It really is the little things in life for me these days, that make my world go 'round. I prided myself on noticing them before my husband's heart attack, but now they are bigger, louder, sweeter smelling, more beautiful. His face, for one thing. It's silly, but I can't keep my hands off of it. He looks vibrant and healthy and, since he's shaved his beard, smooth and young.
Hearing him giggling with the boys, or even talking with them, makes my day. We've had so much time with him while he has been recovering that it's hard just to let him go to work in the morning. During any absences that have dotted the years we've been together, we've missed each other, but now it's just sweeter and more fun to sit cracking each other up or sappily holding hands just for the feel of it.
My kids act like nothing at all happened, but for moments when we talk about things related to his recovery. I've realized that I have men, not boys, for children, and they amaze me.
My older son and I were down in my husband's basement lab the other day, clearing a desk to bring upstairs to the new office we are setting up for him in the bay window area of our living room. We started looking around and saw a picture of the boys when they were about 5 and 3 posing for the camera on the front porch of our old house. He had attached it through the picture and molded plastic cover with a huge screw into the wall over his desk. So sweet that he had hung it and absolutely adorable, the manner in which he'd mounted it. So typical of him. Then we noticed a model submarine bracketed to the wall above that, a reminder of his days as a submariner, and a little American flag, it's end stuck into one of the holes in the peg board that was also hung over the desk.
We found a stack of his diplomas-- high school, Bachelor's, and Master's-- and an elegant marble desk name plate and pen set that his sister had given him for his first college graduation. My son, who is now fourteen, said it was so cute, how his dad had displayed everything. I agreed and my heart was bursting with love for the man.
It was then that I noticed that the hot water heater insulating cover that we had purchased years ago in an attempt to save energy was carefully wrapped and duct taped around the unit that stands in the corner of the lab. He must have applied it not too long before the heart attack, as not even the most faint amount of dust seemed to have soiled it. I wondered when he'd taken the time or even found it, he had been so busy through the fall and winter.
I looked around again and was so moved to be standing in the center of my husband's things, bookshelves heavily weighted with tomes and paperbacks on subjects such as computer programming, astrophysics, and mathematics, the soldering station he'd carefully set up for himself for electronic repair, and the cluttered, piles of organized mess that made up the rest of the room. My son said that, to us, it looked like the room needed some straightening, but he guessed that his father knew where everything was and that each item had been placed intentionally.
It was one of the sweetest moments and then it hit me. If my husband hadn't survived the day of his heart attack we would have been down there cleaning up his lab at some point and looking at my sons' father through the things he loved and displayed in his little lab. How awful that would have been! Immediately, I wanted to grab that desk and haul it upstairs so I could see his face kiss it all over, but then the basement door opened and there he was, smiling and asking, "Whatcha doin?"
Like all the other times in a week that my husbands face is a real gift to me, this moment was just as special, only more poignant. I am grateful beyond measure to see that sweet smile of his every time he flashes it my way...and very, very lucky to be his girl.