I’ve written here before about Jack, the boy with Down Syndrome I grew up with. The one who is my age. The one who was ring bearer in our wedding. When Todd and I were first dating, before it would have been cool to even mention marriage, the first time Jack met Todd he got down on one knee and demonstrated how Todd should propose. He pointed at him and said, “Groom!” And then he pointed at me, and said, “Bride.” And then he looked us each in the eye and nodded, satisfied we’d gotten the message.
Then he gave me the once over because there was really only one reason for us to be visiting him in his group home. Presents. He knew I’d have them and he wanted them. He is obsessed with music, so it had to be cassette tapes or CD’s (easily found in cheap discount racks). Arrive with some music and Jack is over the moon.
When I’ve visited him, I like to torture him for a while, act like I don’t know what he wants, and then finally give him the loot, which is hidden in my bag or in my pocket. He takes the CD’s greedily, blows me off completely (my usefulness being over) and starts opening the gifts.
“Haaaaapy now!” He always says.
It’s become part of our lexicon. Todd and I use Haaaaaapy now! Whenever we’re happy and feel it’s worth mentioning.
This morning, it is raining hard. I woke up and noted it, and as I brushed my teeth, I realized it is Saturday and I don’t have to rush off or get anyone up and moving. I quickly grabbed a towel, a jacket, and went out on the covered balcony off our upstairs. It’s old, with a tin roof and the rain sounds awesome up there.
As I settled in on the chair and looked around me at the hard rain blowing around the trees, I wondered how everyone wasn’t outside enjoying this? People are crazy not to be out in the blustery rain at 7:30AM!
I closed my eyes, prepared to clear my mind, and the words I thought were, “Haaaaaapy now!”
Thank you Jack. I have not seen you in a long time. I hope you are happy now, and always.