I usually mention Cliff's heart surgery on the anniversary of the operation. This year I didn't even think about it, but in April of 2006 he had a four-way CABG surgery. I thought that was the most serious surgery he would ever have, but last month we found out there are worse things than a heart bypass. MUCH worse. At times I wondered if he would ever recover from this recent surgery. He felt so awful when he was first released from the hospital that it seemed like he had only come home to die.
Tomorrow is our forty-seventh anniversary. I'm especially glad Cliff survived that six-hour gall bladder disaster to celebrate it with me. There is a reason that our anniversary is on the 14th and his birthday is on the 16th. I've probably told this story before, but here goes. When I met Cliff, he had a sister and a brother (both younger than he) who had married in haste at too young an age and were in the process of getting out of those marriages. In Missouri at that time a woman had to be eighteen and a man had to be twenty-one to marry without parental consent. Because of what had happened with his sister and his brother, Cliff's mom made the comment, "I'm not signing for anybody else to get married."
When we decided to tie the knot, I was twenty-one, but Cliff was still twenty. Because of the statement his mom had made, we were simply biding time until June 16 when he would turn twenty-one. We did tell the family we were planning to marry... his family, not mine. My parents didn't really approve of my future in-laws, so I figured I'd tell them after the fact.
So one day Cliff's mom said, "What are you guys waiting for, if you're going to get married?"
"Waiting for him to be twenty-one," I answered. "You said you weren't signing for any more kids to get married."
"Oh," she said, "I'll sign for you-uns."
And that's why we got married two days earlier than we intended. I usually refer to June 15th as "Tain't day". Tain't our anniversary and tain't Cliff's birthday.
And then there is his birthday to talk about. I am a year older than he, most of the time. But from June 16th until July 7, we are the same age.
I'm thinking about where we will eat out to celebrate our anniversary. The choice is up to me, since Cliff doesn't care and would, in fact, rather eat at home. It'll either be Texas Roadhouse or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Real romantic, right? Cliff has never cared for all the grease at KFC, so we almost never eat there; but I love their original recipe. I guess I like grease, when you get right down to it. I guess it's silly to go to a steak house when I have steak in the freezer and know how to cook it, but that place does make a good steak.
As for his birthday, he bought himself a present just before his recent illness: an automatic grease gun. Maybe I'll make him a cake.