It’s hard to believe that nearly eleven years have passed since Lex pulled me out of that storm ravaged river and brought me to her home to dry off and recover. Through rain and mud and exhaustion, we persevered until we made it to Lex’s ranch home. To our home. Our ranch. Our life.
Eleven years later, we have three children, formerly estranged relatives who have become family again, and family members who used to be strangers to us. Lex has changed from the lonely woman who bore the burden of running the ranch with only Martha as her calming influence to becoming the center of all our universes.
Lex is our life. She’s the reason we all became a family. We are all better because she took us into her heart. And she is better because she has been able to see herself as a loving, capable woman who means the world to each one of us. The one we want to be on our side when times are hard. The one we want to celebrate with when times are good. The one we’d protect to our last breath.
Still she doubts herself sometimes. Or doubts that she is enough for us. Or that she is giving us the lives we truly want. For years and years, only Martha was able to penetrate her thick head to let her know that she was precious and wonderful, and deserved a better life than she allowed herself.
But all that began to change when she went out to fix a fence on the far side of the property and ended up plunging into the swirling dangerous waters of that rain swollen river and brought my unconscious body out of my Mustang’s back window. She was my hero then and she is my hero now.
Most of all, she is my life. And each year that goes by is more precious than the last. Each addition to our family gives her even more of an opportunity to know herself as the generous center of our world that she is. And if we both survive parenthood, I hope she gets to see our children give to their families the same love, devotion, and spirit that she gives to ours.
The children. They want to stay up tonight to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Martha and Charlie will be coming over from their cottage. Martha complains that she’s a bit too old for such late hours. But Charlie ratted her out and told us how, on the cruise they took awhile back, that he had to drag her back to their cabin in the wee hours of the morning each night.
Ronnie and Nora are already here. Dad and Lois are on their way over, bringing much appreciated snacks and desserts for tonight. Ellie and Kylie, Jeannie, Rodney,and Teddy, my grandparents, and Roy and Helen will be welcoming in the new year with us. Hubert and Ramona promised to call.
The girls have made baby Eddie a Happy New Years hat our of construction paper. They even made a spare since he’s teething again and will probably slobber his first one to bits.
I may be older, see new gray hairs sprouting where I was all blonde all those years ago, but to me, each hair represents another moment and another memory of the love, laughter, and unrelenting joy that Lexington Walters brought to my life. To all our lives.