You know, sometimes mushy just happens. It’s not going to happen right here and now (much), but it could … because I’m feeling particularly warm and fuzzy toward my beautiful, talented, funny, compassionate, and by-the-way-39-year-old, birthday-celebrating wife Heather, with whom I am sharing an ever-developing love story each day of my life.
And when I say “love story,” I’m not talking about the daily bliss of a Hallmark card, but the kind of love that’s forged in the peaks and valleys of day-to-day, pay-the-bills, three-kid, take-out-the-trash, which-credit-card-did-you-use, sorry-I-was-a-jerk living. The kind of love that can’t exist without monumental compromise from both sides. And the kind of love confirmed most recently by Heather’s blessing of, commitment to and sacrifices for this project, which she probably doesn’t entirely understand but is beginning to see is bigger than either of us but not both of us.
Not sure, was that mushy? Well, bear with me … there’s just a bit more.
Tonight, with Nana in charge at the homestead, Heth spent two hours of her birthday with me, at the gym, rebounding, and I swear this is going to be the last gooey thing that I say: I’m typically kind of hyper-focused on the ball and rim during these sessions, but there were a couple times tonight when, as she was about to toss it my way, my eyes went just north of the ball and locked with hers. It was only a split second, but that split second was long enough to get a translucent blue jolt … an honest-to-goodness butterflies kind of thing deep in my gut that reminded me that I’m one freaking fortunate dude.
What am I trying to say? I guess it’s this: While this venture is, above all, about profound gratitude for our soldiers and Veterans, it’s also about gaining a deeper appreciation for this amazing woman I married.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled basketball blog …
This wife of mine, for all her great qualities, is not that bad a rebounder, either. We may not have been the hare, but we weren’t the tortoise, either, and somewhere in between we found a steady pace that netted 1,300 foul shots in a sliver under two hours, bringing our grand total to 46,427 down, 953,573 to go.
It was, as I suggested above, the best Hoops For Heroes day yet, and for the first time in the 36 days since we began, I took the rebounder home and slept by her side.
(Until one of the kids climbed in with us, that is.)
Happy Birthday, Beautiful. And thank you.