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Plans change

Seventeen years ago today, on another Saturday afternoon, Cheryl and I got married. Unfortunately, I got sick the night after our wedding and we spent our honeymoon in the ER. I spent it doing unmentionable things with the contents of my stomach.

Today, all these years later, we spent the day in a familiar spot – a hospital – this time with Adam as he had his ailing appendix out.

I’d say the day is cursed, but I’d be exaggerating.

Me? Exaggerate? I know!

We’ve had many wonderful years in between, and we have no reason to believe we won’t have many more wonderful years to come.

Adam is in great spirits after his surgery, pointing out all the cool stuff he has in his room, and plugged into his body explaining to me what they all do. Cheryl and I are happy.

Who needs a grand celebration when we have a great life to live?


With these rings

I’m almost sure I’m revisiting this topic, but it’s a worthy subject.

What? You don’t believe me?

The other day Cheryl was talking to someone about her grandmother’s wedding ring. Cheryl wears it on the “other hand,” in addition to her own, which she wears on her “right hand,” which of course is her left. I had a little too much fun writing that sentence.

“Is that the first one?” someone asked. It was (is) her grandmother’s first – but only if you accept the premise of subsequent wedding rings. Later it was revealed her cousin had “the other wedding ring.”

Now, in case you haven’t noticed, I can be the ornery sort. Once I get something in my head and circle the logic wagons, I can be pretty dern’ stubborn. The first thing that came to mind was, “what? Was she married to someone else later who I don’t know about?” I knew she hadn’t. (I’m a big fan of rhetorical questions, as long as I’m doing the asking.) It was spontaneous sarcasm – which can be remarkably similar to sponateous combustion when used in the wrong setting. Luckily, I kept my first thought to myself. My second thought was simple.


“What was that John?”

“No. There is no ‘other’ wedding ring. There’s one wedding ring – the one when you get married. There’s one ring that represents the commitment, trust, and love of marriage. Everything else is just jewelry.”

“But the other one was blessed….” someone replied.

And that’s when I upped the rhetorical ante.

“I don’t care if you put it in your mouth and sucked on it like a Lifesaver, it’s still not a wedding ring.”

God, I loved that line when it left my lips. Who am I kidding. I still love it. I’m so proud. My problem started when no one else at the table was nearly as impressed, including my mate. A good line deserves a chuckle, or at least a grin. I got nothing. No snorts, exagerated breaths, or changes of facial expression.

How do you spell trouble? In my case, there are times when it can’t be spelled.

Maybe I’m a sentimental fool, or just plain too poor to keep my wife properly bejeweled, but surely I’m not the only one. Why bother with ceremony? Why bother observing the sacrament, believing in the real presence of your creator in the crowd, if your just going to upgrade the one durable/tangible symbol of it all when you get your first big bonus check at work? Does symbolism or sentiment have any value, or are we just plain vain?

Maybe you believe marriage is overrated, and that’s fair. Maybe I’m placing too much value in a thing, when the real prize is my wife. My ring may be plain, but it’s something my wife gave me on one of the most important days of my life. I’ll no sooner replace it than my wife.

My, what a high horse I have, eh? I could go on and on… but I’d have to get another shovel. I’ve just about worn this one down to the handle.

Paging Buzz

Paging Buzz Aldrin. Buzz, you’re needed on the ladder.

My wife made a startling revelation to me the other day, one that may have betrayed her kind. I don’t have a quote. It came out over the course of a conversation rather than an easily digestible sentence or two. However, the gist was: she’d pick the pain of childbirth over my stint in the hospital doing chemo.

You may find this odd, down right petty, both, or much more – but at that moment I felt euphoric. Do you know what this means? I feel like I’ve gone where no husband has gone before. There’s Neil Armstrong, then me.

That’s one small heave for man, one giant puke for mankind.

I’ve pulled the trump card from the deck of marital one-upsmanship. I’ll never hear the phrase, “At least you never gave birth.”


Something good came from cancer after all.

I am the man!