What do you give the love of your life for Xmas? What do you give your husband of 40 years for Xmas? Oops! The first question also applies to you, Ricardo. Putting that aside – another blog another day, I need to focus on the impossible.
Sure, there are plenty of gifts I could buy my soul mate starting with the smellies, or to be fancy the aftershave. With names like Diesel, Sauvage and Only The Brave, I’m off to a flying start, although I associate the name Diesel with petrol and no matter how lovely the fragrance smells, my brain says otherwise. Old Spice is still doing the rounds, but my auld fella turns his nose up even at the mention of it.
MY SOLE MATE (not a spelling error)
Something to wear is a good option, but I can guarantee that it won’t be quite right and he will tell me so. I did get it right last Xmas when I bought him an UGGS tracksuit in Macey’s sale or Saldi as they say in Milano. Now he’s UGGS mad and spends hours admiring himself in the mirror. Perhaps I should get him the UGGS boots to match.
Penneys in Galway do a great version of them. Sssh! He’s the male equivalent of Imelda Marcos, although he doesn’t have 800 pairs plus – only 699. Have you heard the story of the old woman who lived in a shoe? That’s me. Every so often he pulls out a pair and admires them with the inevitable comment, which I lip-sync with – ‘It’s amazing. These look as good as new.’ Considering he bought them 40 years ago in Brixton market. and has only worn them once it’s not surprising.
The beginning of my day,
My first thoughts are always with you,
Throughout the day
I stop and think about you,
A smile on my face,
My heart overflowing with love for you.
In those more serious moments
when we have challenges to meet,
It’s the depth of our love that sees us through.
As night times chases away the last glimmer of daylight,
And envelopes us in its velvet cloak,
I am held close to your heart,
Secure in our love.
GADGET MA N
Yes, he’s a techie man, a gadget man. If it hasn’t got a plug on the end of it he’s not interested. If it can’t be charged up then it’s definitely a no-no. And although I like to think I’m his best friend I know deep down that if he had to choose between his laptop or me…. No! I won’t go there.
Joking apart he’s the ultimate Mr Positive and his love of life coaching has taken him as far as Cairo, virtually of course. He’s my personal Google and I’m surprised his brain hasn’t exploded with all the facts it contains. Talking to random strangers, life coaching at the bus stop, offering career guidance, and now designing his own websites, I can’t keep up with him.
You know that feeling you get when you take up jogging or go to the gym for the first time, and these lycra clad, non-sweaty people are forging ahead with a smile on their face, that’s me. I’m more stroll-driven than goal-driven.
His love and knowledge of classical music astounds me. An incredibly special memory for me is visualizing the joy on his face when we attended a performance at La Scala in Milan. For him it was a dream come true. His grandmother used to bring him to concerts at the City Hall in Cape Town. A beautiful legacy to pass on through the generations.
Another dream realized was studying Psychology, Sociology and German at NUIG in his 60’s. He graduated with a 2.1 in Sociology and German. Part of his German course was to perform in a German play. He was one of the Gods. The pride on his face on graduation day was classic and inevitably we have the crazy photo where he’s wearing joke google eyes.
That’s my guy. Voluntary work in London, Cape Town, and pre-COVID-19 in Galway, has been one of many passions. Helping asylum seekers and refugees, raising money for a children centre, supporting, and coaching in any way he can. “Richard you are a man with a strong spirit, strong faith, and a unique sense of humour and so much love. You are truly special not only to me but to many other people across the world. You are adorably ‘YOU!”
I’m the Mindy to his Mork. Do any of you remember the TV show in the late 70’s, early 80’s, with the lovely Robin Williams? Our children were always suspicious as Ricardo has one exceptionally long eyebrow hair that looks like a miniature radar of some sort and it does twitch.
We’ve always suspected his origins were more Planet Z than District Six in Cape Town. Driving past Area 51 in Nevada he always demands to be let out and ‘phone home’ and his index finger glows. That’s a boon as we don’t need matches to light the fire.
A MAN IN A MILLION
People talk about meeting their soul-mate. I was fortunate or perhaps clever. A friend introduced us and asked him to join us for coffee. He refused politely saying he had left bread to rise at home and needed to get it in the oven. A man who makes his own bread. Wow! He always tells people that it was love at first fright.
Cheeky, but that’s my man. In our 44 years of marriage, he has been faithful, loyal, kind, a fantastic father and now a crazy grandfather. He makes me laugh every day. A fantastic cook who asks me what I would like for dinner – what more could a girl want. Ironing, cleaning, and my blog webmaster he’s a man of many talents. Sure, we’ve had spats but he never fails to make me feel good. I know I’m the only woman in his life as he always reminds me, and he’s always been the only man for me. Life without him would be empty.
MY XMAS GIFT
Decision made. Your Xmas gift this year from me is this blog. Fictitious in places but factual where it matters most. When I was writing and making cards in Cape Town, my inspiration for so many verses were our children and especially you, Richard. Besides being a wonderful and loving husband (albeit nuts), you are a great dad and grandfather. You continue to create the Richard Story, leaving messages for your grandchildren on voicemail, some profound and positive, others off the planet – hardly surprising considering your ET similarity.
You were the inspiration for the verses, Father and Grandfather and many more. I took the liberty of writing them on behalf of our lovely family. I know they love and treasure you as much as I do. These verses are messages from the heart from your children and grandchildren. Oceans may separate them, but their love for you knows no boundaries.
You have always been there,
Holding me close in your arms and heart,
Pushing me gently out into the world,
And when I fearfully looked back,
You held me strongly in your gaze,
The message clear –
“You can do it!”
You gave me the greatest gifts on earth,
Love and loyalty,
Compassion and tolerance,
Strong values and a strong spirit.
You taught me to hold my head up high,
To recognize the goodness in everyone I met.
You taught me how to stand firm and be proud
Of my individuality, my culture,
My family, myself.
You are forever with me,
Held in my heart with love and pride.
A grandfather is like the tree of life,
Rooted in his culture and experience,
Branching out to encompass and shelter,
His children, his children’s children,
Creating stories, a sense of continuity and lives entwined,
Like the branches that cover the trees,
Changing with the seasons, growing, and evolving,
The rich verdant leaves flourishing,
Each one different, each one telling a different story.
Joy, happiness, sadness, grief,
Etched deeply into the grooves and furrows,
The memories, the timeless stories, the history,
Which has brought us all to where we are now.
A grandfather is not just any man,
He is the father of fathers,
The keeper of the family values,
The heart that echoes and sings our song.
The strength of the family tree,
The heart that beats with love and pride,
The heart that echoes and sings our song.
I have written two novels available on Amazon