Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine for My Hillbilly

In honor of Valentine's Day (and for the Monday Listicle) I present: 10 Things I Love About My Hillbilly.

1. He spoils me rotten. If I want to take a trip, we take a trip. If I want to see a movie, we see a movie. If I want to go out to dinner, we go out to dinner. In return for all this spoiling, I do my best to spoil him back. He deserves it.

2. He takes care of me. The other day, he came in from another room and asked if I had used my inhaler because my breathing didn't sound good. He makes sure I take my vitamins. Mostly, he's there for me when I'm sad or worried. When I start acting stressed out, he'll pull me onto his lap and just hold me until I relax. Then he talks me through whatever is bothering me and lets me find the answers.

3. He doesn't tell me what to do. He asks, but he never tells.

4. He loves my children. He has been there for them during some difficult times. He instinctively knows just how much advice he can give without offending them. He knows when it's time to let me do the talking. He enjoys spending time with them as much as I do.

5. We don't have "His and Her" grandchildren. Our grandchildren are our grandchildren. Neither of us would have it any other way.

6. He makes me laugh. He likes to make me laugh, and I enjoy his sense of humor.

7. He makes me feel safe. I know he'll never hurt me, and he'll protect me from as much of the world as he possibly can.

8. He makes me beautiful. I felt old and ugly for many years before I met My Hillbilly. I had been led to believe that there was nothing attractive in me. He came along and saw nothing but beautiful. I believed him.

9. He's smart. He can do math in his head, y'all!! I never have to dumb down my vocabulary for him. He makes wise decisions. He sees and understands situations clearly and quickly.

10. He has the most beautiful, tender heart I've ever known. The man is 60 years old, and outdoorsy and rugged. He hunts and fishes. But he's not ashamed to cry. He is touched by the pain of others. He loves deeply.

Wow! I've gotten to 10, and I'm not nearly finished. After my first marriage ended, I read
a book by Neil Clark Warren that suggested making of a list, before you start dating, of 10 characteristics a partner must have. These are 10 non-negotiables that will help you recognize that someone is the person you can be compatible with the rest of your life. It didn't take me long to recognize that My Hillbilly had all 10 things on my list. Since then I've just found more and more to love about him.

We've never had a real argument in our 8 years of marriage. Mostly, we just focus on making one another happy. And it works. Because we are.

Still my favorite picture of us.