The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mr. K

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.


  • At 7:40 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    ::sniffle:: Lovely. Happy Birthday, Mr. K!

    (And thanks for bringing my own #15 back so vividly.)

  • At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love you both,
    Happy Birthday from your

  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger Peg-woolinmysoup said…

    Happy Birthday Mr. K! You are a lucky guy! Please get Mrs. K. to share the rest of the poem with us - that is if she has time out from writing to MN! That gal can make me cry or laugh - all in the same sentence! Does she do that to you too?

  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Sniffle indeed , floods in Reading too. If I was as clever at writing I'd have liked to have written that for Jeff .So Mr K you keep encouraging Florence to write please .

  • At 3:39 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Happy Birthday, Mr. K, sending all sorts of birthday wishes to you, and quite a bit of love (from me) to you...

    Ms.K....that's right...'make'em cry'.....

  • At 4:17 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Oh beautiful words - both yours and ee cummings - this is a lovely post and I wish Mr K a happy birthday.

  • At 4:32 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    That was just beautiful. Happy birthday to your sweetie; I hope you both have many, many more happy birthdays together.

  • At 4:40 AM, Blogger lisalouryan said…

    The first time I ever met my husband, he walked into the room and I knew that he would play a big role in my life somehow.

    It took us two more years and a couple of meetings to finally get our act together - but the first time I saw him I knew.

    Mind you, you put it into words in such a beautiful way.

    Best wishes for a great birthday celebration!

  • At 6:34 AM, Blogger Robin said…

    Beautiful...Happy B-day Mr. K!!

  • At 6:48 AM, Blogger Faren said…

    beautiful I had to read it in three different parts I was tearing up so bad. It spoke to me very well.
    Happy Birthday Mr. K!

  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger ccr in MA said…

    That was beautiful. Thank you.

  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    *sniff, sniff*

    We already knew what a lucky guy Mr. K is to have you, but how wonderful that it goes the other way, too! Happy Birthday, Mr. K!!

  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger Charity said…

    Aw, Ms. K, you brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful. And happy birthday to a man who (I'm sure) thinks he's as lucky and blessed as you do. :0)

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    happy birthday MR K:)

  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Happy Birthday, Mr K. And Ms K, that's *exactly* what love ought to feel like. Huzzah to you for having good sense as well as good smarts.

    For the rest of y'all, Cameron Diaz recites that poem [rather well!]near the end of "In Her Shoes". And it fits that occasion as well as it does this one.

  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Dianne said…

    Happy Birthday Mr.K..and what a beautiful tribute..Your relationship sounds so awesome!!..A rarity in this era...Best Wishes for a great birthday!

  • At 3:01 PM, Blogger nic the phleb said…

    How am I supposed to draw people with tears blurring my view, and snot running down onto the tubes?!?! You give me hope that True Love is still out there somewhere!! Thank you and God Bless your marriage!!!


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