Today we celebrate Birthentine’s Day—the eve of Valentine’s Day and John’s birthday. Fifty-eight years ago, in Bronxville, New York, Patricia Cade Rich and John Irving Rich announced to the world the arrival of John Junior, their first-born. I’m awfully glad of this, because if they hadn’t, then where would I be? Probably back in Ohio, freezing while scraping the ice off my car in order to drive to my former job, where I would work long hours, stop at Tooo Chinoise to pick up Chicken Lo Mein, and take it home for dinner. Would I be loveless? Sad to think about this, but yes. Quite possibly I would be, because if the love of my life had not been born, he would not have managed—against all odds of time and space and circumstance—to find me. Certainly I would not be writing this blog, for without The Midlife Second Husband there would be no Midlife Second Wife.
Pat and Jack, I wish you were still alive so I could know you, and thank you, and tell you that I love you for the amazing son you raised.
What do you give a man who has given you the best of everything that money can’t buy? (I can’t tell you here, because then he won’t be surprised when he opens his present tonight at dinner.)
What I can tell you is that when it comes to giving, John has no equal. When we first met, he advised me that if I wanted the key to understanding him, I needed to know that his favorite book was The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.
I needn’t tell you that it is the tree—not the little boy—that John identifies with in the book.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. To mark the occasion, I will be writing a post that I hope will give you some idea of what a giving person my John is. But now I must go. I have a present to wrap.
John Rich said:
You ARE my gift, Marci! “Once there was a tree. And she loved a little boy.” That you remembered that this story has and always be at the core of who I am is beyond words. And, fast forwarding to the end of the story, “And the tree was happy.”
I love you.
John, you are my tree and my rock and my love. xoxoxo
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