Our life together was an extraordinary friendship. Our marriage was a roller coaster ride of good and bad, happy and sad, but ALWAYS filled with love and humor. He was a sweet man and a quiet man. He was a wonderful, loving father and grandfather. He loved to go camping and got me hooked on it from almost the first moment we met, even though I hated the bugs! We raised our kids each summer in a tent every weekend we had a chance. He liked to design things (he wanted to be an architect) and made a manger we displayed for the last 36 years under our tree. He loved boats (we could never afford one), swimming, and water-skiing. He was the pessimist. I was the optimist. He had knobby knees and no butt and I told him I loved them...all the time. He loved to bake things; it relaxed him. His homemade pretzels were amazing and oh my gosh the cinnamon rolls! He definitely loved his carbs...<smile>. Holidays were the best. We did it all, the corny and the old-fashioned. The yummiest food, the greatest parties, the thankful words always spoken, and the most cherished were Christmas mornings. He was the video man for everything and there is one that stands above all others. The second our first grandchild was born. He was taking the video in the corner of the delivery room, while my son-in-law and I were coaching our daughter. All of a sudden the baby arrives and the camera begins it's slow focus to the floor as if it "saw" the same moment of awe as Keith was experiencing. He was AM radio; I was FM. He listened to Neal Boortz every morning on his way to work and had a very fiesty Republican view on everything! I learned a lot about politics. I didn't ask, but I learned...<smile> He liked to walk on the beach and Tybee Island became our favorite spot to go when we could. He was happiest, after a long day of work, to put his feet up, dangle his Nikes, and relax in his recliner watching the news. On weekends, he'd putter around the yard and play with the grand-kids. We loved a good movie and popcorn...and cuddling. We were the corny ones holding hands as we walked into Wal-mart. we'd look at the older couples doing the same thing and say, "That'll be us when we're 80. God had other plans.
Though my faith took a nose-dive in the beginning months, and my feelings flip-flopped, I knew, somehow, he was still around. There were little things that happened that stopped and made me do a double-take and wonder. I believe a sense of wonder is a healthy thing; it keeps the child within you alive and on your toes with the mysteries of life. And whether, in grief, we all hallucinate "feelings and things", so what? Someone once said, "What's the harm in believing?" I agree.
People say, "Time is a funny thing." I disagree. Time is serious and short. Use it wisely; we don't know how much of it we have been given. So love more, do more, be kinder, be gentler, be more positive, if only because we are all in this lifeboat together. Most of all, cuddle and hold hands the next time you walk into Wal-mart.