photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Moment of "Awwww..."

Yesterday was our anniversary.

As always, we went to the zoo. The zoo was our first date on a June 10th and we married on a June 10th, and every June 10th we go to the zoo. It was 95+ freaking degrees yesterday afternoon; all the zoo animals were passed out in the shade and only briefly opened their eyes to acknowledge the idiot humans standing in the sun looking at them. I swear I could hear them snickering.

It was our 18th June 10th trip to the zoo.

We've been as a couple, as expectant parents, and with an ever-larger boy with us.

Only once we've missed it completely, and only once have we missed it by a day.

The complete miss was pre-surgery and we were in Houston, and the miss by a day was 2 months after Ward almost died in that self-same hospital. There were several surgeries between the two and there has been one since. We missed by a day not because Ward was so weak, so emaciated and so ravaged (although he was all three), but because it was raining like hell. We went the next day and he refused the wheelchair I'd brought and walked (slowly) around the zoo; always and forever the most courageous person I know.

So we walked through the zoo and held hands like we do every year. We took our picture kissing in front of the King Vulture like we do every year.

We went to dinner.

Then I changed it up a little.

Away back when we first started dating, we were both newly divorced. I was living with friends and he was living with his mom and so even though we were both full grown grownups with real grownup jobs and cars and everything, we had nowhere to be...alone.

The first Valentine's Day after we started dating, I left work on my lunch hour, drove to the little motel on the lake, reserved a room, picked up a key and stashed all our stuff there- I'd conspired with his mom and she'd packed an overnight bag for him. I had told her my nefarious loose-woman intentions, and she looked at me with her beautiful little old lady eyes and said, "Well, it's about TIME!"

I loved his mom.

During our Valentine's dinner out, we exchanged little gifts. He gave me a pair of beautiful earrings and I handed him a box containing the hotel key.

"I don't have any clothes or my pills or anything".

"No problem. They're all already in the room".

"What will my mother think?"

"She said 'It's about TIME!' Who do you think packed your bag?"

He knew at that point his fate was sealed.

So last night I was driving since Ward twisted his foot a few days ago and it's sore and swollen (and he still walked through the zoo even though I told him he didn't have to- see? A man of courage and strength the likes of which the world rarely sees.)

I turned one stop light earlier than normal.

"Where are we going?"

"Just a different way".

We passed the Justice of the Peace's office where we were married and talked about how Spooj the Flowerdog growled thru the entire ceremony. He figured that was the Memory Lane Detour.

We blew past the turn towards our little town.

"Honey? Where are we going?"

"Not home!" (Evil grin)

"I don't have my clothes or my pills or anything".

"No problem. They're already in the back seat."

And my mother-in-law smiled down from Heaven.

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