Sunday afternoon a week ago Robin and I received our fourth COVID immunization. As a result, the following Monday turned out to be a lost day. We woke with headaches, muscle aches, lassitude, and a generally rundown feeling. All this has happened before, just not as soon after the shot. So we did what our hearts told us to do … nothing. We ate a little, read a little, napped a little. Our snack food of the day was ibuprofen. The world had to run entirely without our help for 24 hours.
We’re coming up on a million dead in the U.S. One million. Estimates are that if we had (as a populace) worn our masks, stayed away from large gatherings, and been fully immunized, half of those people would still be alive. That would be 500,000 Americans going to school, work, and happily making a nuisance of themselves in nursing homes across the land.
I don’t suppose that those (censored) who refused to do any of these simple things feel guilty at all. I don’t give them much credit, I’m afraid, for common sense. They were basically looking out for Number One, and doing a very poor job of that. When you have someone on their last gasp who refuses to accept that they are dying of Covid, because some (censored) on television said it was a hoax … what can you say but (censored).
The Covid story is not over by far, but it has been instructional in ways that I could not have imagined. Who knew that there were so many (censored)(censored) in such a small town as Montrose?
On May 23, 1992, Robin made an honest man of me. (To be truthful, that’s more of a metaphor than an actual fact. I am still the big fat liar that I have alway been). I’m sure that she had misgivings, because getting married can be quite daunting. When the words of the service talk about forevers and eternities – that’s serious business. But for both of us, our wedding was a total delight. A time when we could gather our friends together to celebrate the happiness we were learning to trust as real.
A story. When we were selecting music for the ceremony, we sat down with the church organist and told her that one of the pieces we wanted to include was Amazing Grace. She paused at hearing that, and made the observation that she usually only played that at funerals. But as we sat there you could see her going through the verses of the song in her mind and at the end she said “Yes … you know … that will work just fine.”
Then came the actual day, and the point in the service where the people assembled were to sing this song together. It all started out ordinarily enough, but with each verse the power of the voices in the audience grew until it absolutely filled the church. By the time we reached this verse, those assembled were declaring along with us that the time for grieving had come to a close, and that given half a chance, joy would take its place.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
I present a small gallery from the event.
And then there came the time at the reception when the bride and groom were to have the first dance. I had picked these two songs for the band to play as the opening tunes. The first one came as a small surprise to the guests, and the second was more what they had expected. To me, both were just right.
As you read this on a Sunday Morning, we are driving to Albuquerque NM. We’ve got a little AirBNB casita set aside for us, have perused maps of bikeways and walkways, and we’ve scanned through lists of museums and cultural offerings. In other words, we’ve done our homework. After that it’s up to the New Mexicans.
Oh, and we plan to take at least one of our meals at Sadie’s of New Mexico, the home of one of my favorite salsas which comes in two strengths: HOT and NOT AS HOT. I figure that if they can make a salsa that tasty, I’d like a shot at the restaurant’s menu. (Heartburn, I can’t HEAR you!)
We’ll let you know.
So here we are thirty years after the ceremonies. I’ve had the good fortune to have found a remarkable friend in this remarkable woman who has dealt somehow with my many shortcomings as a husband. Shortcomings I freely admit (not because I want to, mind you, but because they are obvious enough that I might as well confess them).
Recently we’ve begun to notice how many rings there are on our individual trees. Our long period of physical invincibility is over, it would seem. Cataracts grow, strokes happen, joints need tuning-up … those sorts of things. But tomorrow is our 30th anniversary, and I will repeat here what I have said numberless times over these three decades, usually when Robin and I are settling in for the night.
Thank you for marrying me.