December 5, 2006

If I spring a leak, she mends me...

Saturday night my pregnant wife got sick. Really sick...

She woke me up from a sound sleep not more than thirty minutes after I'd gone to bed. Now, I'd retired early Saturday night because she was playing timpani in a church service on Sunday afternoon and I wanted to go with her. You see, music is a very important part of my wife’s life and I like to share it with her even if it’s just carrying pieces of equipment and sitting in the audience and watching her play. (I love watching the look of happiness on her face when she’s performing.)

So, trying to be the good husband, I go off to sleep on the sofa. That way, I can get some sleep and my wife gets the bed which is closer to the bathroom and doesn’t have to crawl over the top of me to get there. The best laid plans...

Sunday morning we wake up and neither one of us have gotten the rest we needed. She goes off to rehearsal and I stay home. The day is a miserable one while she’s gone and I am having one of those days. You know, the Murphy Day, where everything that can go wrong is going wrong.

So, by the time my wife comes home from rehearsal I’m sitting in the den watching television in a state of sweet-sulking-sullen-misery. I’m speaking in monosyllabic tones, rejecting every offer of food and libation and basking in the juices of my darkest depression. Hey, I’m fifty-two years old, sometimes I’m crusty.

Still, trying to be a decent husband I get showered, shaved and dressed for the church service. Departure time arrives and I’m ready to go. Yes, I was still grousing but I was ready to go and would have calmed down on the journey to Piqua. It’s a lovely drive and it always makes me feel good.

As we’re headed to the car we fall into the dance. You know the one.

“Well if you’re just going to...

"Then why don’t you just stay home and...”

So I stomped back into the house and she stomped off to the car and separated for the day we were.

Ten minutes after she’s departed I’m thinking, “Man that’s not how I planned on spending today.” (I hate when that happens.)

So, I change clothes and sit down to watch my beloved Cleveland Browns play the Kansas City Chiefs in a rarely televised game here in the heart of Cincinnati Bengal territory. As the contest progresses into the fourth quarter the Browns are losing and their starting quarterback gets hurt and leaves the game. Great...

Bound and determined that the day is not going to be a total loss, I decide to give up on the game and get in my daily thirty minute walk. Off into the frozen tundra I go. Damn was it cold and I froze my butt off. Now, are you ready for the fun part? When I get home, I fix myself a nice cup of warm coffee and head back upstairs to watch the next football game.

You know what happened. Yes, the Browns came back to win the most thrilling game of the season, in overtime, and I missed it.

Oh it gets better...

I’d also missed my wife’s phone call. The one where she called to tell me she’d fallen and hurt herself.

Yeah, I certainly felt like the very best husband in the whole wide world.

Man, sometimes you step on a pile of crap and the next thing you know you are neck deep in biggest shit sinkhole you’ve ever fallen into. It happens.

Well, she got home and terrified that something might have happened to the baby, guilt on both our parts and all kinds of other emotional ingredients combined in a stew of crusty fussiness and once again, we went to sleep alone together. The perfect finish to the perfect day.

I awoke this morning with my wife giving me a kiss before she headed out to work. “Do you need anything before I go, honey?”

“No, I’m okay. What time is your appointment with the doctor?”

“Two forty-five. I’ll call you as soon as I know anything.”

“I love you, angel.”

“I love you too.”

Today’s lesson?

Sometimes love is tough. Sometimes it does not feel much like love at all. Now, I can’t tell you many things about love because I really didn’t know much about it until late in my life. But I can tell you the most important thing my wife has taught me about love.

Love is a choice.

I made the choice to marry this woman and she chose to have me as her husband. And each and every day we choose to continue our love no matter what each moment brings to our table. We choose to accept the bad as well as the good. And you know what? It turns out we’ve chosen pretty well.

It’s easy to love when there are no trials and tribulations. But there are always trials and tribulations. And when you get through them and you hold each other tight, there is no sweeter love. So many people give up so easy these days. At the first cross word, they leave a relationship. It breaks my heart...

Folks, I don’t care how bad a day it is, I’d rather spend it with my wife than live it without her. That’s my choice, and gratefully, it’s hers too.

Trust me, if you choose to live through the worst of your husband, your wife or even your children with love, it will only make living through the best of their days that much sweeter. Celebrate the bad days as much as you would the good days. They are both important ingredients in the reality of agape love. But who am I to speak of these things?

It’s your choice...

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Anonymous Whimsicalnbrianpan said...

That was beautiful and profound. Thank you for writing it! I have been questioning the relationship I am in right now and although I know love is work and a choice it is good to be reminded of such things.

I hope your wife and the little one are ok.

December 05, 2006 2:52 AM  
Blogger skeet said...

"But who am I to speak of these things?"

Ah, who you are is a man in love, and a wise one at that. You blew it letting her go alone, though. But I'm glad you both worked that out, because it's great for both of you & good for all of us voyeurs who need reminders about what's really worth the most during our short spans on this planet.

Mahalo for sharing.

December 05, 2006 3:30 AM  
Blogger Nipizan said...

Ah so romantic...!

December 05, 2006 4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your new template is great. Now that you'd removed the 'whine cellar', there are more room for cute stuff.

December 05, 2006 6:28 AM  
Blogger Lunasi said...

Wonderful wonderful. Thank you so much.

December 05, 2006 7:54 AM  
Blogger The Wizened Wizard said...

Snow fell last night and the temperature was only slightly above zero. I awoke to the sound of a hairy woodpecker banging on the siding of the house - in fact, sprang from the bed to ask him what he was doing - came downstairs and started the coffee, threw a couple chunks of beech into the woodstove, and then was warmed by your blog.

December 05, 2006 8:17 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Man, this was awesome. I too am finding that pregnancy brings out the best and worst in us. My wife is at 8 weeks and feels wretched most of the time. It's so easy to feel sorry for myself as I tend to her needs while she's an invalid in bed.

Oh, and Go Browns! I lost the passion after they moved to Baltimore, but I can tell you that I was one said 7 year old boy when Brian Sipe threw that interception on Red Right 88. My mom had season tickets and it was one cold day. Speaking of disappointments, we missed Ron Bolton's interception and subsequent TD return because we were in the ladies' room warming my feet.

December 05, 2006 8:37 AM  
Blogger ticharu said...

I wonder if it's like that for The Rolling Stones...

Very good post. Staying together and working through difficult stuff, builds stronger people.

December 05, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Hmm, I have another view to this. This post was indeed beautiful, but for me, I didn't want to fall in love with my partner... It just happened. I guess it may be different for everyone. I didn't even want to be in a relationship with her- but I found myself falling more and more in love with her each time we saw one another. So, I guess it is different. But, I do think that "choosing to love" in means of doing things for one another, helping one another is definitely a choice. A conscious effort to maintain a healthy relationship is indeed a choice... But to "love"----to consider that emotion to be a choice, I'm not sure.

Beautifully written! I hope your wife feels okay.

December 05, 2006 9:15 AM  
Blogger karma lennon said...

That was a beautiful post. Absolutely lovely. :)

December 05, 2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Ah, yes! A wonderful meditation on a not-so-wonderful day.

Screw Dr. Phil and all the others, say I! This here is the real deal.

December 05, 2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger Imran MD said...

I am again awe-inspired by a simple experience, but with an underlying, deep and profound meaning to learn from life.

Love is a choice! Simple, but profound. Always good to be here.

PS: Nice, sunny home you got here.

December 05, 2006 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Sigmund Gnome said...

Have you seen the Wizard? The last time I saw her she was headed into the forest (talking to herself) but she was on a new path and I don't know where she was going.

December 05, 2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

I lefvt a comment on here but I am pretty sure I was signed in a beat test.- yes I am a dummy, feel free to deleate it

December 05, 2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger Tanie said...

The Journey of the Child is indeed fraught with perils....

You see this is why I have fallen in love with you American gentlemen. You ARE gentlemen! A public declaration of love can be a beautiful thing...

December 05, 2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger Zen Wizard said...

I really don't see how you guys do it.

It's all I can do to take care of my own scraggily ass...

December 05, 2006 12:41 PM  
Blogger Meander said...

i hope your wife and baby are okay! you are quite right that love is never easy and life will always make it that way. i think it is very human and genuine to say that it can sometimes be a difficult road. you are an inspiration with your attitude to count your blessings along the way.

on a side note: damn my eyes! i have failed the word verification two times now!

December 05, 2006 2:01 PM  
Blogger Spoke said...

After sixteen years with Pj, we find ourselves in love with each other. Yes, the butterflys fade sometimes but come again...often. Many people give up as you have said. People want the romantic thrill to never leave. That is poor council, life happens, you get by. You must reconnect.
First is Agape love, then comes Eros love.
As it is in my home...

December 05, 2006 2:41 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Ooooh, I'm so sorry to hear you both had such a hard day. I hope she & baby are feeling better today, and I hope the sun's shining & you're feeling better as well. Many blessings to you & your growing family.

Yes, some days Murphy rules our world, too. Hate those days, but they sure do make one appreciate the days in which Murphy doesn't show his face at all.

December 05, 2006 2:46 PM  
Blogger Meander said...

it is bothering me now...what song is your title from? tell me tell me!

December 05, 2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger Cinderella said...

OMG, I think I am going to faint!! Did you really put my link up on your wonderful blog?!? *Scream*

Thank you!! I will be back when I can breathe again ;)

December 05, 2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Oh man, we have all had those days. Things going wrong in an individual basis spill over into the relationship and it just sucks. Thankfully, after 21 years of marriage, life seems to find its equilibrium and all is well again.

Tell her to be careful - specially as we get into snow and sleet and slippery sidewalks!

December 05, 2006 7:50 PM  
Blogger DNR said...

Well said. In our 23 years of marrage, we have chosen to stay and love many times. Love takes work.

Glad you like the scoot. May find my self in cinci this summer...
Got the little monster at danasoft.com
Will Pixie work for others???

December 05, 2006 8:50 PM  
Blogger Arcturus said...

Sublime ... very sublime. I wish I could say something more profound, but reading it sorta made me feel, well, I've yet to have a significant other in my life. Hearing you say it came later in life -- I'm 37 -- was hopeful to me.

Agape ... I haven't heard that word in, like, 15 years. Tillich and the ontology of love ...

December 05, 2006 9:50 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

That was good. It also nice to notice what is important among the small inconveneinces.

December 06, 2006 7:03 AM  
Blogger Adriana said...

This post really hit home with me. I've been 'seeing someone" for 7.5 years now. We are both very young still, but lately there have been some doubts about settling down on his part. This give me hope that he'll come to his senses soon. :)

December 06, 2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger coolmallu said...

My life has been the most difficult ride for the past few months. What I have learned, I want to shout out to the cosmos.

"The strength of a relationship is not based on the happy moments, but the resolution of the difficult times."

I just hope everyone out there knows this.

December 06, 2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Thomas Vickers said...

I call that kind of luck "DOOM CAKE".
You only have to eat it in big steaming pieces and it always leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Just when you don't think anything else can go wrong "BOOM" have another serving of doomcake. It still tastes like sawdust


December 06, 2006 9:48 AM  
Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...


Every day is a choice and every day we deal with the good and the bad.

Once after a really big fight I was feeling verry hopeless..like why bother kind of hopeless....

My husband basically said that the fights did not matter. Those were just blips...we had chosen a life together and not all of it was going to be lovely and smelling of roses. And that no matter the squabble...we still loved each other.


December 06, 2006 1:56 PM  

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