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>Gratitude Challenge, Day 13, Part II

December 12, 2009


What is so great about Gabe? Hard to put my finger on it. What was it that, so long ago, made me stop and think: “Wow. I really like this guy!”…despite the 9 year age difference (at 23, it seemed HUGE)…despite the fact that he was from a foreign country, I mean, different part of the country (as far East as you truly can go and still be American). Despite the fact that he was (and I swore I never would date) an engineer. Like my dad. (Aren’t all engineers geeks, even if they don’t look like it on the outside? Yes, they are. Oh yes.)

Is it his taste in music? No, I think not. The one sticking point in our marriage has been Pink Floyd, George Thoroughgood and Meat Loaf. (I went to a concert of his once. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. A sweatier human being there is not.)

Is it his athletic prowess? 13 surgeries later you wouldn’t know that he’s competed at more sports that I can remember. Actually, it’s easier to remember those he hasn’t played…baseball. Tennis. Lacrosse. Football. (pause) That’s about all. And if he played it, he was killer. (Killer to himself that is…hence the 13 surgeries. 5 on the same leg.) Skiing (aerials and moguls), volleyball, basketball, golf, bowling, soccer…you get the idea. He really liked to win…(surprised? Not so much.)

Is it his drive and persistence? Engineer and passion are words that do not often find themselves in the same sentence, but believe you me, when Gabe has an opinion, he sticks to it with passion. When he does something he enjoys, he does so passionately. Few people realize that Gabe is truly a survivor of unfathomably difficult circumstances. He overcame a childhood that would have put a lesser man into a nervous breakdown (at best) or prison (at worse). But no, he’s a fine, criminal-record-free, upstanding citizen, father and husband. How on earth?? Grace.
And, persistence.

Is it his sense of humor? Style? Analytical brain?

Gabe is just a really good guy. After 10 years crunching numbers (and being crunched) under the corporate thumb, he tossed it all that aside five years ago to do something totally different. He didn’t just switch industries, switch careers…he threw caution and pragmatism to the wind and did what so few have ever had the courage to do – he jumped ship and swam….(there’s that persistence thing again).

Now he helps families and first-timers find a place to lay their head at night, or move on to the next stage of life’s journey. In an industry that is as (in)famous as politics for (not) being upright and honest, he’s the good guy; the one that always tells the truth. He’s the one who takes the high road when many of his colleagues won’t. Those other glad-handers lie to close a deal, and they cheat to steal a client. While his dedication to right has cost him thousands of dollars in lost revenue, it has ensured him the loyalty and friendship of his clients long after the escrow closes. Honesty hasn’t made him a rich man, but there are some things more important than that. (Self-respect, perhaps?) The little old ladies absolutely love him…(again, surprised? I think not.) Earning the trust of the elderly is a rare gift. Having been around the block a few times, they see through smoke and mirrors faster than most. With the Gabester, what you see is what you get, and they eat it up. (Sometime I’ll tell you about 95 year old Addie who thought he had the best legs she’d ever seen. He does, but sheesh, Addie! At your age!)

His happy place is deep within an Excel spreadsheet – the longer the formulas, the more contented he gets. Par example…I knew I was in trouble when, upon first visiting his apartment, I found a graph taped to the wall of his oven temperature variations at all temperature settings. (The things we do to while away the hours without children or spouses to use up our time) Another example – in preparation for writing this post I asked him about his surgeries and the blessed man sent me a numbered, annotated list.

Who knows what combination of these quirky characteristics stole my heart? I just know that I am smitten with the entire package, the whole kit and kaboodle. 13 years later he can still snap off comebacks that make me laugh out loud. And when he crawls around on the floor playing pony with two little boys on his back (torturing aforementioned knees) I am undone.

Did I mention the guy can also cook?

Ah yes. THAT explains it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 15, 2009 9:48 pm

    >Love this. I love him too.

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