During my 4 day road trip to visit friends and family, I spent a night in Beebe, Ark. My cousin Kem, her boyfriend Shawn, my Great Uncle Peewee, and cousin Tyler live there. It’s been about 16 years since I have been to Beebe to visit. (Last time I was there Tyler was a precious, blond-headed 2-year-old. Now he’s all grown up!).
My cousin Kem is one of the few members of an extremely large family that I still speak to. I never really knew most of them growing up, so it’s not like there has ever been a falling out, I just don’t know them. My granny is Peewee’s sister. Including them there were something like 13+ (?) kids who lived to reproduce. (I need to check that number…) So, to say I have a lot of cousins is an understatement. Kem and my mom were really close and I think that is the tie that binds us. Plus the 3 of us are so much alike it is scary! I see a lot of my mom in Kem… and she sees a lot of my mom in me. So basically it’s like mom is there! Ha!
I was able to snap a few precious pics of them as we walked around on Saturday. I could have kicked myself for not getting any of Tyler and Peewee.
I will definitely be back to show you some pictures of the beautiful land they live on and tell you how much it settled my soul to be there. But for now I wanna tell you about Kem and Shawn.
I had not met Shawn until this weekend, but Kem had already told me great things about him. They had gone to school together 1-12th grade, but had not seen each other in 25 years when they ran into each other at Wal-Mart. The rest is history. And what a sweet, sweet history they are building.
When I pulled up in the drive way and got out of the car he greeted me with a big hug. While Kem and I yapped and yapped in the kitchen, he busied himself with starting dinner. It was hard not to see the love and absolute sweetness in the way he looked at Kem, or kissed her as he walked by. I said something about him being so sweet and Kem held up a brown paper lunch bag. There was a cute “I love you” note written on it. I ohh’d and aww’d and she started laughing. I followed her to the bedroom where she had a shoe box FULL of them. EVERYDAY HE MAKES HER LUNCH AND WRITES A SWEET NOTE ON IT. everyday. Yes, I teared up and pretty much cried. Through out the house there are little “i love you” notes. In the cabinet with the towels, taped to her cell phone, on the mirror on her car. It’s the kind of love I would normally gag at, but something about his sweet demeanor and the way he looks at and treats her is just perfect.
I told him after the 1st hour that I was going to clone him and take him home with me. Then he grilled some amazing steaks and fixed my plate for me. He grilled two for me, even though I said I wouldn’t eat 2. I ate 2… they were incredible! Then he made us amazing never-ending Strawberry margaritas. Then built us a camp fire and played his guitar under the stars. *sigh.
I fell asleep on the couch in the living room and kind of woke up when I heard Shawn in the kitchen. I realized I was freezing when I heard him shut the living room window that we had left open. About the time he covered me up with two more blankets, I was out cold again. He finally did wake me up about 10:30, and before I could even get my eyes open good I had a cup of coffee in my hands and an amazing breakfast in my belly.
Kem swears he is like this constantly. I am gonna quote her for a minute and hope she doesn’t mind…
“he’s a big teddy bear with a soft heart. Its a dream come true and I wasn’t even looking. I had decided that life was good alone. No drama just enjoying what has been given to me. I could do it. I had my son, my dad, and the things I enjoyed. Homemade wine, beer, tequila, plenty of wood for fires, Hey life was good. Now I have someone who shares it all with me. Walks in the woods, talks by the fire, takes care of me and the people I love. It’s a dream I never want to wake from.”
I mean, really… what more can you want in life?
She deserves every ounce of love and caring that he can give her. I know her well enough to know she appreciates it and gives him the same love and care (only with a lot more sarcasm and smart-ass!)
Basically I am just amazed that there really are men like this in the world. I mean, I know they exist… but they are a lot like Big Foot or Sasquatches! (Which I have heard run around the woods of Beebe!) It was a heart warming experience to be around a relationship that is so loving and good. Makes me want to be a part of something good, and makes me a little impatient for my life to have that kind of love.