I really despise the not so nice person I become on occasion. I become snarky and condescending, with a holier-than-thou attitude that is oxymoronic considering my Satan-of-the-moment persona.
Minutes later, I’m filled with regret. I’m horrified at the pain I’ve caused. I want so badly to take it back, purge that memory, time travel and try again (ha – I’m sure I’d bungle it again, considering my track record).
The saddest part is who I attack – the man who is always on my side, who vowed till death do we part. To his credit, he is always gracious. He sees the bigger picture. The extent of his love and patience show me how low on the maturity scale I’ve dipped.
There are no excuses. No matter my glum state of mind, he deserves my best. He deserves for me to take a breath, reflect on who he is, who I am, what we have and then act and speak accordingly.
Maybe now that this is a written testament, I will more often do what is right. I hope so.
My man is really special, and from all indications he likes coming home. He likes our life together. There IS a secret that helps make this possible. At least the empirical evidence of Debi’s life quality points to this conclusion.
It’s all about the honey-do list.
Seriously? Men hate honey-do lists. They sit on the couch for six months saying they’ll “get to it.” Ha.
So I’ll let ya in on my covert formula: create that list with care… Wait! Hang with me. Stop and clear your head. Ready? Now, think… what does he really enjoy (other than sex – that’s a given). My guy – he likes to shop, travel, eat, drink, take long grueling bike rides, talk, watch dark complicated TV shows, dissolve into silly laughter. So there you have it: that’s his honey-do list. As long as I stick to that list, he doesn’t mind me asking – in fact he jumps to do his chores. Works every time.
Example: during last night’s dinnertime honey-do conversation (not that he’s aware we’re executing his list), I blurt my theory out loud. He takes this all in with twinkling eyes. And… next thing ya know we’re researching and booking a 4-night trip to Tahoe in August.
Moral of the story: plan your honey-do list with care.
Earlier today I was chatting on AIM with my son, a 29-year-old successful deep-thinking man:
god i’m so glad you didn’t put us over yours and dad’s life… I tell people about that sometimes in conversations about kids and they are like uh wat? and i’m like yeah, wtf did you want my mom to do? give up her life for me? kids are supposed to grow up.
yah we did do that right. I learned it from Nana and Grandpa. Plus I was madly in love with Dad, and we made a decision together that he and I were the most important persons in our lives.
I got really busy with work for a couple hours. Curiosity got the best of me.
I moved out of Texas — a one-and-only time — October 10th of 2002.
I was back home by October, 2003 racking up 10s of thousands of Delta miles in the interim. (Also, thousands of rental car miles between Salt Lake City and Ashton, Idaho – one of the prettiest stretches of highway that exists.)
I missed my kids, my friends, my home, Texas… but I had been hell-bent to run from bone-deep grief. So determined, that I married a potato farmer and made that move to the farthest eastern portion of the Snake River Plain butted up against the Grand Tetons.
Jeff and I had a chemistry that was palpable. If that hadn’t been the case, I would have been home long before those twelve short months.
That year was a lifesaving gift. I made forever-friends and gathered family that I still consider family. My only regret is that I disrupted the lives of two sweet girls, Allison and Kelsey – for that I will always be sorry.
Why do I delve into this?…
This morning, I headed out to clean my garage… and my hands, of their own volition — free from any thought processes, started unpacking boxes from the Idaho move back to Texas. These boxes had been stacked in my garage all this time; I’d managed to shove their existence to the very back of my brain for 8-1/2 years.
So why unpack them today?
My guess is because my life will be entering a new adventure in the next year or so. I’m now engaged to one of the best men who ever lived. He loves me – sometimes I’m awestruck by how much he loves me. He loves me so much that I am for the first time in my life free to be ALL of me. And since some of this “ALL of me” is rather raw, I’m amazed he tolerates me at times.
My first husband, Gary, died almost twelve years ago. Jeff died more than three years ago. I still grieve for Jeff, and I will never finish grieving for Gary and the more than 26 years of full-to-bursting life we had together.
I’ve made mistakes on my long path of healing, but each mistake has taught me more about life, more about me. I’ll keep on making mistakes and keep on learning. Life never stops giving in that manner unless we quit receiving — this I believe with all my heart.
Well, the garage is cleaner than it’s been in years. Trash and recycle bins are brimming for Monday’s pickup. Boxes are stacked ready to go to storage. My hands are blistered, and this beer tastes great.
There remains one banker’s box from Idaho to explore. Maybe in another 8-1/2 years…
Last night my daughter, Rachel, three of her lifelong friends – Chris, Jesse, Mel – and I played dominoes and acted silly while drinking way too much… and then we drank more. I’m not sure we ever finished a single game, and if we did I have no idea who won.
Then we cried in memory of loved ones we’ve lost much earlier than death should have had the right to claim them.
It was one of those evenings that was relayed by my hippocampus into its forever and ever safe-storage in my cranium.
Rach and I crashed in the guest room, her bulldog Suri bedding down between my legs pinning me to the mattress. But who cares when you’re that inebriated?
At some point in the middle of the night, my body revolted and sent me to the porcelain throne, no doubt the only reason I was able to wobble into work this morning.
After washing my face and brushing my gnarly teeth and tongue, my incredible man made sweet love to me… completing this perfect memory.
The last thing I remember before the sandman visited was giggling and saying, “I guess I never grew up.”