But it is a strong bond, a love still developing after 35 years. We still work at it daily; we feel we have to.
I met Beatrice in the summer of 1976. She was applying for a job in the purchasing office at Centenary College, where I was the sports information director. It was a rare day when I went from the Gold Dome -- where the athletic offices were located -- to the main campus across Kings Highway.
She was sitting in the lobby there filling out application papers. She looked pretty in pink; she caught my roving eye.
|Beatrice, with her oldest grandchild, Josie Smith.|
Interesting, and interested.
We hit it off. Made a date for lunch. Long story shortened: We married the following February
She was 31 then and I was 29. Today she turns 67. Happy birthday.
We see most things the same way. But not all things. When we disagree, it can be civil ... or not. We do not fight well; it can be loud, and it can be ugly.
She pouts; I explode; then she explodes. She's much more even-tempered -- who isn't compared to me? -- but not always.
Age does not faze her. Her mindset is to live each day the best she can, just like you'd want.
What does bother her is that physically she's not as strong as she was, can't keep the house as clean as she wants (I'm not much help there; I'm not messy, but cleaning isn't my strong suit). She can't do all for the grandkids that she wants when we have them with us; she just wears out.
She loves to read; her reading choices are broad. She's not religious, but she's spiritual. She's deep into philosophy and psychology -- she studied it in college. Read her daily posts of affirmations on Facebook and you'll understand.
She follows Dr. Mehmet Oz, Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer, among others.
We like to watch Dancing With The Stars; she enjoys well-written, intense shows such as Hawaii 5-0, Castle, The Closer, Point of Interest.
She loves her Dallas Mavericks, rejoiced in their NBA championship last year, and she's no less involved this season. She'll watch every game she can, preferably without my critical/demanding input. She "suggests" that I leave the room.
She was a sports fan when I met her. She lost her passion for it about 10 minutes after we were married; the overdose from my involvement was too much for her. Except for the Mavs, she's watched from a distance for years, exception being any sports Jason was playing.
She's still Jason and Rachel's sounding board on so many things. When they need advice, she's a go-to person always. She puts up with my foolishness, and she's my advisor on what to eat, what to wear, how to act properly (well, she tries to tell me) and on this blog.
She's a wonderful cook, a wonderful wife and mother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt, friend.
I wouldn't trade her for anything, except maybe if the Yankees needed a big bat late in the season to assure another World Series championship.
But then if the Mavericks needed one more player to assure another NBA championship, I'd be on the trading block, too.
She's the most conscientious, most caring, best person I know -- the most important person in my life for 35 years.
I'm thankful for Beatrice every day. But especially on April 5.