Grand Slam Romance?

Grand Slam Romance?

Most people think they want grandiose gestures that show friends and strangers how much he/she is loved, but long before Phil died, I realized how he got it right from the start.  Yes, there were times that I wished that he was more creative, but he showed me his commitment and that I mattered daily.  It started in the beginning when he asked me out time and time again until I finally said yes on the twentieth time.  What 21 year old handles rejection like that?

Phil not only handled my rejection, he had to deal with a very small base standing in judgment, my father who thought that he was all wrong, and he had to become an instant father to a 3, 4, and 5 year old. When we eloped after four months of dating.  He was an airman first class who made less than a thousand dollars a month, yet he invested his time, energy, and money into his family.  He met with the naysayers and then he let it go believing that people would come to realize that we were meant to be.  When I sat paralyzed at times, Phil was my safe haven.  He made me laugh through it all.  You see, Phil could speak ten languages and he was a born mimic.  He loved to pretend to be the slimy Frenchman or the Don Juan when I was down in the dumps.  I would laugh until tears ran down my face.

When Phil married me, he was not a morning person, but I have always been.  From day one, he got up before me to bring me the paper and coffee in bed simply because I liked it.  I knew that he needed his space in the morning, but there he would be puttering around to make me happy.  23 Years he did this EVERY morning he was home.

We didn’t have money most of our married life, thus Phil would give me the gift of time and running shoes.  He owned one pair of jeans and running tee shirts for many years, but he wanted me to have my running because running has always made me happy.  He would go in early and rush home to take over feeding the children and homework while I ran out the door for two hours.  Running shoes were never an option for him.  He made sure that I had them.

While he would cringe if I told people this, he never wanted to buy me something I didn’t want, thus if I voiced I wanted something, he would get it and put it away for the holidays.  He listened and he followed through.  There was a time, however, that he did do the grand slam….a totally unexpected and out of the ball park gesture that I honor today.  He submitted an essay unbeknownst to me to the Olympic committee for the Salt Lake Olympics and my 40th birthday.  That essay led to me being chosen to carry the Olympic Torch in UT.  Phil was there every step of the way cheering me on and singing my praises.

Phil never spoke badly of me (well, maybe the number of shoes I had).  He was my best advocate and there was nothing he thought I couldn’t do.  On Valentine’s Day, look beyond the flowers and candy.  I never got flowers from Phil, but I did get a man that showed up day in and day out and I got a man who showed me sacrificial love every day of those twenty three years.  Yes, Phil Ambard, you got it right.


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