My brain works in mysterious ways. I remember the oddest things. License plates, for one. I remember the letter parts of friends’ license plates. I told Elaine this once, and she thought it was just weird. So for a long time, I tried to stop. But it’s not really something I can control…they’re just there. Gold Sienna, ZEH, Landes. Green Taurus wagon, UCP, Peterson. Silver Pilot, ZHC, my in-laws. I see the Brand’s new white MPV van, and I think, “Hans Blix”, the U.N. weapons inspector (their license plate is BLX).
I was helping in my daughter’s class last week, and her teacher asked what the acronym “SCUBA” stood for. They’re studying this stuff, and not a single hand went up, but in my head unbidden come the words, “self contained underwater breathing apparatus.” Which leads to the next string of unbidden words in my head: “You are a freak, Koskela.”
I also am fascinated by number patterns and relationships. What I mean is, I notice things like the time when I had been alive for half of my mother’s life, when our oldest daughter got to the point where she has less years left (probably) in our home than she’s already had with us, and the year that I had been out of high school longer than I had lived before I graduated.
Which brings me to now. It’s Elaine’s birthday today, and I’ve now celebrated 19 of her birthdays with her. She’s had more birthdays with me than without me. We’re passing those “half” milestones in our relationship; we’ve been together more than half our lives now. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful that I’ve had the majority of my life shaped by her influence. I can’t wait to see what life will be like, to see the better person that I am, when we start checking off the “two-thirds of our life together” marker points. It’s highly unlikely she’ll read this (she’s not the e-mail and internet addict that I am), but I want to say this anyway: I love you, Elaine, and I’m thankful for how God has used you in my life.