The Gaineys are back at UAB Highlands yet again, this time so that Dan can have a Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate. I know– I wasn’t sure exactly what that procedure was either other than the general idea, but after the surgeon described it in excruciating detail, I cringed, having sympathetic flashbacks to my hysterectomy. The next few days will be rough for my sweet man.
Dan is always so calm and good natured about these things, doing his best to put everyone else at ease when he’s the one who will be suffering. I’m the one who worries and paces anxiously. He joked with the nurses and doctors, saying, “Let’s get this party started!” even as they wheeled him off to surgery. I teared up as the gurney went down the hall away from me, thinking how much I love this man who has brought so much joy and beauty into my life. Waiting…
Never a day passes when I don’t reflect on how fortunate I am to share my life with Dan; he is my fairytale, my prince, my jester, my protector, my confidant, my soulmate. Neither of us is perfect, but we are perfect for each other- it just works. We are both INFJs (a rare personality type), major introverts, we share the same spiritual, life, and political/ world views- heck, we even share the same blood type (just found that out this morning).
With Dan I feel I can be my true self, the innermost person that I don’t share with everyone…or perhaps anyone. He knows my heart, knows my dreams, doubts and deep-seated fears. He knows my weaknesses and my faults and loves me all the more for them. He celebrates my accomplishments, completely confident in his own self worth and his own stellar career, bragging on me to family and friends with pride just as my mom did.
I don’t take this relationship for granted, and neither does he. We work hard at it every day, always trying to put the other person first. When each partner does that, the most wonderful closeness happens, born of complete trust and deep gratitude. I love that he helps me to step out of my comfort zone, getting me to try new things where I most certainly would have resisted the experience on my own. Most importantly, he makes me laugh, and I swear I still feel those little butterflies in my stomach when he walks in the room, even after all these years. Adventures in Bruges, Belgium.
He has proven to me over and over again the kind of man he is; he built an apartment in our house so that my mother could live with us, cooked for her, took her to doctor appointments when I was working long hours. He goes above and beyond to make every holiday and every day special in our home, working tirelessly on this century-old home (thus his alter-ego, ‘Mr. MacKenzie”), keeping it in good shape and always dreaming about what comes next. I tell him that even a humble grilled cheese sandwich becomes a gourmet experience in his hands. My husband is gentle and sweet-natured, rarely losing his cool. I’m sure that being a yoga teacher helps with that. He makes me feel cherished and adored, and I so hope that he feels the same from me. He is passionate about his beliefs, trying to make the world a better place. He does kind things without making a show of it, slipping money to a homeless person, buying lunch for someone in line at the deli who was struggling, making cashiers and wait staff laugh, offering hugs and a sympathetic ear to those he can tell need to be uplifted. He does his best to walk his talk every day. I am so grateful for this truly good man in my life. He makes me a better human being, and I do my best to pay it forward to him and to others. Those great loves in our lives- when we are fortune enough to find them- are amazing gifts. They bring to life a richness and depth that is priceless. I know that I can go through anything with this man at my side, from the most mundane to heartbreaking tragedy, and we will cling together to face whatever comes our way. Now, it’s my turn to care for him and make sure that he heals well and feels loved and cherished. He is my heart.