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story.lead_photo.caption Photo Submitted Robin Fine grave marker.

Getting to know all about you, that's what is so very wonderful about marriage. Oh, sure, the courting ritual is important and that pre-marital time gives the man and woman a chance to get to know one another; but there are so many surprises ahead for the couple after they become man and wife; so many previously unconsidered surprises.

What's that? You say blue is your favorite color. Well, there are so many shades of blue to choose from. Maybe you can be a little more specific. There's the blue of a clear summer sky, the green-tinted blue of the ocean; then there's the dark blue hue of the blouse you're wearing. I'm guessing you favor dark blue.

I was curious, do you like to dance? You do, well what type of dancing do you prefer? I mean there is ballroom style, disco or maybe you lean more toward the slow dances; you know, waltzes and such. Oh, you do like to slow dance but it doesn't necessarily need to be a waltz, just any old song with a slower tempo will do; music that will tempt you to rest your head on my shoulder.

Does that mean that you like slow songs more than the more up-tempo ones? Are the sad ones more to your liking or do the happy upbeat tunes that chase the blues away more so garner your favor? Oh, you like all music but your preferred one depends on your mood. Some lyrics make you think while others invoke feelings of joy or sadness.

I didn't know that. You really prefer mayonnaise on your hamburger rather than a glob of mustard or ketchup; and what about cheese on that burger? Ah, it depends on your mood and appetite but, when the craving for cheese does infect you, a slice of Swiss cheese often finds its way between the meat and the bread.

Sad movies, the Toni Braxton song which asks that her broken heart be mended and funerals make you cry. But then, a special Christmas gift, one that is unexpected and offered from the heart or sometimes the sight of a not so recently seen but greatly missed friend are also things that bring tears to your eyes.

I remember the last time you cried. It was just a few days before you left and you asked that I not dwell in the past. You asked that I find happiness and, above all, you wanted to leave with the assurance that I would not live in a lonely world; but please find a special place in my heart for you. I now understand that the sadness of others also makes you cry.

Your infectious laughter seems to fill a room with joy. A skillfully worded anecdote or maybe the sight of a baby's laughter always amuses you and soon others join in as the laughter spreads from one person to another.

The rumbling of thunder that precedes the approaching storm births a feeling of fear deep within you. That spider, that eight-legged arachnid that scurries across the floor and the infamous shower scene from the artfully directed Alfred Hitchcock movie scare you as does the idea of growing old all alone. You admit that you are scared when awakened by the sound made by the tree limbs rubbing against the house as the howling winds move the branches of the trees.

Do you recall the first night of our marriage? How odd and ironic I now think it was that you chose the right side of the bed to sleep on. After all, you detest so very much the shrill sound of that alarm clock each morning; yet it was on the nightstand nearest to you that the clock rested. Oh, how I sometimes hold back a smile as you often slam your hand down upon that clock striking the snooze button, often more than once.

You never find the darkness something to fear, yet as I recall you don't welcome it. I guess, like many things in your life that threaten your happiness and peace of mind, you just accept the blackness for what it is, a minor inconvenience, then move on.

You know what? I've had such a great 46 years learning all about you; getting to know you. That time of learning and experiencing is what makes relationships so interesting; that adventure that spans years and even decades. I often wonder if I will ever meet someone new but I fear that I would forever spend each day comparing her with you.

It takes years to really get to know someone, to become so very comfortable when in their company. But there are two sides to that coin. Just as I have come to know and understand your moods, your likes and dislikes, you too have come to know me.

I believe that you really know me better than I know myself. I often recall the times when you reminded me how much I liked chocolate chip ice cream. I took for granted the time you bought for me a shirt and remembered my favorite color. When the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird was playing on the TV, you called out to me and patted the sofa cushion inviting me to sit next to you and watch. You have certainly come to know me so well.

Now I'll tell you something about me that you don't know, a secret if you will. You broke my heart. I know, you didn't mean to and it was nothing done intentionally but, when you left, it just happened. Well, now you know; there is something I was able to keep from you for these past several years. There is that one last secret I have kept from you.

I so enjoyed getting to know you and as I begin the end, the remainder of my years, half slumbering and trying to assuage my fears of the inevitable forthcoming days of forgetfulness, I realize that I will never know anyone as well as I know you. If I didn't love you, then who?

Stan Fine is a retired police officer and Verizon Security Department investigator who, after retiring in 2006, moved from Tampa, Fla., to Noel, Mo. Stan's connection to Noel can be traced back to his grandparents who lived most of their lives there. Stan began writing after the passing of his wife Robin in 2013. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 02/13/2020

Print Headline: Getting To Know You

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