My Uncle Dick was my father's best friend. Dick wasn't Dad's brother. Dick was married to the sister of my mother. And even after my father and mother divorced after only eighteen years of marriage, Dick and my father remained close friends. My mother's sister was my Aunt Gretchen. I've talked about her in this blog before....you all know how much she meant to me. When I spend time with my Uncle Dick, it always reminds me of how much I miss both Aunt Gretchen and my father, two of the most important people in my life, truly the two people who raised me.
Last weekend was my wedding anniversary and Uncle Dick joined us at a concert and gave me an anniversary card he had picked out. We only received two other cards, one from my mother-in-law and another from the dealer we buy our cars from who never forgets an opportunity to send a card with his business card enclosed. We always used to get cards from Aunt Gretchen, too.
This card from Uncle Dick is special because he picked it out himself, and he seemed so proud to have done so. But also because of what it says. My aunt and uncle had one of the most successful marriages I've ever had the privilege to witness. They were truly a role model for me. After my first marriage failed, I made a promise to myself that I'd not make that mistake again unless I could find a true partner, could make it work like Gretchen and Dick had. And I got lucky. Uncle Dick's card made me realize it even more, because I know he may have read through several before finding the "right" one......and it made me feel as if I was getting an "A" on a report card.
Here's what the verse said:
Happy Anniversary to a Great Couple
Taking time to understand, a tender touch, a helping hand
A lot of trust, some lucky breaks, overlooking small mistakes,
Smiling at each little quirk, sharing dreams and schemes and work,
A special marriage takes a lot, but you should know, it's what you've got.
It still makes me cry to read it. Not only is it special because it came from Uncle Dick, but because I know that if he feels that way, my father and Aunt Gretchen would have, too. Thanks, Uncle Dick. It means so much.