I met Mr. K the same place I met all of you: on the internet. It was supposed to be casual. Someone to date, hang out with--definitely not fall in love with. He ruined that notion, of course. Ruined it utterly by coming into my life and coaxing my heart right out of me into his own chest where he's been nurturing and guarding it ever since. He has a lot to answer for, this Mr. K. In fact, I have a whole list of things for which he is completely and utterly to blame.
1. It is completely his fault that I keep taking risks and growing in new ways, because his love is the safest place I know.
2. It is his fault that I have come to believe that nearly anything is possible (except putting the toothpaste back in the tube, or convincing me that our president has a brain larger than a bottle cap); and he's pretty much always right.
3. It is his fault that I write feverishly, day after day because, after years of thinking it was some sort of shameful thing that I do, he is so delighted and charmed by it, that I actually kind of believe him. And I keep doing it.
4. It is his fault if I am funny...because I love to hear him laugh.
5. It is his fault that I've learned to laugh at myself, because he keeps reminding me that almost nothing in life is all that serious.
6. It is his fault that I save up stories all day so that I can breathlessly share them with him--as if I were a sixth grader recounting her day--because he always manages to seem as though the seventh allergy test or the millionth new yarn are the most fascinating things he's heard all day.
7. It is his fault that I know all kinds of new things because he lights up when he talks about science (he's a scientist, if I haven't mentioned it), and his eyes shine and he looks like I imagine he might have as a young boy--and I ask him all kinds of things just so I can watch and learn from that quiet but feverish delight. And I'm on the edge of my chair every time, because it really is as cool as he says.
8. It is his fault that almost all the fears I've ever had have scuttled grumbling into the shadows, because he quietly, determinedly faces them down with me.
9. It is completely his fault that I sleep better than I ever have, cradled on his shoulder every single night .
10. It is his fault that I understand how love can be a verb--a thing you do day in and day out because a person is so much a part of your soul that you can't do anything else. But it doesn't get given to you. You build it.
11. It is his fault that trust and I are finally on speaking terms.
12. It is his fault that at 42 years old, with gravity firmly NOT on my side, I feel more beautiful than I ever have. And that I will when I'm 85 years old, too, because I get to see me through his eyes.
13. It is utterly his fault that I finally know what it is like to feel precious and cherished.
14. It is at least partially Mr. K's fault that I've let the past become the past--because the present and the future with him in it are so much more exciting and important.
15. It is his fault that I still feel goose bumply when I remember the day that I watched him walking across the yard of the house he lived in then, dressed in old boots and torn jeans, filthy from the day's yardwork we shared--and suddenly knew in a moment of pure calm and absolute surety, that I could be anywhere for the rest of my life, as long as he was there, too.
16. It is his fault that I struggle over and over to capture him in words, but fail because they are simple, one-dimensional creatures that completely miss the mark in painting the picture of this man, my heart, the love of my life.
e.e. cummings said it so much better than I can (and if I can borrow words on my own birthday, I guess I can borrow some on his as well). I'm leaving out the middle of the poem and just sharing the first and last verses. Let me know if you want to see the rest...but it's these two parts that really say it best:
"i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling).....
here is the deepest secret that nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)"
I love you, Mr. K. I always will.