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this side upHaving a chuckle here, but let me tell you, my hubby is a saint, the sort that makes me look at him sometimes and just think, Wow, do I have the Lord’s favor, or what?

The poor man, I empathize with him sometimes, that part of me that remains rational, hovering above our conversations, even as the rest of me has descended into pure, reactionary, emotionalism.

For those who don’t know, there is a refugee that still lives inside of me, the kind that can not be exorcised by Tom Petty songs, a survivor who is prepared to flee at a moment’s notice and so I must have my bag and my keys under my pillow, my shoes at my bedside.

Alas, there is a hole, a gap, this thing that attempts to thwart my efforts, this space of a few inches that always manages to worm its way into my world between the night stand and the bed. The gap. The gap of course eats everything I own, so my purse slips down into the abyss, making my life impossible, impossible I tell you.

“You’re going to need to fix it,” I say as I  have said so many times before, a myriad of broken things rising up before me, leaky faucets, cars that won’t start, dead hamsters. Fix it, make it work, repair my whole broken world so I can function once again. Is that not what men are actually for? Is that not their Divine, God-given purpose in the biological equation?

It is a bit funny, the irrationality of it all. I have a life-time of honey-do lists, of broken things I have needed fixed, of endless demands, of requests to just make it go, put it back together, or provide a new one so we can move forward once again, our lives like this well oiled machinery that must be constantly maintained and repaired. Irrational and somewhat comical because my first complaint is often, why do you always try to fix things? I do not want your solutions! Can you not just listen and leave the problem be? Can’t you just hear me, validate me, and walk away leaving the problem unsolved?

Of course he cannot, because the rest of the time he is busy fulfilling his Divinely appointed duty to “just fix it,” when suddenly his wife tosses him a script change, a completely alien role, a new place to stand on the stage, an entirely different character to play.  Of course he cannot….

The whole concept of just sitting still in the midst of brokeness eludes the poor guy, agitates him. It is outside of his comfort zone. He is a doer, a fixer, the role of letting go and just sitting in stillness, in companionable silence with what is broken, is way outside of his comfort zone and it is partially my fault. He has sacrificed that skill, he has given all that he is to the job of “just fixing things.” I worry, I fret because I know so well that there will come a day when he encounters something he cannot fix, something too big, something that demands you just sit still and bear witness to its grief and suffering.

The man is a saint, however. He does not bat an eyelash, does not miss a beat, does not think it is the least bit strange to hear his wife demand, “The gap, fix it!”

“What gap?” he says. The massive, carnivorous abyss lurking on my side of the bed, the giant hole that consumes everything I own, the infinitely infuriating space that threatens to suck people I care about right off the planet…..

It occurs to me as I am actually saying these words that there is a slight possibility they may be a bit melodramatic, my tone a touch hysterical, “The Problem” perhaps not quite as huge and life threatening as it feels, certainly not one that involves geo-political affairs or the total collapse of the universe or anything.

But for him it is, for him it is as important as an inter-galactic attack, as concerning as the impending collapse of the universe, because it matters to me, because it is a small irritant that threatens my entire universe.

I sense the weight of that kind of power, feel the  responsibility that goes along with it, the way I hold this man’s heart in my hands. My husband really is a saint.

Wow, do I have the Lord’s favor, or what?

 

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