Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Husband.

From adorable boy... handsome hunk...
...this is the man I love. Happy Birthday, hon. 

Stole my heart from the first moment I saw him
with his long strides
and untucked shirt. 
His easygoing manner
brought balance to my overanxious nature.
As a father
he exceeded all expectations
as he wrapped his enormous heart around those babes we made.
He tells me he loves me
and that I'm beautiful
and most days, I believe him. 
Convinced me there is nothing he can't do
when I saw him
snow ski
and water ski
and play tennis and squash and golf
and even throw a frisbee and bowl like I'd never seen before.
He is especially good at math and science
which thankfully has helped our children continue to progress in those subjects.
Cars, computers, appliances..
he can fix most anything.
He has been known to sing along to Josh Grobin at the top of his lungs
while doing the Sunday dishes- 
and it's even pleasant.
He can create a "deal" when there was no "deal"
and always wins at games.
He loves to go new places and meet new people
but is still content to have movie night with just me.
He has taken risks in business but never with his food choices.
He orders the same thing from each restaurant menu every time.
He loves swiss chocolate
and bacon cheeseburgers
movies, fast cars, nice suits, having his back tickled and the beach
-not necessarily in that order.
He always walks in the door happy
and never asks "what did do you do all day?"
He tells stories-mostly true-about his childhood
and makes us laugh (and sometimes cringe).
Nobody can make me laugh like he does.
He is the one to give up his seat on the subway,
to stop to help a stranger in need
and open the door for me.
When he kneels and prays for our family
my heart swells with love.
I may even offer to tickle his back.

Mountain of a Man

Ivan Radman 
March 22, 1928-March 14, 2009

view obituary here

This coming Saturday will mark two weeks since the death of Jordan's dad, my father-in-law and my kid's "Pa." As death and funerals and a life lived have the tendency to do, I have found myself in a state of near constant reflection and introspection. This man was a huge presence in the lives of his family, his community, his missionaries, and his business associates. As Peter (Jordan's oldest brother) said, there was no insignificant contact. Everyone who met him remembered him. For good or bad, an encounter with Ivan, however insignificant or grand, was never to be forgotten. I have asked myself many times what it was that made those encounters so remarkable. And though my pool of memories is shallow in comparison to the vast ocean of the memories of my husband and his family, those memories include feeling as though he truly enjoyed my company. Jordan and I have been married for 20 years. Due to my own insecurities I spent many of those years questioning my value and worth in the eyes of my in-laws..with the exception of Ivan. I always knew where I stood. I always understood the expectation. And I always felt his genuine appreciation for any effort that I made. 
So now I wonder....did I make enough of an effort?  
The love that I feel for this family astounds me. But my fear in expressing and showing that love astounds me even more. Am I humble enough to accept the lessons this experience is trying to teach me and courageous enough to put them into practice? 
What will my legacy include? Although my encounters are minimal in comparison to the vast number of lives that Ivan has touched, I would love it if those that I do have the privilege of meeting might be able to know-really know-that I enjoyed their company.

photos by Sara Smylie. See more here and read more here.