working on messy love

Years and years ago, back when The Big Top was scarcely beginning, a friend of mine gossiped confided about what another dear friend had shared about her marriage…that it was work…WORK, she snorted. Love and marriage is not work, at least it should not be…in her humble opinion. Years and years later, the three of us all are still married to the same darling husbands and having been married to the same darling husbands for 33+ years, I would imagine that we all can agree together that there is some work…maybe a lot of work involved in more than 33 years of marriage.

I thought about that a lot a couple of years ago when a certain actor/director/producer accepted a Best Picture Academy Award and acknowledged that his marriage to another actor was the best kind of work, which then cued up all the talk that their marriage was DOOMED! Doomed, I tell you, because he thinks love and marriage is work. Of course two years later it seems that all that talk was correct as the marriage of this Hollywood power couple seems to be over.

Go figure!

Yet, based on my own personal experience, I still sit on the Love and Marriage is Work Team because it is. It’s sometimes easy-peasy, lemon squeeze-y and it is sometimes blood, sweat and tears work because it can be frustrating, exhausting, scary and thrilling all at the same time. Better or worse, it’s messy.

And I was totally going to talk all about that messiness that marriage is when shit happened, as it often does, which made me realize that marital love isn’t the only kind of messy love in my life. Friends…family…so many different individuals that stir up the dust and debris all around us and making a general mess of everything in our lives and relationships….a big, fat mess…a mess that SOMEONE will have to clean up…a mess that is part of our love for each other.

UGH!

I hate messes and chaos and dust and debris and, especially, cleaning up messes and chaos and dust and debris. Always have. Always will. But I do love love and I love those in my life whom I hold dear…my friends, my family, my darling husband. I love them all in spite of all the messiness that is loving them. I hope that they feel the same.

It’s work sometimes, all the messy love in my life.

Worth it though.

Thank goodness I can celebrate that…today and every day.

80 days later…

Two weeks ago, Bill was working it up on a treadmill literally wired all up for sound.

Wired all up for ultrasound that is…a stress echocardiogram along with a 48 hour monitor and cardiac labs all to determine if he was healthy enough to return to work and play and basically normal life…or at least a new normal life not smoking, taking multiple cardiac and cholesterol medications twice daily, exercising more and eating better.

And the verdict is labs are still a bit off but his heart is strong enough to return to work and ease slowly back into his Krav Maga workouts. Oh, and the cardiologist commends the wife, that’s me, because the diet changes are working. The diet changes that basically I have done all along but someone might not have been eating…AHEM!

And so 80 days later, after the STEMI, the 100% right coronary artery blockage that could have been, should have been fatal according to Bill’s cardiologist, my darling husband has been here the last three days.

Believe me, he is smiling on the inside. He’s back to work. He’s at a job site on a project that he was hoping to be working on because, like the Levi’s Stadium project that he was a part of, this is kind of cool.

At our dinner celebration last night, he shared with me just how awesome this is because back to work…and alive…and celebrating another year together…

The conversation went on as he reflected on a coworker, age 46, who died from the same type of heart attack the same week Bill had his…and an old friend the same age who also passed recently…and a younger, former colleague…and the father of someone we’ve known for the past 10 years who was not that much older than we are. I’ll confess the last one shocked me because I did not know what he died from, just that, sadly, he died very unexpectedly. But Bill is friends with our friend on Facebook so he was privy to the details. The loss of all of them was sobering, very sobering. Sitting beside my darling husband right now I can not imagine the pain and grief their families must be feeling even though we came so close…much too close 80 days ago.

Bill agrees.

So much has happened the last 80 days or so. We can’t help but think about life, fate, luck, grace and how close we came to not being here now more than 80 days later.

And what happened to these two kids from 1982 because if you look past the damaged heart and grey hair and no hair and creakier limbs and worry lines and laugh lines, they are still there…somewhere.

Thankful.

So very thankful.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Chest Discomfort- Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain

Discomfort in other areas of the Upper Body- Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

IF THESE SIGNS ARE PRESENT CALL 911!!!

Learn CPR!!!

Your actions can help save a life…perhaps the life you love most.

not together, celebrating

Right after dropping Daniel off at school, I received a phone call from this beauty.

Happy anniversary, Mommy!

Awe! She remembered! Then again, how could she not since she crashed our anniversary party nineteen years ago today. Of course I wished her a very happy birthday because she remains my baby, my love, my heart, my joy…something that I have called her since the day that she was born.

So we are celebrating.

Celebrating that 32 years ago when this guy said let’s get married, I said okay. Even more so, given our misadventures that happened this past February, we are celebrating the fact that we get to celebrate 32 years together. Oh, and we get to celebrate the fact that time does not stand still as our darling daughter #4, Jodie Grace Wynonna, is now 19 years old!

Just not together today…for the first time…ever.

Weird.

I guess she is preparing me for when she moves to Arizona.

adventures not under The Big Top

It would seem that we are not the only members of the family circus making adventures and memories this weekend.

…weddings at Coachella…

Um…

So sweet, right?

Only if mom and dad are there too.

Remember that, Abigael.

Meanwhile, the neighbors are moving.

and it only took Fallon an hour to find all her fancy Fallon costumes that her mommy packed away.

Because you wear a ballgown, heels and a tiara when you are unpacking in your new home when you are Fancy Fallon.

Naturally!

And Jodie and me? We hiked up a mountain.

Actually it is A Mountain

Perfect!

Perfect morning, perfect view.

Perfect!

Lopes Up!

Forks Up!

.

a dining oasis

Married now for decades…decades…that sounds like a really long time, doesn’t it? Well, yes, 31 years and more is a long time to love and be loved and be stuck together like the old married folk that Bill and I are.

So what about Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day?

Really?

Truthfully, as an old married lady, I haven’t thought too much about it as Love Day was approaching. But my darling husband, on the other hand, was thinking about it a lot. Again, just when I think I know him and can predict almost anything about him he goes and does something like this.

I hate when he does that.

I love when he does that.

He does too because, yes, he loves catching me off guard.

So let’s get dressed up and go somewhere really nice for a Valentine’s dinner?

Around here?

Well, there is an oasis?

An oasis?

Yes, an oasis in the dining desert that is Manteca. It says so right here in Yelp.

So it does. Well, okay then. It’s a date.

And we waited this week for date night to finally arrive.

Ah, the romance of anticipation!

And…

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes, indeed Ernie’s Fine Foods & Spirits truly is an oasis in the desert that is Manteca’s dining offerings of endless fast food restaurants, taquerias and chain restaurants.

The appetizers, the 5 onions soup, the grilled to perfection steaks, the lobster, the spirits, the wine, the service, the ambiance all perfection.

But Bill impeccably dressed in his grey suit and me in a jersey column dress were definitely overdressed because this is Manteca.

Still, good food, good drink, great uninterrupted conversation…this was good. This was very good. My darling husband definitely hit this one out of the park.

We shall be back, Ernie’s!