continued from 12/1...
Experiences, both good and bad are meant to teach us things. I learned much more than I had bargained for during my short marriage, but the most important lesson was that it would never and could never happen to me again.
I was so much wiser by the time I met Richard. We were married a couple of years later in 1974 and I couldn't have been happier. He adored me and the feeling was mutual. I can still say, after all these years, that the best Christmas I ever had was our first one together. We had very little money in those days and we had decided that we would forgo the trappings of the holidays. I had been raised Catholic but Richard was Jewish so the holidays didn't hold the same meaning for him. Even though we weren't going to celebrate it, I had managed to squirrel away enough to buy him a small instamatic camera--I couldn't completely let go of the spirit of giving. I was going to put it under his pillow just so he'd have something to open and knowing that he loved photography, I couldn't wait to see his face. Well, the surprise was on me.
I may have mentioned in an earlier chapter that I'm somewhat vertically challenged and am only 5'2". How I ended up with a husband who was 6'5" was a mystery to everyone. Around dinner time on Christmas Eve, I heard a very strange noise thumping down the hallway of our apartment building. When I opened the door, I was blown away to see this jolly tall Santa dragging a Christmas Tree behind him. I was moved beyond words and at that moment, felt like the luckiest and richest girl in the world. If he had bought me the Hope diamond, I don't believe I could have been more thrilled.
When I asked him whatever possessed him to get a tree, after all, we really couldn't afford it, he said that because it was Christmas Eve, he got it for half price and he couldn't bear that I wouldn't have one for my first Christmas with him. Of course, we had no ornaments or lights or even a tree stand so we propped it in a corner of the living room and draped it with ribbons and popcorn. I sneaked the camera under it and when I wasn't looking, I noticed that two other packages appeared.
Now, a man who takes notice when you're window shopping is a true treasure. My two gifts were framed prints that I had seen months ago and casually mentioned how cute I thought they were. They were like old Norman Rockwell prints with children at a soda fountain in one and a little boy in his bed dreaming of Post Toasties called "Dickie's Dream" in the other. When I first saw them I thought they would be perfect for a child's nursery. Now I had the prints...all I needed was a child. Richard used up over a roll of film that night taking photos of me well into the night. There is one that he took where I was still in my robe and had fallen asleep before getting into bed. He had arranged his beautiful card and the framed prints all around me and took another roll of film while he watched me sleep. It was and still is my favorite Christmas and did wonders to fade the memories of my previous marriage.
I was truly blessed and the luckiest girl in the world. I was at that moment but I still had to learn that happiness is not always a static state and life is filled with peaks and valleys. I was enjoying the peak.
to be continued...