I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
–William Carlos Williams, “This is Just to Say”
Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum
You came along and everything started to hum
Still it’s a real good bet the best is yet to come
–Tony Bennett, “The Best is Yet to Come”
Amy and I got engaged on August 5, 2000, and were married a year later. “The Best is Yet to Come” was our first dance and, though I haven’t gotten to dance with Amy often enough since then, I have told her many times how lucky I am to have picked me a plum like her. Let me count the ways (just a few):
Amy is a funny, weird, supportive, strong and loving life partner: Amy and I found in each other a best friend with whom we could each find appreciation for our true, singular selves. This has given me a wonderful feeling of peace and security, as well as a constant source of amusement as Amy has slowly given full rein to her quirky habits and dance moves.
Amy has become part of my family: Right after we were married I lost my brother Aaron in 9/11. While Amy was already much beloved by my parents and the rest of my family, since then she has been a vital source of love and strength for us all. I was most touched by this not long ago, when, during my Grandma’s last year, she came by our house for a visit and couldn’t make it up the stairs. Amy picked her up and carried her in, and because Amy can plunge into emotionally charged situations like a loving but unflinching ER nurse, she made it a moment of grace and caring. Which is pretty much how Amy is most of the time.
Amy is a great mom: Our three beautiful, together girls have it good with Amy. They are gradually coming to grips with the reality that not all moms give as many hugs, can be as honest, or bake as frequently or as well as their mom. They feel safe enough with her to let it all hang out at home, which exacts a certain toll on us all, but not as much as if we aspired to Stepford-like perfection and emotional neutrality.
Amy is one cute baker lady: Just this week Amy found herself on the floor surrounded by a grocery store’s worth of frozen goods as she sorted through leftovers, spring cookies, frozen bananas (kind of like banana bread in chrysalis stage).
It’s actually pretty amazing that Amy has become even cuter and more fit since we got married despite the manifest evidence here of having no control over her baking impulses. Physicians are baffled in the face of this living contradiction.
Amy pushes me to be better: I’m a lot less of an introverted navel-gazer today than in past years thanks to Amy’s inspiration. This has been a huge help in my career and overall enjoyment of life. And in particular, Amy is a Baha’i and we struggled before getting married with how our interfaith family situation would play out. So far it’s been a big plus for me as a Jewish person, as Amy’s interest in faith and people has allowed us to have a vibrant connection to the Jewish community, and she has also inspired me to try and think more deeply about what religion means in my life.
I love you, Amy. Happy Anniversary.