When I was 10, shopping at Sears Roebuck with my mom, I would wander around the men's section and pretend I was a grown woman, shopping for her man. I would ruffle through the rugged red and black plaid shirts, looking for that rare extra extra large. My man was very big and outdoorsy. A guy's guy, but bighearted and true. I'd find jeans, socks, underwear and undershirts, and maybe a surprise: socket wrenches from the tool department.
Later, while setting the table for dinner, I'd lift the lid on the big pot on the stove and stir, letting the steam from Mom's vegetable soup fill the kitchen. How homey I make my home, our home, for my man. I lay out the Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper. Saltines. Big blue and white bowls. Big spoons. Glasses for milk. Cloth napkins.
I ladle the soup into the bowls and anticipate my man's appreciation. Hi smiles at me and tells me he loves me. And my soup.
It's been almost 11 months since I met Kevin. When he reads this, I'm sure he'll have a big laugh. A big extra extra large laugh. But he might see in himself that man I had created in the Sears Roebuck men's section when I was a little girl. He's a big, outdoorsy guy. Knows how to use a chainsaw, fish, fix a car. He's bighearted and true. Kind, genuine, honest and protective. And, while this didn't enter into the story back then, he's wicked smart and funny.
Dating post-cancer, post double-mastectomy, post reconstruction is a tricky thing. But God smiled on me when I met Kevin last September 1. I'm filled with gratitude.