We were married on New Year’s Day, a Monday, a new beginning in many ways. Since then, I’ve described myself as the luckiest man on earth, and that remains true.
I am lucky to have Kelly, but here’s a modest reminder of how lucky she is to have me, a man who likes having someone to do things for.
One night, after a long day of shopping the flea markets, she set up this lovely display of her plates on our bedroom wall. She was unhappy to leave “a hole” where one more plate should go, but she was nearly falling over for want of sleep. I’ve lived with her long enough to know that once she gets to that point, she is useless for anything but sleep. As I tucked her in, she whispered, “If you loved me you would put up one more plate….” And then she was out.
I figured it couldn’t be that hard. Kelly had put up 11 plates already, and only broke two, so I could probably manage. But she was out of plates, and out of the wire racks to hang one with. So I did the next best thing, what any man in love would do to prove his devotion. I went downstairs to the cupboard and found the exactly right shaped and patterned paper plate to fill in for the time being, until we could make another trip to the thrift stores.
When Kelly awoke the next morning, she noticed the plate first thing, and showered me with affection. She was so excited, so pleased, that she took photos to share with her friends in Blogland. She is still so happy with my act of kindness, these many months later, that she refuses my offer to put up a real plate in place of the paper one. She's sentimental that way.
While installing Christmas decorations a few weeks ago, we found a small pink tree that our daughter Carrie left behind. With her permission, I set it up for Kelly in our sitting room, because I know she loves pink Christmas trees and I know how much she loves the twinkle lights. Few things bring Kelly as much joy as sock monkeys, so I thought “what better for this little tree than her favorite sock monkey,” this pink little guy with the big smile. Kelly came in and saw the tree, then saw the toy on top, and she squealed with delight. More kisses came my way, I’ll tell you that.
Kelly’s new favorite place to sit is right under this tree, with the monkey man watching. While there has been talk of having to take down all the trees and decorations in the rest of the house here in a couple of days, she has not mentioned taking down the pink tree. It just means too much to her. She's sentimental that way.
On the porch, we have a white tree, another flea market find, which Kelly says she has always wanted. The ornaments are all pretty, but they are plastic, because they are exposed to the sun and wind and rain. The topper on this tree, a colorful keepsake from one of our many trips to Wendy’s, a family favorite, has become a tradition for us, and a reminder of what really matters.
This disposable display is highlighted by a used paper cup. The neighbors might call it trash, but to us it represents the true meaning of holiday celebrations. Ultimately, everything we have is disposable, and all the gifts and foods and trappings of Christmas mean little. Some people may have a perfect Martha Stewart magazine-cover Christmas, but neglect each other. What matters, what really lasts, is our family, each person, each individual. The love and kindness that we share, the bonds we form that will never be broken, that is what Christmas really means, and the humble little tree on our humble little porch helps us to never forget.
Here, Aubrey shows that she has learned the lesson, too. Awwww….
So I ask you. Is Kelly lucky or what?