photo by Sheri Dixon

Friday, June 11, 2010

Today We Went to the Zoo

Sounds mundane, but in our case, it's not.

We went to the zoo for our first date- 15 years ago yesterday.

Both newly divorced and pretty traumatized, we'd been friends- good friends, best friends- while we were each witnessing the deaths of our marriages, marriages that we both valiantly tried saving, even though we could see the terminal hopeless status of the other's situation. Afterwards, we fell apart in the aftermath and though it looked alot like "rebound", what we fell into was a deepening of our friendship, our very real concern for the other's happiness and well-being. We fell into love.

So we went to the zoo on June 10th, 1995 and about halfway through it Ward took my hand in his.

Even though we like the zoo, and go to the zoo several times a year, we always go to the zoo on June 10th.

We went to the zoo alone the first few years, but then had company- first a tiny baby of 4 months old, and each year a bigger and bigger boy- this year a young man of 10 almost as tall as myself.

We went to the zoo in the rain at least once- speedwalking through the deserted park with the animals peering out at us from their shelters, amused and bemused.

We went to the zoo when we were both employed and I'd pick up lunch, meet Ward at the picnic tables, inhale the food and barrel non-stop around the familiar route before a quick kiss and pointing our cars back to work.

Yesterday was June 10th. It was pouring rain- the rain gauge a few miles from here read 5.6 inches in less than 24 hours, though I've heard rumor of closer to 7 inches. There was thunder and lightning and we did not go to the zoo.

Today we went to the zoo.

Ward has endured so much these last few months- less than 8 weeks ago medical personnel were encouraging me to put him in a nursing home, and a wheelchair has taken up residence in the trunk of our car. He's painfully thin and fragile looking, tires very easily and is in almost continuous discomfort.

Today my husband walked around the zoo- refusing to use the wheelchair.

And I marvel in every tiny miracle and cherish my husband and my son- both so courageous and kind, intelligent and hilarious and though it seemed like the most normal average thing for a family to be there, walking around looking at the animals and enjoying sno-cones and animal crackers it WAS a miracle to us- and not a tiny one because there were more than several moments over the last few months when we were deep in the bowels of the cancer hospital that I couldn't hope, couldn't imagine, couldn't even aspire to think that we'd get another chance to say, casually

"Today we went to the zoo".

1 comment:

  1. AMEN!!! Praise the Lord! God is so good! (You, Ward, and Alec are pretty special, too.) Happy anniversary, dear friend!!