To My Sweet Annaree  (12/21/2011)

Happy Birthday, my Sweet Annaree!

Time and time again, I am reminded, almost daily, of something that I've known for thirty-five years, now: You are the missing piece in my Life, the other half of my whole, the touch upon my shoulder, and the rush that rides the soft Southern breeze....

Yesterday was a classic example. Our first foray into Christmas shopping; we both know that the coin is tight this year, and that we had to cut corners while still being as considerate and thoughtful with each gift as we could. You took that challenge to heart with the grace and dignity that you always have, and it has not been diminished with age, as well. When we couldn't agree on a particular purchase, you offered suggestions, yet heard mine own, as well. Always, you've been masterful at expressing your own viewpoints but not at the expense of my own thoughts: How RARE a talent, that is, Ann!

When our shopping was complete, our car died in the parking lot: The beginning of a very cold, two hour long ordeal to get the beast towed home and finally bring our evening to an end. Yet, you stood side by side with me through that, helping where you could, and silently supporting me when you couldn't: Never once complaining, or using this quite accidental occurrence as a tool to gain your own advantage. How RARE a tendancy, that is, Ann!

Several other 'Friends' of mine would have immediately turned that minor disaster into a personal attack, or used it to press their own advantage, somehow. It took me awhile to realize, this my Love, but those other people are mere CHILDREN. You, however, are a true Woman...

And when we were finally home, the first thing you do? You knew I stood out in that cold for an additional half hour after you had safely headed home. You met me at the door, once our broken automobile was safe in the driveway, with a mug of hot coffee for me, ready to drink...

You amaze me, no more than you have for the last thirty-six years I have known you. I am humbled and yet quite blessed to be your companion through this particular path through the 'Infinite Voyage'...

Today is your birthday, my Sweet Annaree... Thirty-six years later, and I still find you the only voice I can listen to without fear, the only shoulder I can weep on without trepidation, the only gentle touch that can sooth me without condition, cause, or conceit... You are as beautiful now (and more so, truly) than the day you were when you glided down those stairs and fell into my arms, a mere teenager...

I have little to gift you with, this year, I'm afraid, but what I do have is now yours, as it always has been. I give to you my Love, my support, my friendship, my guidance, and my talents - each and every one of them. You have been, are, and shall always be First in my life, sweet lady, to the exclusion of all others. I can no more exist without you in my life then I can breath without air and still live, and when the time comes that you finally pass the veil of this existence and into the next one, you can be assured of one thing:

I WILL be there waiting for you.. In Life or in Death, my existence has been, is, and will always be completely meaningless without you by my side....

Happy Birthday, My Queen...

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