March 10th is International Day of Awesomeness. On that day I’d like to honor my partner by telling him how awesome he is. Here’s what I’ll say:
When we started to live together, I had a few books published and wanted to write full-time. You made a commitment. You’d pay all the expenses, and I could simply write. When my work started to sell, we’d share the bills. It’s incredible you had that much faith in my ability. And, you were willing to wait as long as it took. What makes it more remarkable is that you embraced my three young kids, who were living with me.

One day I read that Peter, Paul and Mary were going to appear in San Diego. They’d been among my favorites for years, and so it was with regret I knew I couldn’t afford to attend this local concert.
A few days later you asked if I was ready to go.
“Where?” I asked.
“You’ll know when we get there,” you said.
Of course, it was the Peter, Paul and Mary concert. A minor gesture? Others might think so. But to me it was a very big deal.

And remember the Father’s Day my son invited us out to dinner? He was newly independent after having gotten his first fulltime job and apartment. At the end of the meal you took out your wallet.
“I want to pay,” my son said. “You’ve been a father to me too.” And it was true. You had adult children, but you loved my kids too. You bought things they needed. You cooked for them; you helped them with homework. What makes your actions more awesome is that you’d retired just before we met. Many people your age don’t even want to be around kids.

I’d been a theatre professor and an actor/director. You knew I loved theatre. So you always bought season tickets for us to the San Diego Rep. You accepted my interests, though I didn’t always accept yours. An exception was bridge. You taught me how to play and then told others that I’d become better at it than you. I don’t believe that, Jim, but it was an example of your selflessness.

Remember the friend who said you were my John the Baptist because you spread news about the books I began to publish? I’d always lacked self-confidence. You provided the confidence I needed until finally I began to believe in myself.

I could talk about how quickly you became an excellent writer. Or the time you invited your son to dinner and he asked what we’d have. “Hot dogs?” And you, who rarely cooked before we met, made Beef Wellington. And it was perfect.

I could go on and on. Suffice it to say: I love you with all my heart. Not because you’re awesome but because you’re you.

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