Or Matt. Because that's how we all know him now. But he was always known as Big V in my pre-10/24 posts and somehow, well, somehow this post is deserving of reverting back to Big V status.
You'll remember we were blessed to have a real Christmas Tree donated by a local company (Hugs and Thank You's, Geneva Trees!) to put by Avery's grave. This was important to me because (1) she didn't have a headstone and I was afraid I'd be talking to a random clod of snow covered earth when I'd go to visit, and (2) she had made us promise to get a real tree this year, so I was able to keep my promise.
Also, it was super cool to see how Avery's classmates, the neighborhood kids and families decorated it.
It was so beautiful I didn't want to think about taking it down. I wanted some way to remember it. I wanted something to hold on to. I mean, the decorations we kept and are all wrapped up in purple tissue paper... but I wanted something from the tree itself.
That's when I saw this:
And I was all. "it's perfect!" Except I would use Avery's name. Obviously. And include the year of her tree. I vowed to do this each and every year! I ran to Big V with my picture and said, "Look! This is what I shall do to honor and remember my loved one who has passed on!" Okay, so I may have said it differently; the point is I showed him the picture.
It hung on our calendar. I spoke of it often. I referred to it. I joked that there would be a time when we'd need to get a whole second tree in the house just for the Avery Tree Ornaments. I had a vision. We were on the same page.
Until he went to go take the tree down and forgot I wanted a slice so he had to run back out and get one so I showed him the picture again and told him to get a good slice (it didn't matter where it was from, I just wanted to make sure it was a good slice) and I showed him the picture again...
And yet he came home with this:
I'm not exactly sure what happened.
The other thing that stays the same is people keep having birthdays. This is a good thing because it means we get invited places to celebrate. Places with food. And we like food. We were recently invited to a 40th Birthday Party that is a 1920's themed Murder Mystery. One of those things where we play out a real life version of CLUE. Each guest was invited with their character bio and a description of what they would wear. Since it's been a couple years since I've participated in community theatre I thought there is no way I'm passing this up. Plus, there will be food.
Only I didn't tell Big V about it because it was supposed to be a SURPRISE 40th birthday party and Big V can't keep secrets. I didn't tell him we were invited and I didn't tell him his character was a 1920's baseball player and I didn't tell him I already ordered costumes. Because, truth be told, I also wanted to mess with him a bit.
So, when I came home from work and saw his costume arrived, I nonchalantly tossed it to him while he was reclining in front of the TV. "Here, I bought you something." I tried acting all normal and uninterested as he tore into the package, waiting for his reaction. He was gonna be like, "what the ---??"
Except he didn't do that at all. Instead he pulled out the old timey baseball uniform, held it up in front of him, smiled, and said, "Thanks! This is pretty cool!" as if it is the most natural thing in the world to be getting a baseball costume in May.
And then... guess what? He tried it on. Never once asking why I got it in the first place.
And this, right here, is exactly why I love him. Because he graciously accepts bizarre gifts without asking what I was thinking. Someone told me the other day that I wouldn't be able to do normal; I think they're right.
Note: I have since explained to Matt the purpose for the costume. He wanted to know if he could talk in an accent. I may have to forewarn the other guests.