Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Date night with the hubby

Sunday night Marty and I attended a dinner/fundraising event for the Pujols Family Foundation! It is a foundation that Albert Pujols and his wife established to help families dealing with down syndrome and families in the Dominican Republic.

Upon moving to St. Louis I became very familiar with Albert Pujols. He plays for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and has gained a great deal of respect in the city and league because of his integrity. Not only is he a phenomenal ball player, but his faith in God is astounding. His motto is "faith, family, friends". We were very excited to receive tickets to the dinner, just to be able to take part in some fashion for such a terrific cause warmed our hearts. And the event did not disappoint. The people at our table were wonderful and the presentations moving. We were surrounded by a variety of people from professional hall of famers to the average family affected by DS. I have to say that the level to which individuals praised God at this event was surprising. Reminds you that no matter your lot in life, we are all the same - and that God has you just where he needs you regardless of reason or obviousness of reason.

Our night took an unexpected turn from our plans and allowed Marty and I an opportunity to do something valuable. I mentioned the terrific people at our table...one of them was a man named "Bob". He's an older gentleman, about my mom's age. I became enamored by him from the get go. He was a happy guy, experienced and genuine. He spoke of many things, but especially of his wife "Grace". He lost her to an aneurysm ten years ago. They went to sleep and she never woke up. When he retold the story, even in short, his voice cracked and I could clearly see the pain he still feels in the loss. Throughout dinner we chatted of things; items he was bidding on, his three daughters and grandchildren, his travels, his business. I was really taken with him......gotta admit I love older gentlemen...and that's only grown since I've lost my father. I know Mart gets this...he's amazing. Before long Bob was really feeling sick. He did not want to leave because he wanted to pay for the items that he bid on; of which I thought was one thing - a cake that he bought as a gift to Marty and I....a really thoughtful gesture. I assured him that we would take care of it and insisted he head home. He just nodded and headed out. Not long later we saw him sitting on the steps, miserable. He was feeling lousy and looked horrible, and still wanted to take care of the cake. I grabbed his bidding number and asked Mart to stand in line to pay for it and he did without question. I helped Bob up as he told me he was heading home. Mart and I stood in line together....I wanted him to let me handle it...I hated that he was passing up his opportunity to meet the Pujols and the many others...but he didn't want to leave me. While in line, my heart was aching and I couldn't quit thinking about Bob...so I told Mart that I felt I needed to look to make sure he was gone. I walked to the foyer of the ballroom and there he was, nearly passed out on a couch. When I put my hand on his to wake him, I frightened him greatly. I borrowed Mart's phone and asked Bob for his daughter's number......I explained the situation and she said that she and her husband would be there as soon as they could. They lived about a half hour away. So I waited. I went back and forth between my husband and this wonderful man, checking on them both. At one point when I walked away from Bob, I turned to look at him and I instantly held my breath......here was this man....all alone, missing his wife. Tears just came to my eyes. What it must be like to spend a lifetime with someone only to wake up one day and find they are gone. How sad that is. His wife died when she was 55, my Marty is 40. The difference is 15 years....less time then he and I have spent together and it's just not enough, 'specially since we just got it right to begin with. Before I started back I caught my husband smiling at me...waiting very patiently for me in line, for a man he doesn't even know...because what he did know is that it mattered to me. There are not enough words to describe the love I felt for him even at that moment. I sat back down next to Bob and held his hand as he apologized for keeping us from our family and evening. I explained to him that we were right where we were supposed to be and that we were not leaving him. Before long Marty came around the corner - cake, bags and boxes in tow. Seems that Bob had won more items then I thought and in his attempt to make a night easier an old guy, Mart covered the cost until Bob could pay us back. Bob was very thankful and apologetic at the same time.....I just teased him saying how thankful we were that he didn't win the VIP box at the Cards game....that would have broken the bank for sure....he laughed and assured us that he would be in touch as soon as he could. We weren't concerned for that, we knew he would. After about 45 minutes his daughter arrived and we felt comfortable leaving him in her care. The whole way home I held my wonderful husband's hand.......Bob served a purpose for me that night. The last month I have been missing my father greatly.....taking care of Bob filled a need I didn't realize was so abundant....the need to feel closer to my dad.....secondly, Bob served as a reminder that marriage and love, in all it's stages is precious. That there will come a day that either my husband or I will be living without the other.....that each day I have with him is a blessing and that no amount of time is enough. It's my hope that if there is ever a day that Marty endures a similar situation that someone would show him the same kindness we showed Bob.......just like Bob, he deserves it - and more!

Monday, Bob's daughter called to tell us that her father has a bad case of the flu and was still feelng pretty lousy. She thanked us for our time with him and Marty explained that we wouldn't have had it any other way. My mind still goes to him and I look forward to seeing him again.

Date night with my husband was more than I could have imagined....it wasn't enough that I was there with the best looking guy in the room and the love of my life.......God chose to sprinke a little more of his magic on us.....my blessings can not be counted!!!

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