I’ll admit it–the Crankee Yankee is a much nicer person than I am. He cheerfully does all those things I hate to do, such as clean the microbe-ridden area just behind the toilet. He will also:
- clean the litter boxes twice a day (for FOUR cats, mind you!)
- eat up the leftovers at which I turn up my nose
- help anyone out at any time
- patiently and kindly answer the questions of the slightly batty old woman who often walks by our house
- rescue any animal in need (and I mean ANY animal–it would not surprise me to see him leading an elephant up to our door)
- clean up the cat barf on the rug
- vacuum–a job that I despise
Additionally, he knows the name of every person and pet on our street. Because he is out-going and friendly, people come to him for all kinds of advice. If he can’t fix or mend or handle something someone needs help with, he knows someone who can.
Bless him, he puts up with me and all my myriad moods and megrims. He still thinks I am beautiful, and fails to see my many flaws. Where I get snarky when hurt or angry, he puts himself on the back burner to stew and then to mellow. He is tough when he has to be, and unfailingly kind when he doesn’t need to be. He honestly believes that I have no faults, and can’t remember a bad patch in our nearly 14 years of marriage.
In this trying and tender time of helping my dad care for my dying mother, he is a rock, a comfort, a help, a partner, a soft place to fall. I have cried in his arms more than I can count, and when I think of all the trivial little habits of his that can drive me nuts, they are as nothing now when I need and rely on him so much.
He has lost both of his parents; his dad to Alzheimer’s, and his mom eight years ago to lung cancer. We moved in with her and cared for her, and, along with his younger brother and his wife and Hospice, we were with her until the end. He wouldn’t leave her side, but allowed me to go home to rest and get a break.
Although both of us are far from perfect, we find that we are perfect for each other. This time of life is especially bittersweet. While my parents are working their way through this period of their nearly 60-year marriage, the Crankee Yankee and I are connecting and committing to each other in a completely new way. It is a messy, undisciplined and frustrating time of life right now, and I find I cannot focus on more than just being there for my parents.
But what I can focus on is the strength and love of this amazing person who chose me on purpose! As the song goes, “*God only knows what I’d be without you!”
Thank you, my Crankee Yankee.
*”God Only Knows,” by the Beach Boys