Family, Inklings

Anniversary sans Delorean

My favorite picture of my favorite person.

My favorite picture of my favorite person.

“Here’s a red letter date in the history of science, Nov. 5, 1955. That was the day I invented time travel. I remember it now. I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to I had a revelation! A vision!…of this…The Flux Capacitor!”  – Dr. Emmett Brown, “Back to the Future”

If I was Dr. Brown, I don’t know what date I would have considered punching into the blinking controls embedded into the Delorean’s dash. No, I mean I know what day…I just don’t know the date. You’ll have to forgive me. I was 14 and I didn’t know how important that day would be.

If I knew what I know now, I would have found millions of calendars and cut that date out of each one and built things, strong things, by pasting that date together over and over and over again. If there is any strength in my flesh, that date is its foundation.

I know it was a Saturday in late spring, early summer — baseball season. The little league park was crowded with families and packs of friends, kicking up red-dirt dust in the heat. I played for the Tigers. Well, ‘played’ may be the wrong word. I was a perpetual strike-out, a pitchers gimme. I couldn’t throw any better than I hit and was consigned to right field. After the game, I shuffled from the diamond to the snack shack. I heard laughter, girls! my brain said and I turned to look with the cat-like reflexes innate to 14-year-old boys when there are girls! about.

She floored me. It was as if everything pleasant in the universe had been distilled into spring sunlight shooting through blonde hair, falling on freckles and shining in grey/blue eyes. She was laughing and smiling, youth and beauty. I was in love. I didn’t know her. I wouldn’t even know her name for a year and it took me another year to finally meet her. When I did meet her, that early spring afternoon came back with the force of a soul-sunlight tsunami. I was wrecked.

Three years after we met, we married on Aug. 7, 1999, but you know that’s not the real red-letter date in the history of us. It was some random Saturday at the ballpark. On second thought, even if I could remember that date I wouldn’t go back to relive the moment of moments.  I’d be too afraid of changing something and losing Christy forever (you know, the whole space-time continuum, disappearing children thing?).

I haven’t always been a good husband. I’ve made many mistakes that without God’s grace, would require a Flux Capacitor, stolen plutonium, a Delorean and 88 MPH to fix.  But all the mistakes and heartaches are part of this life and not the infinite variations that could have been. Bad and good all add up to the life we live together in the light of Romans 8:28 and God’s love for us. I’m so thankful for that.

Happy Anniversary Christy Garbarino. You are my density…I mean my destiny.


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