Thursday, March 12, 2015

Somehow "Happy Birthday" Doesn't Really Cover It

My wife, Sigrid, can barely tolerate Springsteen and winces when I start on my 'Bruce at the Festhalle on His first German Tour' story which I will NOT recount today.

She's convinced Bob Dylan cannot now, nor ever, sing and that goes double for Neil Young, because he also can't play the harmonica or guitar according to her. She was a devoted Barry Manilow fan at a moment in his career when he was so saccharine-sweet (commercially), my teeth ached listening to him.

Where there had been just she and a husband was to be also a son and then a daughter. She raised them both (it's their father with the case of arrested emotional development), practically on her own since her spouse gave his time to total strangers, not for days on end, but for decades-and she never missed a beat in creating a home and hearth that was and remains a safe haven for them all.

Not even on the day he came home, on a date of this very month many years ago, to tell her she and the children would be leaving the only home they'd ever known and moving to a country on another continent, that, of the three, only she had been in (and that was twice for holidays) did she blink, hesitate or look anywhere else but straight ahead.

Adding to the degree of difficulty in a relocation of close to 4,500 miles was a landing in the area first settled by the Pilgrims at about the time of year they, too, had arrived (but she stuck the landing). And she was to discover being a stranger in a strange land meant swallowing the bewilderment, frustration, humiliation and indignation often created by disinterested bureaucrats who required a rain forest of completed forms before issuing her a card of one color, but called by another, in order to remain with her family.

She is the most headstrong person, if not on the planet, than at least in a specific house at an address in Norwich, Connecticut, despite some stiff competition in that department from a daughter who has both her self-assurance and belief in her own abilities from her mother. The child's brother has his easy ability to make friends with people he's just met from his mother and she is the reason why neighbors can abide her spouse, I suspect, since I came with her and she's wonderful they assume there must be something she sees in me that they cannot and do not (she does wear glasses, after all).

There's nothing she cannot repair or mend which is a skill that comes in handy because her husband has a gift for physical destruction that approaches an art form and she has as much patience as each project requires, even if all of them require all of it all the time. The number of events and happenstances that had to happen in a specific and given order, for this woman from Offenbach am Main to meet a dweeb from Central New Jersey and make his world stop completely is incalculable.

The life that she has cannot be the one she thought she was getting when she said yes a lifetime ago and it's certainly not the one she deserves. Sometimes the ride has been very dark (as in dunkel night time, a small child offered in Gerglish decades ago). If the power to make today, her birthday, into a national, or international holiday, were mine, I would use it, but it doesn't make a difference to her that this will never happen. She does not miss what she cannot have.

I can only wish her happiness today, her birthday, and marvel, yet again, that she shares her life with me. I never had a girl who loved me half as much as this girl loves me. You gotta hold on tight to her.
She's a real emotional girl.

-bill kenny

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Schönes Geburtstag, Frau K! But that REALLY was just about the best concert EVER!
L.Roy

William Kenny said...

so isses! Und ob!