Tuesday, December 26, 2006

You have lived such a gentle life upon this earth
That I am stunned by your sight.
If I could give but a token of the love you give
Then I might not be this lonely tonight.

Let them have their smug and their cool
confined by fashion and peer
I love you for your courage
in this frightened atmosphere

Ah, there are so few brave ones like you
Need I explain?
Never wondering what to do,
what to venture, what to gain-
And you have loved in a total way,
from flesh to soul
You speak without coy, without pose
Your eyes can see that the Emperor
has lost his clothes
And what's more you'll tell the whole world
what he stole.

These are the lyrics to a song by Don McLean, "A Gentle Life." Mike gave them to me in 1991, said they reminded him of me. They touched my heart and melted my cold resolve to leave him behind. A month later, he proposed and I accepted. A year later we were married in the chapel at St. Andrew's Cathedral. Today is our 14th anniversary. I go back to these words to remind myself why I love the man I married. He is a musician with the heart of a poet, and at his best, a deeply spiritual and intelligent man who gets it. He loved my mind, my courage, and the fact that I am a strong woman. How did he know that I was looking for someone to admire those qualities in me that have intimidated lesser men? I thought he was brave to even get involved with me.

If there were ever a man who needed a strong woman, it's him. I've stood between him and hell's fury more than once. His history, his health, his habits, more demons there than I can fight sometimes. It's been one heart-breaking challenge after another. Perhaps I needed more lessons on my human frailty and fallibility. I get them daily.

Mike is still best friends with Ron, the tall best man pictured here. Carol, the matron of honor, and I lost touch years ago. Maintaining friendships is one of the qualities that I admire the most about him. My friends don't usually stick around as long as his. My marriage and other family relations take all I have to give. There's very little left over for friendships, and I regret that, but that's the way it is.

Your eyes can see that the Emperor has lost his clothes,
And what's more, you'll tell the whole world what he stole.

Maybe that's why blogging appeals to me like it does. My husband, the prophet? Ha!

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