Yesterday, Stacey came to visit us, the first time she's been up since she got back from Korea. She arrived at about the same time that Tim pulled in from work. It was confusion for a few moments, tears and gladness to have Stacey home, gasping at Tim's red face, windburnt from being out in the cold all day.
"I got you something," Tim said, reaching into his lunch box and pulling out a stone. He handed it to me, and I said, "Oh!" It was a plain river rock, but in an almost perfect heart shape.
"What?" said Stacey, not 'getting it'. And her father explained. I gave him a kiss as Stacey said, "Awwwwwww!"
We had a pleasant meal. Stacey wanted venison. That's not something that is on the Uncle Sam's menu. It's not a staple of the Korean diet either. I was glad to fix her something that probably reminded her a lot of home, and of her father. We ate, baked potatoes with sour cream, venison with onions and peppers and gravy, a huge salad, and we visited.
Later, Stacey and her father went down to get a movie while I cleared the table and washed dishes, thinking about it. Stacey left a year ago. Her father was a pretty quiet charactor. However, within a few days of her departure, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two strong self sufficient people were blindsided. After the initial shock and faltering, I learned to turn to my husband. My husband learned to nurture. We are both a lot more demonstrative than we used to be. Since we don't know what tomorrow will bring, we are careful with our todays. I imagine that it is a bit of a surprise for Stacey to see her father so changed. It's a good thing though.
You know, I always thought we were a close couple who worked well together, a practical sort of a relationship. I really never doubted that. But it strikes me as ironic that after 11 years, the two have become as one, really and unbreakably truly. But it was a not a ceremony that did that. It was cancer.