She said she was tired of my stubborn and reckless ways, and said it was time to call it quits, which is the last thing I wanted to hear. I got a temporary reprieve the next morning when she agreed to give it some more thought. I told her none of us are perfect and wondered if there was anything I could say to change her mind. I wondered if it would help to tell her of some of the events of our years together that keep coming to my mind:
. . . the afternoon we first met as kids twenty six years ago, when we sat on the foundation of an old house in the meadow and talked for hours without knowing each others names.
. . . how happy we were in our first house - a rented white frame house with one bedroom next door to the post office and across the street from the church in a tiny Western Colorado town;
. . . the preacher of that church we liked so much because he told us of his favorite fishing spots, and his offbeat sermons that became a private joke which would make us smile for the next two decades.
. . . how we played tennis and basketball (horse) and hiked and fished in the four years after our marriage before we had children. How we were passionate lovers but also best friends.
. . . how beautiful she looked right after the birth of our first child, when she sat up and pushed back her long hair and smiled with a glow of relief and happiness on her face.
. . . the time she looked out the front window of the first house we owned to see the large branch I was cutting fall and knock the ladder out from under me, fifty feet up our corner tree. How she ran out and put back up the ladder to save her pitiful husband who was clinging to the trunk like a scared squirrel. (I still remember her laughing as she came out; didn't seem as funny to me at the time).
. . . when she worked downtown and the girls and I waited for her outside her tall office building. How the girls would watch for her and then go running to see her, and Mom in her white walking shoes radiant and smiling as they approached.
. . .sitting at the picnic benches eating lunch at Steamboat Lake in a blue shirt holding our second daughter on a warm summer day. Would she remember how happy she looked and how incredibly happy I was with her and my family?
. . . our long summer hikes up to Calypso Cascades with both daughters to find orchids and wood nymph flowers growing in the mist of the falls. Would she remember our oldest daughter in her little pink and green dress smiling from her hiding place in the hollow old spruce?
. . . how she stayed day and night at the side of our dangerously ill twelve year old daughter after doctors misdiagnosed a burst appendix as flu for three days. How Alyssa could not be comforted unless she could reach out and hold her Mother's hand.
. . . how proud we felt when we watched our daughter walk up the steps and across the stage to accept her award as high school valedictorian.
. . . the time she fell back to sleep and the vision of her lying there with her long hair over the pillow and soft skin backlit from the morning sun was of such beauty that I have never seen equaled.
I could tell her these things but I am not sure they are what matters most right now. What she needs to know is how beautiful she is and how much I love her,
Which is what I will say to her.
Life in abundance comes only through great love.