love and relationships

 A Valentine for My Husband, Rob


Every woman needs a Sasquatch of her own

Life being incomplete without one

Earth signs are best 

but at least born in an Oxen year

Able to shoulder all manner of burden

Physical and Emotional


but with firm and unyielding flesh 

and principles

Impish, teasing,

able to giggle and explain (nearly) everything

Confident of being able to do (nearly) anything

Beacon bright blue eyes, 

furry all over 

and with very warm feet

Every woman needs a Sasquatch of her own

Life being incomplete without one

Today is a Second. It is our second Valentine’s Day as a couple. To anyone who hasn’t been widowed, this would be hard to understand, but to those of us who have experienced the death of our most loved one, it shouldn’t be very hard at all. During the first year of widowhood, there are Firsts. The first birthdays: theirs, children’s, yours that the person is not there to help celebrate. The first wedding anniversary that doesn’t count towards the total. Holidays whose meanings and traditions will change because of their absence. Rob and I have done all those things as widowed people. But today is a special day for us because today is the first Second of our life together. We have been together for over a year. The birthdays and holidays from this point on will be ones we have celebrated as the two of us and it is such a wonderful feeling. Seconds become thirds and fourths and a decade followed by another one. A damn long time.
Happy Valentine’s Day my lover. Here’s to our “second” and the damn long time to come. 


My horoscope earlier this week reminded me that I shouldn’t question why I am so lucky or whether or not I deserve the happiness and tranquility I know now. Rather I should bask in its warmth and know that I am entirely welcome to it. Like so many things these days, I am in awe of the peace and the sheer cozy joy of my life here in Canada with Rob.

The first time we meet in person came about a month after Rob had declared himself to me in a long rambling email that only he could write. I remembering impatiently skimming it to find his point because I knew there was more on his mind then just greetings of the day and updating me on his goings on. We had been writing to each other for about six weeks when he informed me that his feelings had turned more than just friendly. I was rendered speechless to the point where I couldn’t even type a reply and that, for me anyway, is true speechlessness. Our first sight of each other at the airport in Idaho Falls sealed our fates completely, interlocking our destinies for a damn long time to come.

Ten minutes ago, I saw you.
You looked up when I came through the door.
My head started reeling you gave me the feeling the room had no ceiling or floor.
-from the musical, Cinderella

I spent those first 36 or so hours with him nearly mute. I couldn’t look at him enough. Touch him enough. Be near enough. And I couldn’t find words enough to tell him so. And it wasn’t a dream nor did it even feel like one. The reality of him was as grounded and concrete as any experience I have ever had. I had dreamt of my future so often in the bleak times that came before that his arrival at such a time and in such a way pulled me up by the short hairs.

I’m not eloquent enough to count the ways or compare Rob to a seasonal time frame. I am not a poet. Nor can I fashion a tune or fill a canvas with what I felt that weekend and since. Even words, my friends in nearly all times, can’t seem to help encapsulate what is Rob or our love for each other. Both are boundless and ever expanding like the universe seeking its outer limits. Unlike the universe, however, there are no edges to be found and no inevitably advancing implosion. I know it and couldn’t tell you how I do. It’s like the feeling you have when you wake up and see the sun rising pink and orange and you just know that whatever the day brings, its all good.

Though the ensuing months with the thousand plus miles between us strained our patience and brought a few valleys and rainy days, that are just part of living and learning and loving, I still get that same feeling of Idaho Falls when I wake up next to Rob every morning. How will I ever find time enough to spend with him before old age takes its toll and claims us?

Although I was recently reminded that I have been widowed for less than two years and only married again for about five minutes, I want to take a moment to recognize my wonderful husband, Rob, and be grateful for our life together and bask in the glow of our love and happiness for all the world (a small world indeed as there are but a few loyal readers here) to see.

While it’s true that this is just the third month of our damn long time together, and just ten months since we met, all journeys have to begin somewhere. And, every new beginning, to borrow a line from the group Semisonic, comes from some other beginnings end.

Happy Anniversary, my lover. Je t’aime.

Rob took the day off. We had immigration stuff to attend to, again, in the city, and it took so long we were pushing it to get Katy to school on time. Apart from a quick project meeting after lunch, Rob and I had the whole afternoon to ourselves. Alone. In our home. Did I mention the “alone” part? That hasn’t happened even once in the three months we’ve been living together. Three months. Our anniversary is coming up next week. We’ve been married for three months. We’ve known each other for almost a year. It seems longer. Funny how there are people who come into your life and it seems as though they have been there all along just waiting for the chance to finish your thoughts with identical ones of their own. Kindred. There is no rationally explaining such people. Maybe just subconscious memories of another time? Another life? Sometimes I get the feeling that Rob and I have been separated for a long while. Lifetimes.

Dinner was Boston Pizza with a very tired five year old straight from ballet. There is romance in that if you care to look. I don’t need to look far. Just across the table. The movie is a leftover from last Saturday night’s trip to the video store. Strange that we still call them that even though I haven’t seen a VHS cassette for rental anywhere in ages. The cranky five year old, who is crankier yet, is still stirring but she won’t last. And then? It is the old sofa, blankets, snuggling and Bandits with Bruce and Billy Bob and hopefully our first movie without widowed or grieving characters.

Dating your husband is the best way to spend a Friday night. Even if you are dating in for the evening.

I met Rob for lunch yesterday down by the river that flows past town. The last time we were there was to watch the fireworks display late in the evening on Canada Day. The weather was nice. Mostly sunny with that nip of fall in the air when the wind would blow. I had dropped Katy off at school earlier, and she expressed only mild disappointment at being left out. Now that she is back in school, even if only for the half day, Rob and I have a bit of free time to play with again, and it’s so nice to be just he and I.

Funny how the day to day routines and demands can so quickly erode time that was once set aside for the simple pleasures. Breakfast on the weekends. Sitting around the dining room table in our robes munching toast and sipping tea until it could officially be brunch. Curled up on the couch after bedtime stories and rituals have settled down the little one, so we can watch The Daily Show together. Running errands as a family that could have been more easily accomplished alone. Catching up on movies via the bookmobile coupled up on the sofa or bed. Even just walking to the bookmobile together on Wednesday evenings, arms around each other is such a joy. Such simple things, and so easily brushed aside at times by reno work and house work and aqua classes and writing groups. And I am not complaining. We make plenty of time to be “just us”, but the real world can only be kept at bay through willing blindness on yourself for just so long. Still it’s hard not to miss some of the early day routines of first being together full-time. Lunch with my husband however is still a must. Even it isn’t in the park. Even if it is just a phone call on days that work demands its due. It’s important to not go the whole day without touching or talking or saying “I love you.”

Yesterday as we snuggled up on the picnic table bench like teenagers playing afternoon hooky, I was struck again by how really blessed I am and how wonderful he is and how much I love him and being with him. I still worry a bit about the “other shoe” and the “wolf at the door”. It’s hard to have been where I have been and seen the things I have seen and not carry a few of
fear ‘s scars, but in the moment, I have no worries. The sun shines. The leaves whisper like small children practicing indoor voices. My love warms my hands between his own. We are in love, and I am happier, I think, than I have ever been.