I know a fella who was born 49 years ago today. He's a good fella...a really good fella and the firstborn of his family. His mama used to dress him up in little ironed outfits, dress socks and those white hard-soled dress shoes that little kids used to wear (Do kids still wear those?)
His parents and parents' friends called him Li'l Ed after his daddy, Big Eddie. As he grew, his parents added 3 more little whippersnapper boys to their brood, but Li'l Ed was always the big brother, the leader of the pack, the one the little ones followed around...the one who beat them up, the one who told on them and the one who they knew they could turn to in times of trouble.
Teenage Li'l Ed was a music aficianado, playing in various bands with his friends. A natural talent, Li'l Ed could play the piano and guitar by ear. He was also an athlete, a slim trim quarterback and can to this day tell you scores and plays from games he played over 25 years ago.
Fast forward a few years and Li'l Ed moved off to college. He was a Romeo, melting various hearts and maneuvering dates so that girl A, never knew about girl B or C and girl B never knew about girl A or girl C...etc, etc, etc. He only broke a few hearts along the way...he was mostly just having a good time. Li'l Ed became Easy Ed in college because he just didn't seem to have any worries at all...his theme song should have been "Don't Worry; Be Happy"
Li'l Easy Ed's dream was to be a football coach and his career started off shortly after graduation and through graduate school on the sidelines of his alma mater.
It was during this time of his life that his path crossed mine.
Li'l Easy Ed was not in my plan.
But I knew from the moment he flipped my boyfriend's picture over on my desk at work that there was something about this guy.
After a few stops and starts (Li'l Easy Ed was still holding on to girl D and E just in case things didn't work out with me and I was engaged to someone else), he saved my life, which at that time was quickly spiraling out of control.
Ed is the most dependable person I've ever met and the most honest. He is a character at times, and there are many times Li'l Easy Ed reminds me of Big Eddie.
Strong, but not afraid to admit weakness sometimes.
Honorable, even surrounded daily by dishonor.
A giver, without question and preferably anonymously.
A father in every sense of the word, unconditional love comes naturally to him.
And a natural caretaker, to those of us who literally belong to him and even to those who don't.
I'd like to smack him sometimes though.
He's a penny pincher, which collides frequently with my free spending ways.
And he can belt out a one liner that will knock your socks off...leaving you wondering how in the world he comes up with that stuff.
I generally give it right back to him and learned long ago not to get my feelings hurt.
One of my favorite things though is to listen to him playing his guitar (acoustic or electric) in our quiet house...no tv, no radio, no screaming, yelling and fighting from the kids bc they're listening too.
And my very favorite thing is when he looks me in the eyes and tells me he loves me.
I'm glad you were born, Li'l Easy Ed.
I love you.