“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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I Know It’s Not Modern, But I’m In Love With My Husband

Henry (not his real name, his real name’s … Britannicus Maximus) drove up to Santa Barbara from our home in L.A. today to pick up our kids at my mom’s house where they and I have been frolicking and creating general mayhem the last several days.

I’m staying on because my mom has decided, after six years of caring for my stepdad after his stroke, that she just can’t do it by herself anymore. We’re moving him on Tuesday from home to an intimate 12-room care facility.

After all these heroic years where she’s been both wife and nurse she’s at the end of her tether. This is yet another example of how really hard things can happen to really lovely people.

But this post is about Henry. Who arrived today like a breath of fresh mowed-lawn air in the nursery of the young, overly-energetic and the elderly-winding-down-on-life’s-journey.

He listened to four women talking at once. His two daughters describing their super-hero drawings and the dragon in Eragon, his wife imploring him to do This and do That, his mother-in-law describing how hard it is to let her own husband go. He listened with equanimity and wisdom. He held all of our hands. Then he went into his step-father-in-law’s bedroom and took his hand.

I can see both these mens’ hands in my mind’s eye. One that had held a gun in World War II, ran a shipping company that covered the globe and expertly fingered the valve pistons of a trumpet to bring the jazz house down, now frail and mottled. The other, younger hand that never held a gun or ran an empire, but bathed his babies’ heads and wrote many beautiful things. There was comfort, communion and brotherhood in those clasped hands.

My husband’s a private man who married me. Poor chap. He finally accepted that I suffer from Indiscretion Illness and told me I could say anything I wanted about him as long as he wasn’t in the room when I said it.

So now that he’s gone home I am free to embarrass him. What follows is my tribute to him in photos and negligible prose, sometimes lapsing into unschooled verse:

His nose is shy. His expression wry. His eyes are an Irish blue. His chin’s unprepossessing, never looking for a fight. He indulges every shrewish, immature flight (of mine). His shoulders are broad, his chest never puffed, he’s simply and indubitably more than enough.

He’s a lover of women, two daughters, one wife. Menopause and puberty are coming, Run for your life!

His light saber duels from L.A. to Donegal, are fearsome and epic, yet each time he doth fall. (Edgar Allen Poe, you have no worries).

He has no girlish vanity, he’s too soulful and deep. When he dresses like this I don’t say a peep.

It took him too long to make me his wife (3 years and 2 months, not that I’m counting), but once he did I knew it was for life.

Thank you for my life, manliest of men! I’ve never been more in love with my husband.  xo

(Those are not our bellies, we just have poor posture (and perhaps a wee bit too much shepherd’s pie)

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in love with husband


Write a comment
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous 4 September, 2011, 09:16

    Beautiful, heart warming post Shannon.

    Reply this comment
  2. julie fedderson
    julie fedderson 4 September, 2011, 09:23

    A man like this isn't born, he's trained by a good woman. Of course, you need a pupil who is strong enough to face the challenge of estrogen mightiness. Congrats for finding a Jedi among all the Jabbas!

    Reply this comment
  3. Sir Henry Airedale
    Sir Henry Airedale 4 September, 2011, 09:57

    'Dresses like this'? But surely, except for the blueness of the blue shirt, that is EXACTLY how a man OUGHT to dress!

    Reply this comment
  4. SouthMainMuse
    SouthMainMuse 4 September, 2011, 10:08

    I too am a sucker for men without girlish vanity. These days the number of those in line is growing rather thin.

    Reply this comment
  5. Heidi- Girl to Mom
    Heidi- Girl to Mom 4 September, 2011, 12:21

    Awww, it makes me so happy for you, he's handsome, manly and he GETS you. Love it.

    ~ Heidi (Girl to Mom.com)

    Reply this comment
  6. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 4 September, 2011, 12:35

    My hubby says I do "peep" about his clothung repertoire. I have NO idea what he's talking about.

    Reply this comment
  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous 4 September, 2011, 15:26

    I love your husband too.

    Reply this comment
  8. The Zadfge
    The Zadfge 4 September, 2011, 16:52

    Does he have a brogue?! You are a cutie-patootie couple!

    Reply this comment
  9. catherineD
    catherineD 4 September, 2011, 19:04


    Reply this comment
  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous 4 September, 2011, 20:11

    Love that!

    Reply this comment
  11. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 4 September, 2011, 20:12

    He only has a brogue when we're in Ireland and it's best not to use it there. xo

    Reply this comment
  12. Eva Smith
    Eva Smith 4 September, 2011, 23:33

    Beautiful couple!

    Reply this comment
  13. lauren
    lauren 5 September, 2011, 10:56

    So sweet! That brought tears to my eyes!

    Reply this comment
  14. Kimberly
    Kimberly 5 September, 2011, 14:26

    This is absolutely heartwarming and beautiful. PS. Shepard's pie will get you every facken time.

    Reply this comment
  15. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 5 September, 2011, 18:59

    Yes, I love the shepherd's pie. And most things edible.

    Reply this comment
  16. The Empress
    The Empress 6 September, 2011, 07:50

    I LOVE that you know you have a good man.


    Reply this comment
  17. SANDEE
    SANDEE 6 September, 2011, 11:11

    THis was so beautiful Shannon! Thank you for sharing your hubby…. Wait, that didn't come out right.

    Reply this comment
  18. sonora
    sonora 7 September, 2011, 12:18

    What a tribute! I'm jealous, and I'm not even anybody's husband. Heck, I'm not even a guy. Though you may want to take to heart the words of "Women Be Wise" … I'm just saying.

    Reply this comment
  19. Jo
    Jo 8 September, 2011, 14:44

    Great post. I found you via Dar over at parentwin.blogspot.com, and I shall now follow you! But two out of three Dars are never wrong.


    Reply this comment
  20. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 8 September, 2011, 16:07

    Thanks Jo. I'll be happy to come read you as well.

    Reply this comment
  21. pinayfitness
    pinayfitness 20 September, 2011, 22:54

    i loved reading your post! got me teary eyed a bit there! reminds me of my husband 😀
    will definitely be coming back to read your posts!


    Reply this comment
  22. Shannon Bradley-Colleary
    Shannon Bradley-Colleary 21 September, 2011, 09:35

    Oh thank you pinayfitness. My husband gets me teary-eyed too. Aren't we lucky!

    Reply this comment
  23. Tharin Wendell
    Tharin Wendell 15 December, 2011, 13:53

    Thanks for these great pictures of Mike and the girls! I knew he had a family, I just never got to see any of them. I get all my details from Claire.

    He still has that same wry smile he had in College… so long ago… and we are both loosing our hair! I am not alone!

    Reply this comment
  24. Marlene
    Marlene 11 September, 2012, 19:31

    What an utterly pathetic, time-wasting, self indulgent blog you have. I want the last 10 minutes of my life back.

    Reply this comment
  25. IttyBitty
    IttyBitty 3 February, 2013, 14:38

    Shannon, so glad I stumbled on your blog throug GenFab … you must epitomize Sharron’s ideal for this wonderful group of women!

    That being said, loved your flu blog, reading about you and your mom, about your friend who died too young, and now this sweetness about your sweetie. My hubby is similarly an unpretentious, loving, simple-living man – and I wouldn’t trade him for the world!

    Love him with all you might!


    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 3 February, 2013, 15:19

      Thanks IttyBitty — My hubby is doll. I often think how lucky I am he can handle me. So glad to meet you and will pop over and take a look at your site xo S

      Reply this comment
  26. Angel
    Angel 24 June, 2013, 18:53

    That was simply beautiful.

    Reply this comment

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