The trunk was loaded with stuff,
Ruby and Sadie were strapped into the back seat. Their mom and dad were watching as we backed out. They were staying to pack up the apartment for their big move - Ruby was coming with us for the weekend, Sadie is staying with her Auntie. Joe stopped the car for final farewells. Ruby called out, "I'm going miss you." Mike called back, "Gonna miss you more." Sadie, who usually just waves bye bye called out, her voice full of emotion, "I love your heart!"
The trip was full of laughs and mishaps. Sadie managed to dump almost an entire serving of Tim Horton's fruit and yoghurt cup all over herself. We decided that she was going to live a life full of opera and visits to the art gallery ... after all, she'd baptised herself with active culture! We are near sixty and they have to stop and pee way more than we do. At different times. Even Scooby, the dog, needed to drain his tanks regularly. Yikes.
After the back seat fell asleep we rode in quiet. We have a busy weekend ahead of us, tomorrow is our 44th anniversary and a couple days later it's Gay Pride Day, parade and all. Ruby is five and it's her third one. For our anniversary we're got a bid day planned, one which will be full of fun for all of us. It's Ruby's day too so she'd been involved in the planning of it.
After all that ran through my mind, I thought on to the fact that as of tomorrow Joe and I have lived together for 44 years. Forty-four years! I remember the very first time I ever saw him, and I remember the moment I fell in love with him, and I remember the day he told me that he wanted to share his life with me. None of these I choose to share here, they are part of our private story. What matters is that our history is as much a part of our relationship as either of us are.
Usually when people ask me about how we've lasted so long, I've talked about how we built a history together, we have a stack of stories that we tell others and some we tell just to each other, we have a joke that we have played on each other for 44 years that we still find funny. History matters, I'd say, start crafting one was my advice. I also advise that change is simply part of a story. The reason a keyboard has a 'return' button is that sometimes, 'return and start a new paragraph' is the most important key a storyteller needs. Over the years there have been paragraphs that began in new provinces, in new towns, as we moved from place to place. There was a new paragraph for my wheelchair. There was a new paragraph when Joe moved from behind the book table and into co-teaching abuse prevention. Don't be afraid of the 'return' key, it always signifies an exciting change.
Now, though, I have a shorter answer, we've been together for forty four years because, simply ... I love his heart ... and that's really all that matters.
Tomorrow is the book club ... Shannon has written an insightful review of Barnaby Rudge ... tune in then and I'll see you on Pride Day.