Most of the time I let what I write inspire the photo I choose for a blog post, but when my amazing friend and photog Renee Bowen snapped a pic of us the other night (on her iPhone!!) it was one of those rare moments that I thought,
Wow. That’s so … so us!
So this photo has inspired me to talk about this man, Jared Murphy.
Yes, he’s cute.. handsome, with piercing blue eyes….
He’s a pretty formidable writer and artist. He’s intellectual and a little quirky (see neurotic).. he’s funny!…And if we weren’t together, I could see him still living alone in a dark apartment somewhere doing his inky artwork… or maybe traveling. I love his style even when he wears his shirts on backwards, inside out and he has been known to pull his socks up really high and wear them with thongs. Ever since I’ve known him he’s written little notes to himself on his hands and on tiny pieces of paper that I find all over the place. And buried deep in the garage somewhere is a huge cardboard box with hundreds of small scraps of paper with ideas written on them that I lovingly call the “box of ideas”. I would have shared one as an example, but they are top-secret soo….
But what I really want to talk about is something that I think this photo really captures – his heart.
A few weeks ago, after a great date where we weren’t actually ripping each other’s heads off or stressing about the kids or how much we’d spent on happy hour food, we pulled into the garage and I looked at him peacefully and said.
“You know, you are my best friend and I honestly can’t even imagine my life without you.”
Wow. When did I get so sweet? Why this softening of my heart? I didn’t have time to ponder my inner dialogue because of the look on his face. I think he had melted a little.
“Thanks babe” he said with eyes squinting and such a huge grin that I knew immediately that I had good thing here.
“Well, I really mean it. Maybe I don’t tell you often enough…”
No, I really didn’t. I mean, I don’t. I feel like I don’t do nearly enough or tell him often enough how thankful I am for him. I didn’t even get him a Christmas present this year and I know how much he loves them. Even just my few words had fallen on him like rain in the desert.
When I think of the longgggg grocery list of things that Jared does and how thankful I am that I can rely on him. How thankful I am that I can tell him anything. How thankful I am that I can laugh with him!!
And how completely thankful that I can cry on him and/or just be generally crazy.
And I can pray with him. And sometimes if I’m too down to pray, he’ll pray for me.
And as an incredible father of two children with autism who need lots of extra love and support, I could ask for no better partner. No, I don’t do nearly enough for this man who is my biggest fan in every way.
On our ten-year anniversary back in 2010, he wrote this poem and read it to me on my parent’s living room floor in ninety percent humidity with no A.C.
And even though it might not be the perfect poem (according to Jared), just like the photo, it’s perfectly us.
When we drove up here from the airport
Lynn and I saw a double rainbow
and it made me a little sad for it,
since a rainbow is hardly ever seen –
especially a double rainbow.
But as we moved on from there
and drew closer to Sabra and the kids,
I no longer worried for it –
wasn’t as scared for it,
since I had Sabra.
And once I had Sabra in my field of vision
I knew right there; was reminded again,
that rainbows aren’t so rare.
This week I was jogging and I happened upon a sandcastle.
It was pristine and there was no one else around,
its bulwarks were squared off, perfect as ice-cube trays,
its spires were chiseled like obelisks –
still I worried about it out there unprotected
for anyone to trample; it’s being destined for the gulf to topple,
and i was jealous too of its possible inhabitants.
Well in a few minutes I walked through the door
and there was Sabra,
and the peril and the splendor and the symmetry of fortresses
took also the shape of love and became ineradicable.
I was in the living room turning the final page
of a particularly bleak and heart-rending novel,
and all the forms and shapes of folly
and evil and care-blind elements and destitution
were included there; all ravaging the glimmer of their hopes –
a downpour of it on their every breath.
And when I shut that book I was nearly in tears,
but I looked up from it and there was Sabra
dancing with the kids, all of them twirling around the room –
and I realized that I didn’t really know
any sad stories.
– Jared Murphy