As much as I enjoy these go-on-forever songs, including Little Drummer Boy and 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, I decided to tap the idea of the Twelve Days of Christmas, not for musical purposes, but to compile a list of the twelve days of 2013, one from each month, that I consider the best gifts I have received this year from my lovely bride.
January 2nd - The culmination of months of hard work, no small amount put in by Mary as coordinator of my campaign for reelection, this was swearing in day on Beacon Hill. Mary understands my desire to serve as state representative and is my confidante and sounding board as I talk incessantly about how we can improve Massachusetts.
February 4th - Mary was amazingly supportive and engaged in my first colonoscopy. She even okayed my article about my experience published in the Barnstable Patriot to encourage others to step up to (or back into) this procedure. See the article here:
March 3rd - This is our son Chris' birthday. He's the oldest of our six kids and one of two children that Mary brought into our "Brady Bunch" of six. Mary has been the best mother and step-mother any child could hope for. All six are better off today because of her.
April 15th (Tax Day) - On top of everything else she does, Mary manages our CPA office, keeping the work flow moving and dealing with our many clients. She has my absolute trust and no one could be a better face and voice of our business.
May 28th - Mary is a 15-year breast cancer survivor. This was the date of her most recent mammogram. I never take it for granted that her early detection in 1998 was a life saver.
June 5th - On a day that should be All About Mary, her birthday often turns into There's Something About Mary in the middle of my crazy schedule. After energy education awards, realtors' day, and a formal voting session, Mary was very patient awaiting my return from Boston to celebrate her birthday.
July 4th - The Fourth of July starts the parade of our Cape Cod summer visitors. The amount of preparation that goes into being ready for the kids and grandkids is more than most realize and Mary is the one who figures it all out. This summer was no exception and a good time was had by all.
August 19th - Mary's volunteerism is a gift to everyone. This was the date of the organizing meeting for Sandwich's First Night, an event that was spectacularly successful last year and promises to be even better this year. If you want it done right and on time, Mary's the one you can count on.
September 26th - This was the date of the theater debut of Anonymous People on Cape Cod, a celebration of addicts in recovery sponsored by Gosnold on the Cape. Mary really gets this issue and understands how we need to change course in order to get a handle on addiction. She pushes me to continue making this a defining issue for me as state representative.
October 31st - We used to decorate our house off Old County Road for Halloween, adding music and effects to entertain/terrify the neighborhood kids. As you can imagine, it was Mary that always put things together, saving the best stuff from the year before and getting a few new things to make the evening more fun. Where we are now we get no trick or treaters. Five years, no one. But Mary never gives up. She's always got a bowl of treats ready to go, just in case. I love her optimism.
November 27th - Again, in a show of support and selflessness, Mary allowed me to take two days out of our Texas trip to meet with people who put Texas on a different and successful track relative to the sentencing and treatment of nonviolent criminals with substance addictions. I am grateful that Mary takes all of this in stride, knowing that this is important to me and, more than that, important to her.
December 18th - I had meetings in Boston this day and had committed to attend the House of Representatives Christmas party that evening. At about 2pm, I started having second thoughts about the party and being away from Mary. I picked up the phone and, in the most persuasive way I could, talked her into jumping on the bus, meeting me at South Station, and heading over to the party as a couple. We stayed at the hotel that night and returned to the Cape after a morning meeting I had at the Statehouse. Mary loves spontaneity. That is a gift I cherish.
These are twelve days of 2013 that stand out to me but, to tell it straight, not a lot more than the rest of the days that I am engaged by, motivated by, encouraged by, entertained by, consoled by, and loved by the most important person in my world.
Here's to a prosperous and wonderful 2014, my love.