May 31st, birthday gratitude entry:
He had me at “hello.”
Actually, he had me even before that. I saw him at a distance, cashing a customer out, while I was being interviewed for a position at the restaurant. I got hired. He worked second shift as a manager, I third as a waitress. He had a goofy way about him – and I love me my quirky peeps – and a quiet gentleness. His vibe truly intrigued me, invited me into his space.
I would have married him on the spot.
“If you were a dog, which would you be?” (I’m always coming up with these open-ended ‘tests’ and he’s a good sport about it.) We decided he’d make a fabuloso sled dog. First chair at that. He’s a worker, a puller. He focuses on one thing and just… keeps… going.
When we married, he was already employed at Carriage House – he stayed there through many company buyouts and a bajillion hours. There were seasons of time when he worked months – months! – in a row without one day off. No complaints. He just… kept… going.
His work ethic is beyond compare. Yet in the busyness of life, he still made precious time for each of our babies. He has been a patient, kind, protective father. Provider extraordinaire.
And life with me? Mmmmmm, let’s talk. I am a nut-case. A pretty, sometimes funny but usually just plain practical, introspective weirdo. Without Steven, I would not still be married. Seriously. He held on when I was free-fallin’. God, there was so much poop to dig through to get to the pony.
We have. It’s all good.
So, here we are. Covered in crap but riding a horse (please, can it be a Pegasus?)… hahaha…isn’t this life, though? We’ve seen each other through the most difficult situations. If there’s anything that bonded us, it was a relentless drive to see the other prosper. Truly, we wanted the other one to realize their dreams, enjoy this one wild and precious life, dig deep and fly high.
Truth: I think he is much, much better at this than me.
Five children, three businesses, countless rental properties and flipped houses… we’ve remained emotionally and physically close to his folks, my in-laws… we’ve run so many races together. And by together, I mean we drove there in the same car. He meets me at the finish line, second only to my bestie in encouraging shouts. Suffice it to say, he is really fast.
And funnnnnnny! The other day, my daughter and I were talking about doing facials because the pores on our noses needed exfoliating. My husband, oh God bless him, is clue-lesssssss when it comes to anything related to self-care. Talk about low maintenance. He scrapes the bottom of the bottom of low. Anyhoo.
His response to our invite for a facial, “I’m out. No exfoli-whatever for me, thanks. I gotta keep these pores big. It’s where I keep my spare change.”
Can you even?
He is the best story-teller this side of the Mississippi. Ask any of our children. A favorite memory is campfires at Allegany State Park, Dad unpacking a few chapters of his Dean Koontz book.
I think he could play frisbee for eleven months straight.
Thanks to him, our garden is full of tomatoes, cukes, zukes, lettuce, and sunflowers. I tell him I’ll help him weed, but then I don’t. So he does it all. And doesn’t even get mad at me. Sigh. It’s like he’s Jesus or something, the space he has for my shenanigans.
All extra vegetables are boxed up and put at the end of our driveway with a sign that reads, “We’ve got enough for you too. Take as you need.” The reactions of those who fill a bag with our offering… priceless… Love is so much fun!
He prays before dinner. If Gratitude were a person, it would be him. When we were dating, he was so darn optimistic that sometimes I would get frustrated with him… like, hellooooo, reality check, dude. And he’d shrug.
“I don’t mean to upset you. I’m just saying that I see the upside.” And he’d smile. He did not try to change my mind, but held space for me to be my realistic, sometimes pissed off self. He has been my real-life example of Hope.
He holds so much Light within his heart. I think it’s largely the reason he survived the near-death sepsis a couple of years ago. Now THAT was the scariest thing. Sheeez! For six months, he slowly became increasingly tired, achy, just not quite himself. I knew something was off, but he… kept… going. I strongly believe his Gratitude to Love for Love held him. He lived. And the world – surely, mine! – is better for it.
He’s twisted. “I really do think I could get rid of a body and no one would find out.” It’s surely not that he would… he’s just intrigued with the idea that he could. I do so adore his imagination and sense of adventure. Even if it is a little tangled up.
I needed someone Twisty-Tangly to make it work, to hold space while I figured stuff out and learned how to breathe, want to stay, thrive, and laugh again. He checked every box. And then some.
His motto has always been Plan B is to make Plan A work. We had our disagreements those first fifteen years – it got easier after that – but he always fought fair. He showed me that we could work through issues while remaining loving and married. I guess there was a part of me that feared that if we saw differently, we’d divorce. He provided solid ground for me to think for myself, share my views, and know safety and security. Oh, these actions of Love. So healing!
Upon my mentioning the possibility of divorce as an option when we’d come to an impasse, he would breathe and say, “I’m not leaving. I said I do. Even now, in the midst of this rough time. I still do.” Indeed. He just… kept… going. And I’m blessed for his holding on to me, to vision, to the plan A… while I fumbled to get my feet under me.
Nope, it’s not been 50/50. I’d say more like 28/72. If there’s such a thing as soul mates – I’m just saying that I’ve had dreams wherein we’re getting married to each other in other lives, soooooo – we’re it. Being married can be hard… but being married to him… is not. Not. At. All.
When we’re not together, food tastes blander. The air smells mustier. Music sounds dimmer. Wine tastes blah. Jokes aren’t that funny. His vibe in my life is like breath in my lungs. He makes me laugh, cooks me dinner, and even rubs my feet. In his space, my life has gone from surviving to thriving, just okay to freakin’ groovy. When we’re together, all the important questions are answered. Life is good, peaceful even.
Sometimes I wonder if Steven is actually Jesus walking among us peeps. Surely, he is Love.
Love is patient and kind.
It doesn’t envy nor boast.
It’s not proud.
It honors others, is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.
Love rejoices with the truth.
It protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.
Love just… keeps… going.
We’ve been together nearly 33 years now, 31 married. It’s to the point that I can’t recall what life was like without him. Yay! Our song: Melt With You. It is perfectly us! The song actually unpacks the story of two people choosing to get it on as a bomb goes off to end the world. This would totally be us!!!
He’s my Stop’nMelt.
I’m his Plan A.
How have we made it this long, this far, and still ga-ga? I’ll share with you a secret.
Only one time in 33 years did I meet someone other than my husband who drew my attention, and that scared me. Steven had always been my complete everything. There had been no room for anyone else but him. So, now what? Whether it was the right thing to do or not, I immediately confessed my confusion to him. I didn’t want to leave, but I was terribly upset about staying in the current vibe. Somehow, there was a crack in which this seeped in. I didn’t have the answer, but I was willing to offer honesty to him and pray that together we would see this rough spot through to the lush green space where our vibe would once again mesh.
His first response was anger.
His second response was fear.
I understood this too.
His third response was humility.
He came to me, sans anger and fear. “Today, when I prayed, instead of telling God to change your heart, Lisa, I asked him to change mine.”
And here we are, nearly 33 years into the best pony ride of our lives.
Steven Glasier, my best friend, excellent lover, and soul confidante, wonderful Dad, someday Papa, loving son, I’ll stop the world and melt with you.
Steven, I love you.
You. Complete. Me.
Much love & hope,