If I didn’t have you

Published 8:36 am Friday, May 29, 2009

Nine years ago today, before I was a wife and mother and whatever else I have become since, I donned a Marilyn Monroe wig and flimsy white dress to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. Passut” in front of a crowd of friends, strangers and random drunks.

My boyfriend at the time was turning 30, and I wanted to do something amazing to celebrate that milestone.

Looking back on it now, it seems like a bold move only a foolish young girl would make.

I’m still glad I did it.

This year, an older and much wiser Jena is taking a moment to reflect on what nearly 10 years with Mr. Passut has meant to me. This is happening as Mr. Passut himself celebrates the big 3-9 today.

In the beginning, the simple notes from that “Happy Birthday” song started a Passut symphony of sorts — one that still feels as if it’s in its first movement.

The progression has been, for the most part, linear. We dated. We married. We spawned.

In between those things, we have explored and experimented and expected much.

Sure, our symphony hasn’t always been harmonious. What in life ever is? Sometimes the lilting sounds of the flute have been rudely interrupted by the steely crash of the symbols.

Cacophony happens.

Still — and please pardon all of these puns, but especially this next one — we continue to make beautiful music together.

No one else can make me laugh until I gasp for air and beg for mercy.

No one else has taken better care of me through sickness and surgeries.

No one else knows my deepest fears and greatest loves like he does.

Today seems like the perfect day to thank him for bringing music to my life and making home wherever we are together.

Our lives together could have turned into a bad country song.

Like any couple, we’ve suffered loss and joy, heartache and happiness.

Instead, I think of Charlie every time I blast the Randy Travis CD that contains the song “If I Didn’t Have You.”

“If I didn’t have you I’d long ago

Been left in the dark out in the cold

Blowing around from town to town

Like a feather in the wind.

If I didn’t have you I know I’d be

Floundering around like a ship at sea,

Lost in the rain of a hurricane —

That’s where I’d have been.

But I didn’t get lost cause I saw your light

Shining like a beacon on a cold, dark night.

And the sun came up and the skies turned blue

No, I wouldn’t have nothing

If I didn’t have you.”