Angel Eyes

I’m listening to a John Hiatt album and “Angel Eyes” comes on.

I don’t really notice.

At least, I don’t think I do.

But my thoughts flick back to a concert Kim and I went to a couple of years ago in Akron.

It was one of those married-people date nights.

A night where you remember those early days of hanging out together while you were falling in love.

A night where you sneak a look at each other and it takes your breath away.

You don’t notice the extra lines in each other’s faces – the extra weight – the extra years.

It’s the “Angel Eyes” that Hiatt talks about that allows you to look at this person you love and see everything in them.

And then you do notice the extra lines, weight, and years and it makes you smile all the more. You remember what those changes represent in the twenty-some years you’ve been together.

It’s been twenty-six years today since I went on a date with anyone other than Kim.

I know this because I’d been trying to push our relationship into an exclusive relationship. I wasn’t interested in seeing other people. She’d stopped seeing other people but she didn’t want to make it official.

So I told her I really didn’t want to date other people but if she couldn’t commit, I was going to go out the following week.

She said she thought that was a good idea.

And so on July 25, 1992 I went to a radio-station sponsored event with another woman.

Not much of a date, but we planned to see each other again.

And then I got back to my apartment and Kim was waiting for me.

And that was the last time I dated anyone else.

Suddenly Hiatt’s song pushes into my consciousness with the line…

“Well, I’m the guy who never learned to dance.”

And again I’m traveling through time back to concerts I’ve been sent out to introduce.

Kim and I are standing watching some act along the Cuyahoga.

She’s got one hand on my shoulder and the other holds a drink. She dancing – not exactly with me – I’m the guy who never learned to dance – but near me.

I can’t get enough of her.

Hiatt sings,

“Don’t anybody wake me if this is a dream,”

“’cause she’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

After Kim died I worried that I just wasn’t fun enough for her.

She’d embraced life. She’d been so fun. I’m just not.

She’d listen to new music all the time. Her phone sat in a cradle connected to speakers so she could start her day with music.

I’d walk in the kitchen and she’d smile and ask me if I wanted coffee.

In the early years I’d been the one to offer her coffee – but she preferred the way she made it.

Each morning she’d look at me and, as Hiatt sings,

“Must be something only you can see.”

“But girl I feel it when you look at me.”

I can’t say it any better than that.

You should listen to the song – the lyrics alone don’t do it justice.

The last two lines of the song haunt me now that she’s gone.

It’s the question that all boys like me wonder about someone special like Kim.

“What did I do, what did I say?”

“To turn your angel eyes my way.”

 

Published in: on July 25, 2018 at 9:16 am  Comments (1)  

Choice

Kim was pro-choice and her choice was “no”.

That seems to confuse some people. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion, it means you believe in a woman’s right to choose. Kim’s choice was “no”.

I know this because we talked about it when she was pregnant with Elena.

Not explicitly.

We were considering which pre-natal tests to take and I asked her what she wanted to do if the test came out positive for one of these conditions.

Kim said she would come to term anyway so we decided not to have one of the tests because there were risks associated with that particular test.

But Kim was strongly pro-choice. She believed in her right to a choice and she believed in and respected other women having a choice and coming to a different conclusion.

She’d had friends who had had abortions.

It was not something they had done lightly and it had stayed with them forever.

They believed it was the right choice and they believe today that it was the right choice – but it was not an easy one.

Friends asked me how I felt about Kim’s decision. After all, they reasoned, you would now be responsible for a child with this condition for the rest of your life. This is a decision that has a great impact on your life. Don’t you get a say?

A say?

No.

I am pro-choice. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. The choice was Kim’s to make.

If I felt strongly, I might have suggested things she might want to consider.

But this is Kim we’re talking about.

There’s nothing I could suggest that she hadn’t already considered.

So the decision is Kim’s and my job is to support her in that decision. My job is to hear her decision and say, “then that’s what we’ll do.”

We reduce the stance to “pro-choice” and sometimes forget to widen our view a little to the positioning statement, “a woman’s right to choose.”

Even though Kim’s choice was “no”, she’d be outraged that we are currently facing the prospect that we may soon live in a country where the choice wouldn’t have been hers to make.

Published in: on July 15, 2018 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment