bunny brought for me!”
This year we agreed our Loop adventure was our gift to each other and would cover any and all gift obligations this year, birthday, anniversary, etc. But, her trip to San Francisco last weekend gave me (excuse me, gave the Jewelry Bunny) a golden opportunity to strike again. Besides, she’s overdue for a bauble. If you go back and read my earlier post (August), “Never Sufficiently Adorned”, you will understand. You didn’t really think I believed I was going to get off with a mere trip to the beauty salon…did you?
So, today marks 27 years since the prettiest and nicest girl in the universe and I said, “I do”. When I look at her I still see the same young twenty something beauty that I fell head over heels with back then. But now, I know how much more I value her sweet gentleness, her love of and devotion to family (and to me), and her outrageous sense of humor. She makes me smile and laugh every day. I cannot imagine a life without her.
There is a scene near the end of the movie, “Animal House”, during the wild bedlam of the parade. During the mayhem, a beautiful and scantily clad coed is suddenly flung through the window of a home and onto the lap of a thirteen year old boy who had been sitting on his bed and sneakily “reading” a Playboy magazine. The boy gets a huge smile on his face, raises his eyes upward to the heavens and shouts, “THANK YOU, GOD!!!”
Well, today (just as from the moment we met), I feel just like that thirteen year old boy. I am not exactly sure how she landed in my lap…but…
…THANK YOU, GOD!!!
27 years and counting...