In The Family

To Be Known

Husband and Wife

The two-year anniversary of my husband’s death was this week, and I’ve been reflecting on our relationship.  Ours was not an epic romance fit for the Lifetime channel, nor was it a mountain-moving love story like you might read in a Nicholas Sparks novel.  But it was our romance and our love story nonetheless.  We shared an intimacy that we never had with anyone else, and we really knew each other.  No, I’m not using some biblical euphemism for sex.  You can have sex with anyone, but I doubt you’d let just anybody really know you.

Some people spend their whole year looking forward to Christmas, or their birthday.  Brian knew that I spent the whole year looking forward to Cadbury Cream Eggs (especially in the form of a McDonald’s McFlurry) and he liked to buy me my annual first.  He knew that while I like bananas, I despise anything banana flavoured, so he would thoughtfully screen all the yellow jelly beans.  He knew that 99 Red Balloons never failed to lift one of my bad moods, and for him it was Meat Loaf.

Husband and Wife Brian always gave me the icing from his ice cream cake (my favourite part) and in return, I would split my fudge with him (his favourite part).  He could pick up a menu in any restaurant and know what to order for me, and he never judged me for having less exotic culinary tastes.  My Subway order was Sweet Chicken Teriyaki and his was the Melt with double meat.  He ate my pizza crusts without having to ask.  We would pull out a puzzle and without a word, I would start gathering the edge pieces (high fives whenever a corner piece was found) and he would start to work on whichever part looked the most the same and would therefore be the most infuriating for me (like the sky, or grass, or any large section that’s all the same colour).

We finished each other’s sentences regularly, and it was never just a coincidence.  It came from the places deep in us that moved as one.  We knew the punchlines to each other’s jokes.  Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream was always a safe dessert to share and root beer was a soda staple.  He sometimes used my leg razor on his face and if he couldn’t find his pajama pants it’s because I was already wearing them.  Black Jack becomes hard to play when you know each other’s poker faces.

Our love story was not grand, but it was deep.  We loved each other in the kind of way that knows every mole and freckle, the story behind each scar.  I am truly blessed to have been known so deeply, for it might never happen again.  In the five years we had as husband and wife, and the decade before as friends, Brian left a searing hand print on my soul. A little burning sign saying, “I was here, and I knew these depths”.  That hand print is there because I let him put it there.  I opened myself up, spilled every secret, revealed every vulnerability, all to be known.

 

– Liz

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7 Comments

  1. Bex
    3 years ago

    Beautiful my friend.

    Reply
  2. Jamey McDonald
    3 years ago

    Well written, thanks for sharing. It was so good to see you last week!

    Reply
    1. Liz
      3 years ago

      Thanks, Jamey! Really good to see you 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kate Bogar
    3 years ago

    Through your dad I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of your posts, and you are always so well-spoken… I send you thoughts of love and support in your journey <3 <3
    Your loving third cousin,
    Kate (Bingeman) Bogar

    Reply
    1. Liz
      3 years ago

      Thank you, Kate!

      Reply
  4. Colette Squires
    3 years ago

    Lovely writing, Liz. You have explained something that is so important but so often missed: the deep things of life are often expressed in small, everyday details. We can look for the big things, the sensational, the showstopping events and the headlines, but so much of life is expressed in the small, intimate details of everyday life. So much of loving is in the everyday details of paying attention to the other person, knowing their likes, dislikes, strengths, and quirks, and choosing to be loving, thoughtful, considerate, and caring in a faithful, steadfast, everyday way. Not-yet-marrieds who are trying to dream up the most elaborate way possible to propose to their beloved can benefit from remembering the message of your article.

    Reply
  5. Christmas memories | spiralboundthoughts
    3 years ago

    […] treasured (and probably valuable) possession.  A while back I wrote a post on what it’s like to be known, and the gifts people give you are an excellent indicator of how intimately you are known by those […]

    Reply

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