Thursday, July 05, 2007

The List

I found myself tearing up while sitting waiting to do some lab tests. I was reading an article in a magazine that was really touching. I actually had to close the magazine and not finish the article because I didn't want people to think I was tearing up because of being afraid of getting blood drawn.

The writer of the article, Ellen Greene, met her second husband Marsh when she was 39 years old, and began to keep a list. Her list included endearing things about Marsh. Some of the things she listed were humorous, some were romantic, some were just typical of who he was as a person. The article chronicled their life together, along with the list of endearments, but also chronicled his subsequent death from Parkinson's disease.

What initially drew my attention in this article was a section that talked about how they spent three years living in China. He was asked by his company to oversee a joint venture factory making valves. I couldn't believe it when I read that because this is EXACTLY what my husband wants to do in his life. In fact, when we lived in China before, my husband was working for a company that sold control valves.

I really identified with their China experience, but I also identified with his death from Parkinson's disease. A good friend of mine also died a couple of years ago from Parkinson's disease. I saw what the disease does, and how it affects the person. So I was sympathetic as I read how they spent his remaining days trying to enjoy his lucid moments. She would read her "lists" to him, and they would reminisce about the past.

I think the China/ Parkinson's connection is what drew me to the article, but what touched me most was the list. She was 39 when she met him. I am almost 46. I'm a little older than her when she started her list, but I think I would like to make a list too. I've been thinking I would like to buy a special journal to preserve my list. I think this would be a good practice for young couples so that when they go through tough times, they can look back and remember all of the good things about each other. However, my reason for wanting to keep a list is different. I just don't want to forget all of the little things.

So here is my first item on my list. My husband bought a bag of truffles that were discounted. Yesterday, the 4th of July, was a scorcher, so we were trying the best we could to keep cool. He decided to open the truffles and try some. But to his surprise, the whole bag of candy had melted in the heat, and had become a bag of chocolate syrup. He disappeared downstairs for awhile. When I went downstairs, I found him sitting with a bowl of strawberries. He said, "You have to try one of these." I said, "Wait, come look in the mirror first." He said, "No, first try one of these. You really need to try one." I said, "Okay, if you will go look in the mirror after I do, I will try one." was a really tasty treat. So he went and looked in the mirror and saw, as I had, that he had chocolate all over his face, including a huge smudge on the front of his nose.

There are other endearing things about him.

--When we are rushed, and flustered trying to do something, he will say, "Relax, we have all the time in the world." It has such a calming influence on me, and I find myself telling others the same thing at times.

--I mentioned in an earlier post when he said, "When I found you, it was like finding a secret no one else knew about."

--Occasionally, when we are making the bed together, I have a stupid moment and forget and actually ask him to hand me a pillow. Of course he throws it at me. :)

--He knows EXACTLY which spot to itch on my back. I think this is an instinct because if the spot moves, he still instinctively knows where it itches. There have been times when I didn't even tell him my back itched, but he reached over and scratched it right where it itched!

--When my children were young and throwing temper tantrums, he would hold them to try to calm them down. They would scream and fuss, and he would call out, "Louder!"

--He talks with his hands. Our whole family has tried at times to mimmick him, but no one quite gets it right. He just has his own style. He was born in to the wrong culture..he should have been Italian.

--He is very dramatic when he talks. No one could lose interest when he tells a story.

Well, I guess that is a good start. I hope you will start your own list too. :)

Oh! I just found the article on line. You can read it for yourself. :) Just copy and paste this link in to your browser.

This link is the actual list:

This link is what she wrote about their life:


Epitome of Sweetness said...

Have you ever read the book
P.S. I Love You?
I love that book, it's a cute, younger style book...but it has a great message. If anyone wants me to send it to them, I can

Amber said...

I love that line about you being a secret - that could be one of the most romantic things I've ever heard! :)