By any stretch of the imagination, it had been an ordinary Saturday. The morning started with my cat, not getting the concept of "the weekend", jumping onto my back and patting my head at the work day wake up time of 6:15 am, demanding to be fed. I did not oblige!
Three hours later, my husband Bob and I finally awakened from our slumber, ate breakfast, showered, dressed, and then, along with my 15-year old daughter Melissa, got in the car to run some errands.
After Bob found the printer cartridges he needed in the office supply store, we heard a strange noise, a sound which led us to believe that thousands of tiny pellets were pounding on the roof. Curious, we peeked outside. A rare mid-March hail storm had briefly gripped our southern New Jersey neighborhood.
Devoid of an umbrella, Melissa and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing. No way were we going out in that unpleasant mess! Cue Bob to the rescue!
"You stay here," he said. "I'll go get the car and pull it up in front of the store."
My sweet Bob.
A little gesture like this may not seem significant, but for me, his wife of nearly 19 years, there is not a day that goes by where I don't appreciate all of the wonderful things Bob does to make my life easier. He does these things, quite simply, because he loves me and wants me to feel special.
Before my husband came into my life, "special" did not seem like an adjective I would ever use to describe myself, and the guy I dated on and off for four years reinforced that belief.
"John" (not his real name) lived in an apartment complex which boasted a fairly large pool, complete with shuffle board, tennis courts, and a volleyball net placed firmly in a pit full of sand. I occasionally joined John and his roommate at their pool, wearing an "I hope I don't look fat" bathing suit and longing for my boyfriend's attention, which he gave to everyone and everything but me.
When John and his roommate jumped up to join a game of volleyball, neither one of them invited me to play. Driven by my low self-esteem and the illogical conclusion that if I followed John over to the sand pit, he might actually take notice of me, I decided that I too, would go play.
Although I would describe my athletic skills as mediocre at best, I had played volleyball during the sun-drenched days of summer camp and I knew the basic technique. If the ball flew over the net in your direction, you hit it. How hard could it be?
So the "friendly" game began, and I found myself standing there, in a large t-shirt designed to hide my whale-sized suit, watching John and his roommate go play for the other team and generally being ignored by everyone else involved, guys and bikini-clad girls alike.
Then, it happened.
The ball soared high, high, high over the net...straight in my direction. I looked up towards the sky and spotted my prey. I held out both hands, preparing to hit the ball from here to oblivion.
Suddenly, one of the rather large guys playing on my side of the net, a man at least 15 years older and 90 pounds heavier than me, temporarily thought he was playing professional tackle football and that apparently the person standing next to him was, perhaps, a wide receiver and not a 23-year old young woman clad in an ugly t-shirt.
He yelled, "I GOT IT!" and he pushed me out of the way so hard that I fell to the ground.
Embarrassed, ashamed, furious, and near tears, I briefly acknowledged the idiot's feeble apology as I wiped the sand off my face and stumbled to my feet. John, who had watched this encounter from the safety of the other side of the net...did not come over to me, did not help me, and did not console me.
He did absolutely nothing.
To this day I wish I had stormed off of the volleyball court, picked up my things and walked out of his life. But I did nothing. NOTHING. Except allow the relationship to continue for two more years...until I met my Bob... and never looked back.
So on a rainy March Saturday filled with routine errands, I take stock of how much I have, and how much I am loved, and how much I love in return, and I take nothing for granted.
|My sweet Bob, Melissa, and me!|
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