Here Comes the Key Change

Happy birthday week to the man who can’t resist the key change in Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.

One of his favorite things to do is cook for people, especially with a seafood boil.

To the man who dreams of things for our future and is willing to take a “responsible” risk, which I thank him for because I would just jump thinking I could fly.

We have a shared and dark sense of humor because of our professions, but puns and dad jokes are my thing. They make him roll his eyes which makes me laugh even more. He’s secretly laughing too.

I have never met anyone who loves animals more. This bird also loved him back. She would not leave him alone and ended up following him through the tour.

Our story is not just intertwined with our shared sense of humor, but also with the music we grew up with. We met because he was the stage manager for the Wizard of Oz and I was a munchkin in our town’s high school musical.

“I joined choir in high school to be around the girls,” is what he says when I catch him singing Bui-Doi. He gets every one of my musical theatre references, knows every word to Les Miserables, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen Pitch Perfect, it really makes me happy.

It hasn’t been just that. He saved my life in high school, well, at least saved me from serious injury. He was the school mascot on a float for our small town’s summer celebration. I was sitting on the v-hitch next to him and stood up as the driver hit the break. I started falling between the truck and the flatbed and he reached out and caught me. That is one of my favorite stories now.

After high school, our lives took separate paths, but we still ran into each other a couple of times. He ended up joining the Navy, I went to Peru then college. Almost 20 years passed and we had definitely forgotten about each other.

Our first trip together. He lived in New York City for a time and we had so much fun going to where the locals go.

We have been married almost five years now and we have been able to spend only one anniversary together. I am hoping this year we can make it happen. I don’t mind it so much, though, because the things that separate us on that day almost every year are the things I love about him.

His dedication, his drive, his ambition, and his desire to help others; all things required by his profession, all things that keep us geographically apart, and all things I admire about him.

Being apart can be difficult, but we understand the commitment to duty the other has made and neither of us ever complains when the other has to leave. I think that understanding is actually what makes us stronger.

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