The other day something happened that touched me deeply. I’ve been pondering it for some time now, trying to find the right words to put upon a page to appropriately pay homage. I still haven’t found the perfect words but today is the perfect day to tell the story.
After class one day some classmates and I went to Baby A’s for an after-a-tough-week drink (or two.) It was a little chilly on the porch but the company and conversation was great. Near the door was one of those quarter-fed games that have the claws that drop down to grab teddy bears. You’ve seen them at the supermarkets and other places with kids attached to the joystick praying for that claw to hit on a prize.
On our way out, I played the sucker- I fed it my quarter. Without much deliberation I moved the claw toward what I saw as a beary good target and let it drop. To my surprise it grabbed the bear/target, pulled it up and dropped it in the bucket. I had won the prize. The whole process, from quarter drop to bear retrieval, was so fluid and natural that my classmates must think I’m a bear-grabbing god, a master of the claw. Fact is that I’ve never played that game before. Fact is that I was just plain lucky.
Friends, acquaintances and strangers alike tell Maggie and me how strong we are, how brave we are, and how what we are doing is amazing and inspiring. But away from earshot, those same people anguish about how miserable our situation is and how fate has dealt us a bad hand. But, I contend that we are far from miserable – that, in fact, we are the luckiest two people in the world.
Back on June 14, 1999 Maggie and I met. It was immediately obvious to both of us that we made a very unique match. Time has proven that, back then, we had no clue how perfect a match. Since that day we’ve been inseparable (other than those three pesky years in law school.) We are perfect together – like the hands of a higher force molded one for the other. She yins. I yang. I might could say that June 14th was the luckiest day of my life. But reality is that every day I spend with her is the luckiest day of my life. Maggie might say the same (you’d have to ask her.) So, imagine if you will how that feels – to have lived 3,181 days with your best friend, your perfect match. It took a long time for us to find each other but we did, purely out of chance. I’d say that makes us the luckiest couple on earth.
If that’s not enough, the blessing of a fair amount of luck early in my career helped sweeten our time together. During the boom, we enjoyed a lifestyle of silliness and indulgence together, romping, laughing, and exploring. I couldn’t have shared that time with a more adventuresome, enjoyable, appreciative and exciting person. We lived a fairy tale life of travels, food, and toys. What great fun it all was!
Four years ago today, February 28, 2004, I was privileged to watch my then-girlfriend, dressed all in white, walk arm-in-arm with her brother Virgil past friends and family while smiling the most beautiful smile I had ever (and still have ever) seen. Climbing the stairs, looking radiant, she took her place beside me on stage as my equal to proclaim our love and devotion to each other to all who witnessed. We became husband and wife. I call that pretty lucky.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to follow our dreams, first her to law school, then me to Acton for my MBA. And this morning, I was lucky enough to give her a kiss on the cheek as she lay sleeping as I left for class. So, no matter how you slice this pie, we are definitely the luckiest couple on earth. And I’m so, so happy to be a part of this adventure called life with my best friend, my wife Maggie.
Happy Anniversary, Baby! Thank you for making me the luckiest man alive.