Maggie is 17 today, and I didn't expect to see it. It's been 11 months since she began receiving fluid injections for her kidney disease. 11 months. 6 days a week. 11 months. She - and we - get Sunday off for good behavior, and so here we are on her 17th birthday. You can see how excited she was about the whole shebang when I tried to take her picture this morning.
It is the ever-wonderful Michael who actually gives her the injections. I hold her, he does the dirty work, and she puts up with it for the most part. Without him, she would not be here. It will embarrass him when he reads this, but truly there are no words I can find that say thank you in the way I really mean it. He has given me many gifts through the years - CocaColas way back when we first began dating & I was always broke, diamond earrings the year my father died, a white denim jacket a couple of years ago - I saw it on a woman at a restaurant and lusted after it and - you can't make this stuff up - he saw the very same woman the next night at a bar, asked her if she'd been in such&such restaurant the day before, wearing a white jacket, and oh! She was quite thrilled that he remembered her, quite taken with that, but then of course, he asked where she'd bought the thing, he wanted to buy one for a friend, and how back-to-Earth she landed, but still nice enough to tell where, and Yes. He bought it, and not-inexpensive it was, and surprised me with it that very week. How romantic is that? How much better than roses when everyone else is getting roses on the same day, although they are quite nice also. He has kept me in cars, found me new places to live when I needed to do so, paid for massages, and bracelets I've lost, and tons of those special pens with which I work crossword puzzles, and almost 24 years worth of other things, but nothing compares to the gift of Maggie. Nothing.
I know he thinks I don't think about it, but I do.
I say thank you, but that seems so little,
so not up to the way I really feel.
And so I take this time,
Maggie's 17th birthday,
to say happy birthday to her,
and thank you to him.
Thank you for giving her another summer.
Thank you for the fall,
thank you for the winter.
Thank you for giving her the chance
to see the robins in springtime again.