All I ever wanted to be was 13

Friday was Tiffany's 41st birthday. I know, one should never discuss a lady's age. But it has never bothered her. Actually, with her heart condition and other health concerns, she was quite proud to be 40 last year. So I asked her what she thought of turning another year with many more ahead of her. She simply smiled and said "It's funny, all I ever wanted to be was 13, so I could get my ears pierced". And I smiled. Because I know, through all of her travels and the up and down path she took, she still has a certain nativity to her. I find that so appealing, and it was one of the first things that drew her to me.

When I first met her, she was a wreck. She was back home after an ill fated move to California for a year. When her situation turned sour there, she was forced to leave with a backpack full of necessities and a small trash bag of clothes. She had to leave everything she held dear: family pictures, her Grandfathers coat, her guitar, and even her dog.

For those who do not know, she was a "Pizza Princess" growing up, as her dad owned a chain of very successful pizzerias. When he passed away he left her brothers loaded and she became a trust fund baby. It bankrolled the houses, Cadillacs, muscle cars and vacations to NYC, New Orleans, and Hawaii that complimented her gypsy like travels and soap opera life through her 20's and early 30's. Now broke, homeless, helpless, and 3000 miles away from her family, this was rock bottom for Little Red.

After sleeping in a park bathroom and roaming the streets for a few days, she reached her oldest brother here in Columbus. She borrowed a few hundred bucks from him, and caught a Greyhound Bus back  home. For 4 days she sat in that seat, eating a few sandwiches she had made, buying Pepsi with the change she had scrounged together, making stops at every hole in the wall bus station from here to LA, and dreading what she was going to face when she got home

Of course, at that time I was trying to bounce back from a very hard few years of my life. I was tying up loose ends, closing chapters and wasn't really looking to open any new ones. And then we met. And she told me her story. And I was hooked.

I remember thinking after our second date that "she may only have a a trash bag of clothes, but ,man, this girl has plenty of baggage". But I also knew there was something about her, and that she was that girl.

You know the rest, right? Not quite. Even I did not know the whole truth until about 10 months ago. But that's ok. Because in the end, this life we have built, and the way she saved the boys and me, is well worth whatever I didn't know then.

But her deep dark secrets are not what this blog is all about.

Less than 4 years after that Greyhound ride and look at this girl now. All of her clothes would not fit in a moving truck. Her "Fall and Halloween" decorations occupy 8 totes in the garage, and she has 10, yes I said 10, table and chair sets in our house. Our garage has become a warehouse for the thrift store we hope to open soon. We have enough toilet paper, deodorant, body wash, tooth paste, and fabreze to last us until we are both in our 80's. What I am trying to say wife has gone from nothing to being a hoarder.No seriously. She collects everything. Greeting cards. Bath mat sets. Christmas decorations. Animals. She needs help:).

As we talked, she looked around Our 4 dogs were laying at our feet. We were watching Cops on our 82" TV. And the woman who never wanted to be a Mom had jut gotten done "mothering" our three boys. So while she isn't 13 anymore, and doesn't even wear ear rings, she has come a lot further than 3000 miles on a bus. Its a helluva life. And she thanked me for giving her everything she never knew she wanted.

Little does she know how much she has given to me. Go back and read the blog before that day. You'll see.

Day #573. Work has been slammed. in fact, there will be another post about that later tonight. But for today, just wanted to honor my wife's birthday, even if a couple days late, by telling you a little more about her. Maybe now you understand why it is good to be me!


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