Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Wifey . . .

It is an odd coincidence that this is my 483rd blog post?  Maybe.  Maybe not.   Why 483?  Why even mention it?  

That is the amount of pounds inside my skin the morning of my gastric bypass surgery. That is the number of days between the day I met Joy and the day I met Joy and the date of the first Thanksgiving we shared as an engaged couple. That is the number of seconds (about eight minutes) in between me first meeting Joy and knowing that - in some capacity - Joy would always be in my life and that I would be better off for having her there.

I was talking with Ryan the other day and I said something, outloud, that I have talked about here in writing and have talked (verbally) with Wifey before and a few very close friends but that I have never talked to any of my family about (we don't exactly share things all that well in my family - I love them all but . . . ) and his pause said it all. I told Ryan that Joy saved my life.  It is not her love and affection, not her kisses 0r quirks (like REFUSING to go exit Lowes through the automatic Enter doors, for example) or her ample bossom (giggle, giggle) or even her beautiful smile or warming laugh that I would credit.  Nope.  It is her PRESENCE that has kept me here.

It sounds cliche. I get that. And it sounds oftly, uh, "soft" and I am fine with that. I think that, like people who claim to be able to see and communicate with ghosts (Jennifer Love Hewitt, et al) that unless you have experienced this sort of "feeling" first hand - it is easy to dismiss the notion that someone can save your life just by being there. By simly loving you. And by willing you to "be" there with them in return.

It is real though.  Trust me.  I have yet to lie to you in almost 500 blog posts (except the one post where I was open about the lie being there to vote on).  I've felt it.

Joy is one of those people that made me - a cynic by CHOICE - believe in the crap I just spewed above. Not only do I believe it but I'll blog about it for the world to collectively roll their eyes at. I felt it first hand. I was a witness to her greatness. She is great. She is that powerful. She is that wonderful. 

But don't, as Jordy LaForge, might say, take my word for it.

Witness our daughter, Ava Grace Amore. 

Joy might not have passed Ava in to this world like so many watermelons passing through a rain gutter (I saw her "crown" - don't dismiss me on that - childbirth is AMAZING and horrifying) but she brought her in to this world.  She, and her love, nurtured the child we now hold and share a bed with (grimace) inside the womb of the woman that carried her.    

She willed Ava to survive to the things that I won't even get in to in this forum from the very minute we found out that adopting Ava was an option for us in January and the minute she first held Ava.  That is seven months, two weeks, three days and one hour (give or take a few mintues later) of loving and protecting a child from 1,000+ miles away and she's been doing it ever since - at much closer distances.

Her presence and force got Ava through the NICU. It got her through her first cold. Her first bump and bruise. Her first rollovers and her first teeth. Her first crawls. Her first falls. Her first steps and her first tumbles. Joy's presence and gifts made a girl that a nurse at the hospital once told us that we'd be "smart" to "just get in our car, drive back to Connecticut and forget all about" into a child that strangers will stop short to comment on. 

Ava has overcome every single obstacle (except her utter refusal to eat three full meals a day (smile)) that we were told might plague us and she's done so in a way that even her pediatrician marvels at.

That's not luck. That's not fate. That's not "God's will" and that's not something that just sort of happened. I've seen the statistics. That is hard work.  Hard work and lots of love.  Lots of power and belief and presence.  Ava should not be the "Bidders" who is refusing to go to sleep as I type this. No.  That is Joy.  That is Wifey.  That is PRESENCE.    

This life that we, as a family, have engineered and enjoy (and believe me - we've COLLECTIVELY orchestrated all of this behind the power and guidance of Joy) is the simple and seemingly effortless WORK of a woman who has a gift. The gift to give, save, improve and build lives.

I'm the lucky bastard that gets to lay next to her at night and gets to suffer her brilliance (when it turns on me - which it occassionally does (smile)) and our daughter is the lucky woman that will have a model of motherhood, womanhood, sisterhood, individuality and grace that is her Mother.

We don't thank her enough. We aren't reverent enough. We aren't deserving of it or her on any given day. But she just keeps on giving us her gift. The gift of her presence.

Happy Mother's Day, Wifey! Thank you for all you do.  Like being here and willing us to greatness. 

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