Sunday, March 1, 2009

Meet Gary

Meet Gary. We were married for almost 20 years. He died 3 weeks short of our 20th anniversary. I have talked about Gary here before but only briefly. It's hard sometimes.

Today I was going through a bunch of old photos. My plan was to re-do some of our old family pictures, convert them to black and white, and put them all in matching black frames. The frames have been sitting on the kitchen table for over a week so I really wanted to accomplish this today.

As I browsed through the scrapbooks and boxes, I started to realize that we don't have a lot of good photos of Gary. There are tons of pictures of the kids of course. And there are some of Gary and the kids. But not very many of just him. He seemed to be caught off guard in the ones of just him, probably because he hated having his photo taken and I snapped it when I could get it.

But I loved this picture of him. He is looking straight at me. He rarely smiled in pictures which is okay because he looked kind of goofy when he did. He is holding a hose nozzle that you would find on a fire truck. It's an antique. He used to be a firefighter and he collected antique firefighting items. We were visiting his parents at a campground in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia.

As I went through the photos, I remembered so many things about him. Things I want my kids to know. For instance:
  • He owned more than 2 shirts. Seriously, it seemed like every picture we have of him, he's wearing either the shirt above or a gray tshirt.
  • He was very smart and very funny. The photos don't show that but he was. He had a high IQ but was also "common sense smart". And very witty.
  • He loved whatever you gave him for Christmas. There are many pictures of him holding a gift with a wide smile on his face and you can hear him saying enthusiastically "Allright!!!!"
  • He sometimes slept through family events. There he is in the background, sleeping - at birthdays, at Christmas, at picnics. It's kind of funny that he could nap anywhere.
  • We went a lot of places and did a lot of things. We never had any money so how did we do that? He was very careful with money, bordering on cheapskate. But he spent money on things he loved and doing things with his family was one of those things.
I put the photo in the frame and hung it in the hallway. I hope my kids remember those fun things about their dad. I'm sure they have other memories too. And I thought about the fact that, while I have mentioned him here as my husband, I don't believe I have ever shared anything about who he was and why we loved him. There were days when he made me so angry I could not even speak to him. But most days, he made me a better person. Everyone should have someone so special in their lives. And now you know him a little better.


Ruth D~ said...

I'm so glad to meet your husband. Seems it takes a while after the tears dry to put it all in perspective and be able to talk again. Sad because it is another form of closure, but happy because closure is good. Closure is really a new beginning. Sounds like the love never dies. Sweet message, Tere.

storypeople said...

Wonderful! This is my favorite new love poem. I'm also particularly fond of men who are generous with their hearts and imaginations and wit. There is nothing better. It's the stuff that survives and flourishes forever. Yes. I think that's true. Forever.

So, thank you, too.

Katie said...

This is just beautiful! You know, I don't know that I ever got to meet Gary. I only knew him through you. I cannot celebrate Hannah's birthday without thinking of him and you though so I will ALWAYS have a memory of him...sort of. Thank you for an absolutely wonderful post!

Andie, aka Andemonium said...

Aw, I've never seen this picture! I can see why you love it. It's very Gary. :) Love you.

Wanda said...

Thank you so much for letting me meet Gary. He looks like a gentle giant!.... Your children will cherish this photo, I'm sure.

How touching...thanks again for sharing your special man with us.

Brian Andreas said...

Ahhh. Beautiful. We are empty vessels filled with bits & pieces of love & laughter & long conversations late at night. & especially naps. :-)

Thank you for a touch of his spirit & what he meant to you all...

with love,