Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For the Queen of the Kingdom

There is - among sports announcers - a tendency to give voice to the "fallacy of the predetermined outcome". Simply put (and in the timely context of an example from baseball), a runner will get thrown out attempting to steal second base. On the very next pitch the batter lines a single into right field. Almost reflexively the announcer will say, "Had [insert name here] not gotten thrown out, then there would be runners on first and third." The fallacy inherent in that declaration is that it presupposes that had the runner who was just thrown out at second remained on first base that the pitcher would have pitched to the hitter in the same way and that the defense would have been similarly aligned. It is as if no sports announcer has ever watched "It's A Wonderful Life" and learned the lesson of just how profoundly the life of one may impact the lives of countless others. Everything changes everything else.

I was thinking of that proposition last evening as I was driving home from the office. And I was thinking of how it has no applicability whatsoever to my life. It is not a fallacy to say that but for Margaret, the life I now know and the life I would have known would bear zero resemblance to one another.

I met Margaret at a time in my life when I was even less user-friendly and cuddly than I am now. At least presently I do not drink too often or too much. Once upon a time - way back in the day when I first met the woman who was to become my wife - neither of those statements contained even a kernel of truth. I met Margaret when we both worked for a collection agency. For a short time in fact she was my immediate supervisor. I so enjoyed what I did - and life in general - that I (the ultimate morning person) set up my schedule so I could work 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm four days a week. Why? It ensured that every Monday through Thursday I could head to Pizzeria Uno at the Hadley Center at 5:00 pm for dinner. And every night of the week - for those four nights anyway - dinner consisted of however many Absolut screwdrivers I could throw back in one hour prior to heading back to the job for the completion of my shift. I reached the point where I could - especially if I took up no space inside of my belly with unnecessary stuff such as dinner - drink a half-dozen and then amble on back up the road to work.

In the interest of full disclosure I do not mention that now seeking to channel my inner "Jersey Shore" or some such other nonsense. Asinine behavior is what it is. Once upon a lifetime ago, I was guilty of it in spades. But since there is no present without a past, it has never made any sense to me to run from it. I am who I am in part because I was who I was.

In the middle of my death spiral, I met Margaret. It is neither an exaggeration nor an understatement to say that she saved my life. It is also accurate to point out that prior to saving it, she made me cognizant of the fact that it was indeed a life worth saving. Before her, the jury was very much out on that issue.

Margaret is by far the best part of me. I am aware of the fact that she deserves much better than me and I remain ever hopeful of the fact that while I am sure she is aware of that as well, she chooses to not act upon it. For that - almost as much as having found her in the first place - I am and shall remain forever thankful.

Today is my bride's birthday. There is nothing I can give her as a gift that comes close to equalling all that she has given to me. She is extraordinary. And I am most fortunate.

Happy Birthday Honey and much love.

And I count my blessings that you're mine for always,
We laugh beneath the covers and count the wrinkles and the grays
Sing away, sing away, sing away, sing away
Sing away, sing away, my darling, we'll sing away
This is our kingdom of days
This is our kingdom of days
This is our kingdom of days


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