Little Drummer Boy
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I've been single most of my life. Scott was and is my first real love. When I was young and single, I would fantasize about my perfect love, my perfect boyfriend, the perfect husband. My fantasies were clouded with images of what I had been force fed as a young girl through fairy tales and the expert hand of American marketing.
In my teens and twenties, I pictured lavish estates, gardens, bouquets of flowers, yachts, villas looking over the Italian countryside, romantic candlelit dinners served by butlers, and a library with ceiling high books I could retreat to while my Prince was off fighting some battle or reaping more treasures for his beloved. Me.
I am a dreamer.
In my twenties, thirties, and forties I watched as the men I worked with planned and bought their wives and girlfriends flowers, jewelry, expensive gifts and romantic getaways. Social media brought another onslaught of enviable romantic escapades in the form of photos, my friends and "friends I never met or knew" pasted and posted. Barefoot walks on Hawaiian beaches with flower petals dropping from the heavens and dinners at extravagant wine country restaurants with bowl fulls of estate wines in crystal glasses illuminated by soft candlelight.
Over the years, most of my holidays, I spent (after going to a family gathering) were alone walking my dogs, later brushing my horses and feeding them piles of molasses cookies and apples. Valentines, I would go away for the weekend by myself or with my niece so I didn't have to be around all the romantic couple "festivities".
When I met Scott at fifty-two years old, he let me know right away that he didn't buy presents and he wasn't "romantic". I let him know that I didn't like the pressure of buying presents and the holidays either.
Scott was true to his word. In my time with him, he never bought me a bouquet of flowers or even a single rose. He never bought me an expensive piece of jewelry or a box of candy. He didn't buy me anything expensive, everything he did end up buying me cost less than $20.
What he did give me was the best present I could ever want or dream of.
Scott gave himself to me. Scott gave himself to his daughters, to me, and to everyone he met along his path he cared about.
He gave his full attention and self to you without distraction. You were the number one thing in his life and nothing else mattered. Not a job, not his cellphone, not the internet, not the pursuit of success or money.
To Scott, You were the important thing in his life and he made sure you knew it by giving you his full attention and care. He listened when you needed someone to talk to. He offered his wisdom and advice. He never judged you. It didn't matter what you had or who you thought you were. He could see you, he could see your heart and spirit, he could see who you really were, inside. The outside package didn't matter one bit.
When I met Scott, I was a mess. I was spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially bankrupt. I was so depressed, I didn't know how I was going to survive. Scott saw me and fell in love with me. The real me beyond the mess I had made of my life.
For the three years, short years (God, help me, why so short years!) we were together, Scott took me under his care and brought me back to myself again.
He drove thousands of miles on back roads so I could feel and see the beauty of life again, he held my hand and loved me until I was able to love myself again, and he taught me what true love is. He taught me what real love is and what love can do. He taught me how to love him.
And the biggest gift of all, he taught me how to fall in love with life again.
The weekend before Scott died, he made me a Christmas playlist. He knew how much I love Christmas. All weekend, he played Christmas songs for me as I read, wrote, and looked out my window. He tweaked that Christmas list until it was perfect making sure it included the "rat pack". He knew how much I love Sinatra and Dean Martin. So, all weekend, the weekend before he died, we listened to Christmas songs.
Scott gave me Christmas, a Christmas, I will never forget.