Thursday, February 08, 2007

HNT - Happy Birthday Francine - Da Count

For those of you here for a continuation in the latest Darth Tater saga, stay tuned . . . the storyline will return next week . . .

I'm cheating a bit here, by combining two of my weekly pleasures into a single post. After all, the subject matter (my wife Francine) is crucially important. And since this Da Count, which normally is posted on Friday is so critical to me personally, I'm sure Lecram would understand me sliiiiiiding it forward a day so that it can be posted ON my wife's birthday. After all, it's important to count what you have . . .

And what I have is a wonderful, beautiful, incredible woman. While I still can't believe how lucky I am to have found her, and that she didn't go running away fast in the other direction when I approached (well, initially she did, but I chased and finally out winded her), I don't pause often enough to express to her how important she is, what she means to me and how much I love her.

In the Peter Gabriel song that we danced to as our first dance on our wedding day he states: "In your eyes, the light, the heat. In your eyes, I am complete. In your eyes, I see the doorways to a thousand churches. In your eyes, the resolution of all the fruitless searches." I couldn't have said it better, because Francine is all those things to me.

Fran is my best friend, a good-natured, kind-hearted and selfless person. She is a caring and nurturing mother and wife. She is sexy and fun, and I can always count on her for stimulating and intelligent discussion. Never mind the fact that she's willing to humour me in all the strange and bizarre things that I do (like taking these HNT shots of us laying on the couch and watching Medium on a Wednesday night). But even more important, of course, is the fact that she loves to laugh and enjoy life.

This trait becomes more and more important when you look at all the stress and uncontrollable factors that strike a person's life. Fran's mother has been hospitalized with varying degrees of severe heart failure since the beginning of September, spent several weeks in a coma and most of the rest of the time in a state within which it is challenging and frustrating trying to communicate with her. We get passing glimpses of this remarkable woman whom Francine is so much like, but these glimpses are brief and are often clouded through the intense pain-relief drugs.

Yet despite the fact that Francine's Mom has been suffering like this for six months now, and it has been stressful and difficult to keep going with day to day activities while managing her mother's affairs and making multiple daily visits with her in the hospital, Francine is still the main pillar of strength in our home. She continues to plug on, and though it is painful and difficult for Fran to see her Mother who is among her closest dearest friends, suffer this way, she carries on, continues to be a loving mother, wife, daughter and sister. She continues to think about others first, continues to give and share.

Her strength, her selflessness, her tirelessness seems to know no bounds. And as I try my best to be a supportive husband (I really only am taking my cues on how to be supportive, how to be a good mate from Francine herself), I continue to marvel at this incredible woman. A week ago, when her mother and I were talking, during one of those brief moments of clarity we reminisced about the big surprise birthday bash that we arranged for Francine last year on her 40th birthday. I know this year's birthday won't be as special, not because it's not a landmark year, but because Dianne, her mother, won't even be properly cognizant of it. She won't be able to wish her the simple wish of a Happy Birthday. As for myself, I think back to all of the times when Fran's mom spoke of her, talked about how proud she was of the woman her daughter grew up to be, how much she loved her, how much she enjoyed spending time with her. I know it's not proper consolation, but it's something I can offer.

And I will continue to count the blessing of Francine in my life.

Happy birthday Francine. You are a remarkable woman whom I look up to. Every day of every year I try harder to be more like you, to become a better person. And every day of every year, you offer me a reason to smile, a reason to laugh, a ray of sunshine and warmth. And while I know that Alexander doesn't yet have the words to express it, you are all these things to him as well.



Ameratis said...

AWESOME HNTDacount combo! Your wife is just as lucky to have an adoring, handsome, great father, loving husband as you :) Alexander is going to realize how fabulous his family is when he is abit older!

Taki said...

Good Post Mark. Made me think (and I have thought it before) that I don't tell my own wife how much she means to me.

Two things
1) I buy gifts for my wife from time to time for no particular reason but just to let her know that I think about her. This is a fundamental secret of life, use it wisely!

2) I once ran into this old man pushing my first son Kai. He said, "You're a new father" (skipping parts of the conversation) he said, "That's the second most important job you will ever have" to which I replied, "Really? What's the first one?"
"You have to be a good husband"

Yes, as you get older (39 this year) you tend to sermonize a lot more.


BTExpress said...

That was a beautiful tribute to Francine. Yes you are lucky man and never forget it!

I'm so sorry about her mom. Brings back things for me. I have an idea how Francine feels since watching my wife for so long. It was very difficult and I felt sort of guilty when the time finally came. I was happy it had arrived, but sad too. I think you'll all feel the same way too.

BTExpress said...

BTW, I think you'll get a kick out our HNT this week.

SIMPLY ME said...


barefoot_mistress said...

Happy Happy Birthday Francine!

For you, we shall wait til next week for the taters!
Have a lovely birthday weekend!

loz said...

a beautiful expression of appreciation, Mark. it seems the two of you are very lucky to have each other.

happy birthday (pardon me, a day late) Francine... I hope you had a great day :). all the best to your mother too; wishing her strength in healing.


loz said...

oops, and belatedly - a happy hnt as well!

Mellissa said...

This is why I still believe!! Thank you Mark for this wonderful post.

Fran is a beautiful - and lucky lady!!


lime said...

happy birthday to you francine!

wonderful combination of hnt and da count mark. really beautiful. the fun, love and zest the two of you share is a truly blessed thing.

Cosima said...

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY FRANCINE! I am so happy to hear that the two of you have this wonderful love for each other.

Rainypete said...

You're far wealthier than many. Francine is a great woman and you two are terrific together. Happy birthday Fran! (sure it's a little bit late, but I'm a guy after all)

Regal said...

My very favorite sone "In Your Eyes" for sooo many reasons. In fact reading this today, I googled the lyrics (as if I don't know them by heart) yesterday and wanted to be sure Peter Gabriel wrote them as I have a friend who sings it and lists Jeffrey Gaines on his website as author but he in fact covered the song.