Another Tuesday Tribute at last! This week, I’m paying tribute to a very special someone, to whom I was espoused five years ago (our anniversary is August 8th): Allen James Cook.
|Look at that little cutie! Looks like Max, I think.|
What can I say? Where to begin? Allen has lots of wonderful (and sometimes unusual) qualities that certainly set him apart from the rest. I’ve talked about his resourcefulness, his desire to treat me like a princess (on more than one occasion), and his strict sense of what it means to say “a few” vs. “several.”
I guess I’ll do the somewhat cliched elementary school move and say some of my favorite things about this fine man via acrostic.
A is for Animating. He’s not into the art of animation (that would be his brother), but rather animating in its most original sense: breathing life and courage into me. Not to say that I was just a hollow creature before we met, but I do have a lot of timidity. Over time, Allen has, by his bold example, brought out more tenacity and courage in me. He is spirited and passionate about life and his beliefs, and it rubs off on me (in a good way).
L is for Loyal. I cannot imagine Allen leaving me. He has said on many occasions that he can’t imagine going back to a life without me. His own dad left the family when Allen was a teen, and it is not an action that Allen wants to repeat in his own path as a father and husband.
L is for Loving. Of course, I have to include loving in this list! Allen loves to do nice things for me, especially getting me little gifts. When we were dating, it was buying me a Starbucks drink and walking to my house to leave it on my car before I went to work, or picking me a bouquet. Being married, it’s coming home with my favorite brand of lemonade, or an encouraging card, or something from a free pile that he knew I’d like (lately that’s included cool glass apothecary jars, a outdoor baby play yard, two great drying racks, and flower seeds). He also helps with my least favorite household chores and, you know, renovated a whole house for us to live in. No bigs.
E is for Educated. Even though Allen has had to take his education more slowly because of needing to work full time to support us, it has been very important to him to make sure to get his degree. First he finished his Associates at Portland Community College, then went to evening classes over 18 months to finish his Bachelors at Warner Pacific College. Now he’s done with year one (out of four) of evening classes for his carpentry apprenticeship. Can you think of things you’d like to do after you get home from work besides go to school and do homework? Me too...and so can Allen, but he plugs away at it anyway.
N is for Neat, but he loves me anyway. He’s tidy; I’m messy. He likes things to be organized; I theoretically like things to be organized. He can’t stand clutter; I’m the queen of piles. He’s a natural Montessorian (a place for everything and everything in its place); I’m fine with that, except that everything is in any place. But, as I said, despite this difference, he loves me anyway *and* helps keep things tidy.
C is for Christ-follower. Allen’s been down some pretty rough roads in his life, and he’s learned that when you’re at rock bottom, you can either “curse God and die” (in the word of Job’s wife) or you can plead for help. He chose the latter, and it’s made all the difference. Jesus is his king, and he wants to follow him whither He leads.
O is for Oh-So-Good-Looking. Even in work clothes that are covered in sawdust and sweat, with a wicked farmer tan from his work uniform and being in the sun a lot, and hands roughened by lots of work and way too many interactions with harmful chemicals...yeah, he’s a good looking man.
O is for Observant. Allen has a secret notebook where he writes down things that he’s heard me say I’d like so that he won’t forget them for future birthdays, holidays, or date nights. He learns best by observing and doing. There were a few areas of remodeling that he didn’t know a lot about when he started this project, but by watching friends do them he picked up on the methods quickly.
K is for Killer Athlete. Allen is a do or die soccer player. He’s in great shape, and he is fast. He’s an asset to his team (this is the second season they’ve won the championship) and in a few weeks he’s going on to play the champions from Seattle. I’m impressed by his athletic achievement and his love of “the beautiful game.”
Those are just a few of the traits I value in Allen. He’s been there for me through thick and thin. Having just been away from him for two months, I realized that I really took him for granted. It was hard to be a single parent without him to help balance me out. Even though we talked on the phone every day, it wasn’t the same. I just like talking to him and hanging out.
It’s my year to plan our anniversary celebration, and although I don’t think it’s going to be anything spectacular (we need to get work done on the house still), I’ll be very glad to be with him and appreciate all of the things that make him a gift from God to me.
I love you, Allen!