Today is my wife Heather’s 35th birthday. We’ve known each other for just about 27 months, and we’ve been married for just about 8 months. I can’t imagine what she sees in me, and I often kid her that she must have lost a bet to end up with me. Nevertheless, I couldn’t be happier for whatever cosmic thing brought us together.
Mark Twain once wrote in Adam’s Diary: “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her. At first I thought she talked too much; but now I should be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life. Blessed be the chestnut that brought us near together and taught me to know the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit!”
I think about how we began as two relatively shy people trying to get to know each other, and somehow, it just started to click and proceed into something really amazing in all of our time together. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without her and I look forward to all the things that we will be doing together in the immediate future (from dinner tonight to the Arizona / Utah border in about a month).
To say that we’ve done a lot of great stuff in our time together would be an understatement. We’ve been to Florida a couple of times, and at her suggestion, we spent our honeymoon amidst the mountains and waterfalls of West Virginia. Of course, we did dine in style and see a haunted insane asylum for her, but all in all, the years spent wandering around Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Virginia, and New York to see the beauty of this area have been incredible.
Originally, she was from Ohio, but through a series of coincidences, she came to Pennsylvania to be involved in a relationship. Who was to know that it would be some guy that she would meet a year and half later on Match Dot Com? I’ve always been from this area of Pennsylvania although I was in the Air Force for a while and ended up stationed in England for the final 5 years of that time of my life. After it was over, I stayed for a little while, and came back to this country looking for meaning. At the time, baseball and literature provided a lot of it. Now, I look and see that baseball, history, education, and MY LIFE WITH MY WIFE summarize all that is good about this country.
In those things comes a lot of opportunity and beauty. Even in times of struggle, I like to think that it will all work out in the end. I like that I can be a better person and learn from my mistakes. I can learn from what other great people have and can offer to me. I like to give back and be awesome in what I do, and due in large part to Heather’s patience, generosity, beauty, intelligence, and commitment to excellence, I feel more grounded and focused for the long run. After all, we’ve got a house now! We’re thinking about kids. I can’t be screwing around all of the time.
I like to kid her that she’s Annie from Bull Durham, but it’s not that Susan Sarandon is the most charming of people. Some would even think that Annie had her issues; after all, she did end up devoted to Tim Robbins for the beginning of the season, but still, when Crash Davis needed someone, she was there. As the movie goes off into the sunset, they get to just be because Annie can do that, too.
The reality is she’s more of the Patricia Maris type. I can see her balancing out the unfiltered side of me in the same way Roger’s wife did for him during that 1961 season. I remember reading a story about how when he was ready to quit the pursuit of Babe Ruth’s record at the end of the season, she talked him back into the game during a brief time away from the ball field. In 1998, she ended up in the hospital for an irregular heartbeat after Mark McGwire closed in on her husband’s record, which was the only lasting fame that he had left in baseball after Ford Frick gave him an asterisk for not breaking the record in 154 games. After the Yankees’ fans determined that Maris was no Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle, Roger gradually averaged out in his career and was sent to St. Louis for the 1967 and 1968 seasons. He then retired with no Hall of Fame induction despite his homerun record and 2 MVP seasons (1960 being the other one).
In preserving her love and respect for her husband, she’s a truly American figure in all aspects of the literary phrasing. Behind every great man is an even better woman.
Nevertheless, behind this schlub is a really great woman who is making our house into a beautiful home this afternoon while I sit here blogging in the dead time of my job.
I only hope that I’ve done my best to deserve the great things that have come my way and I strive to continue to do my best for all of the amazing times to come because in the words of Dan Bern, “the best is yet to come.”