Monday, November 10, 2008

It is the best of times . . . .

This, our first summer in York, was almost magical. Our pretty yellow house with its big back deck is tucked into a wooded hollow down a narrow tree lined lane. It offers privacy and cool summer breezes all season long.

We purchased pretty and comfortable deck furniture. This was a major undertaking; we are not very materialistic when it comes to furniture. But we found chairs that recline. Ottomans and side tables. A big glass dining table with an umbrella. They were delivered and we spent the entire day assembling and getting ready for a season of grilling, relaxing and reading the morning paper, sunny lunches, and sharing with friends and family.

And we did all of those things. And more.

Around the house and in the yard, Larry worked his usual magic on flowers that decorated the deck and hung from the house, over the front door and twined around the iron railings. Morning glories that added spark to the day, petunias and nasturshams. Angel's trumpet. Lilies and gladiolas. Begonias and more.

This house is only two years old. The grounds were pretty raw. But Larry made a circle of heirloom tomatoes behind a tall fence to keep away the deer and interspersed them with Japanese eggplants and lettuce.

Beautiful green zebra striped tomatoes, deep red Brandywine, tomatoes from the Ukraine, peach and yellow colors with their sweet suculence.

Each heirloom has its own color, flavor and texture; Larry has been growing them for years and years.

Nearly every morning he woke to deer outside his window nibbling at the undergrowth at the edge of the woods. One day a red fox. Later in the season, wild turkey by the dozens loping stupidly from the woods into the lane.

Larry is a good son.
He just didn't make room for his 93 year old dad to live with us. He continually gives him gifts of time and self --
Theater tickets.
A bridge group.
A computer class.
His favorite meals.
And trips to favorite restaurants.

Oh, he has said he isn't always gracious.
Says he sometimes loses patience and feels frustrated that this is not the retirement he'd planned.
But always he continues on. Always.
Because it is the right thing.
Because he is a good and generous man.

Larry loves books. He is an avid reader and usually has more than one 'going' at a time. Mostly non-fiction but he has been 'studying' the older suspense writers reading their entire body of work. Some books stacked by the bed. By the fireplace. In the great room.

Larry is also a book collector who enjoys the thrill of hunting books at auctions and estate sales. He has a great eye for good buys and often makes a nice profit on those he chooses to sell. Regional history and turn of the century bindings are favorites.

Larry wanted an MP3 player..... but he also wanted it to have an FM tuner..... so last Christmas I bought him an 80 mg Zune that he continues to fill with his favorite music: show tunes, big band, folk music, old standards, Leon Redbone, Bill Morrissey, light classical, smooth jazz. And if I sometimes think I am being ignored it really is just that he 'is plugged in' to music ---- or a baseball game ----- or a news program. But mostly music. I try to wait. . . . .

Larry came into my life more than 25 years ago.
And while he never tried to be a replacement for Amy's dad, he has been the closest thing to a father she has had or will have since her dad died when she was 12. Her children are his grandchildren. And to Anthony and Victoria he has given love, attention, gifts of time and memorable vacations.

Of all and everything that Larry is and has done, his love, care, concern support, and encouragement since my diagnosis of first chronic lymphacytic leukemia and then behcet's disease has neve waivered. Never. He comes to each and every doctor's appointment and is as much a participant as I am. He took me to Canada in 2007 to the first patient advocacy conference because the brightest lights on the planet - experts in research and direct clinical care would be there. And we would learn together.

Is he perfect. No and nor am I. But for nearly a quarter century he has been my life's partner and my best friend. And tonight, the second in a row, I cannot sleep while he is in the hospital for cardiac problems.

Come home, Larry.


Michelle J said...

Great post!

I am glad Larry is home safe and sound!!!

Patricia said...

Your most very much touched. It is a loving tribute.


Patricia said...

Let me try this one more time. Your post was a loving tribute to Larry.

I am glad Larry is home!!!!!


Pat said...

Thank you Michelle and Trisha for your thoughtful comments. Larry is home and feeling so much better. But no answer to the mystery as yet.....