Letters to Aaron: a rose by any other name...

Those early days of you and I were cold, dark ones. Huddled together, reporting the events of a child's day in terms of intake and output, medication boluses, infection, test results, statistics. A specter in the bed beside us, silent and shivering with the activity of machinery as, one after another, body functions were replaced with mechanized equivalent. We ran together to the snap of the air outdoors: on snowboards, we flew down hills filled with the cacophony of suburban youth. In your hometown, we sat on frosty picnic tables shooting handguns at straw bails. The tracks we left on a sand dune, on our way to say goodbye to one of our patients and a dear family. Pioneers together in a forest of taboo...coworkers falling in love...nurses going to a funeral...somehow we pole vaulted obstacles together. Perhaps that was more of a presage than we knew.

You wrote love letters from Seattle while we were dating.

But, with all the talking, the living together, no letters come now. A few lines penned in cards for important occasions, and I am proud of you for remembering as our lives fill with a litany of responsibilities. 

But I still wish for flowers.

And every spring, my wish comes true. In the front lawn, right along with the grass sprouting it's yellow-green come tulips and crocuses. You planted them just for fun...a visual bouquet that has bloomed every year since 2009.

Pioneers still, we have to push to remember how to be intrepid after a long hibernation in our world of child-raising and home-building. 

"Renaissance man". It's the only thing I've ever called you, other than simply Aaron. Your beard-wearing, sausage-making, hunting, fishing, poetry loving, beauty finding, audiophilic, logophilic, intellectual, mechanical, musical genius amazes me. If there was a manual for Renaissance men, you'd be on the cover. 

You are a still man. A soul of peace, hands steady for their work, intent, focused, unwavering. Silent at times...sometimes maddeningly so to a woman of words.

What you celebrate with action, putting feet in place of words, may go unnoticed if I don't still my soul to your rhythm.  You haven't brought me flowers for almost a year now. But in the quiet afternoon of a warm spring day, you lift me from my work and pull me to our bedroom window: there, on the hill, 100 daffodils blooming in the long grass. You planted them on the sly last fall, and waited patiently to unveil this gift. It is a gift of being known, because who else would remember yellow is my favorite color and I love the way a daffodil's bell swings like a hoop skirt in the breeze? Being together, in quiet stolen moments, surrounded only by our own whispers and our own footfalls, it comes, the visceral memory, we are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matt. 19:6)

I still wish for flowers.

And you still give them, in your unconventional and endearing way - not in a vase, but among the weeds, a lasting gift that comes every year as the earth awakens.

And now you've taught your son, too, that Mama likes wildflowers best. He flies up the front steps with chubby fists full of dandelions every day. He's going to make a great husband.

Pieced together with words from 2009 and some new ones as I reflect on marriage today. I've thought about it time and again, and finally I'm doing it: joining Seth and Amber Haines and my friends Joy and Scott Bennett as they write letters to their spouses each week. The prompt this week was "names I call you".