I must say, I don't like it one bit. But I do like the reason behind it.
Vern is not what some may guess. And if you try to guess, you may guess wrongly. If you think you know him, you may very well be wrong. Or right. Depending. He is not the kind of man you can put your finger on. He is the sort of man that remains mysterious to those who do not know him well...or well enough.
Indeed, when I first knew him, long before we were ever married, I did not--in fact--know him. I didn't get his sense of humor. Things I liked, he didn't. Or so I thought. We had little fights about movies, the fate of stray cats, whether or not women rock in music, that sort of thing. I thought I had him pegged. He thought he had me pegged. We were both wrong.
Years later, with quite a bit of heartbreak under both of our sleeves, we somehow managed to find the proverbial diamond in the rough. Once we were finally alone in a room together, we had time to talk. And with that talk came the realization that 1) he was sensitive, highly intelligent, very funny and incredibly talented. (It might sound like I'd never known that before, but truly, I always knew he was smart, but not HOW smart he was; I didn't know his sensitive side; I had never seen his silly, goofy side; and I didn't know how important music was to him, nor had I ever heard a song he had written.) And he realized that though I always appeared to be fully capable of taking care of myself, completely confident in my abilities and intelligence, and a busy, social butterfly type of person, I was actually 2) highly sensitive, wrote poetry, composed songs without instruments, had a burned-out headlight on my truck that had not been fixed, was a home-body, and that I was, indeed, much more vulnerable than I appeared at first glance.
The first gift he ever gave me was a new headlight for my truck. He bought it and installed it. I learned that he was what I like to call "a doer." He gets things done. And when he doesn't know how to do them, he figures it out. He is a genius.
Which brings us to the present. He is visiting his grandmother.
When we first started dating, Vern played me a recording. This was no ordinary recording, mind you. When he was in his early twenties, he had the foresight to interview his grandparents on both sides of his family and ask them about their lives. It is an audio recording and it is truly one of the most amazing things I've ever heard in my life. The questions he asked were brilliant and thoughtful. He discovered so much. And what impressed me most was how young he was and how incredibly aware he was of the value of their stories. They are beautiful stories. When his grandmother on his father's side died, he played her recording at her funeral. When his grandfather on his father's side died, at 93, he played the audio interview he had conducted ten years before. I was privileged enough to be there for that. It was miraculous.
Which again brings us to the present. I had to work this weekend. There was no getting out of it, as two other girls are off this weekend and we are short-staffed. But Vern has been wanting to see his Grandma Kay for a long time now. I told him that he should go. He can afford to this weekend, since it's a long weekend. And life is unpredictable. Who is to say that any of us will be here tomorrow? We must take advantage of the time we have, when we have it. That is the essence of happiness.
So, tonight, Vern is in Utah, sleeping in a hotel after a ten-hour drive. And I am at home, missing him. If I had my way, I would never be apart from him. But sometimes, life requires it. And this weekend, he is the man I discovered when I first met him: the sensitive man, thirty-five years old, who takes time off from work to hang out with his grandma.
That's what I call the marrying kind. I love him for it.
|Vern and I visiting Kay on the way back from our wedding. September 2008.|