I don’t give a shit anymore about who reads this blog, or better yet, about who doesn’t. I am over the fantasy of being some highly regarded minimally famous Starbucks drinking laptop loving freshly pressed blogger. The truth is I don’t even have time to add that to the crazy life I already lead.
I’ve also given up on the idea of having a torrid love affair, and have decided instead to do the work it takes every day to actively love my husband.
Yep, he’s an asshole half the time. He bitches when I don’t get the laundry finished and when the six dogs he insisted on keeping get caught sleeping on the couch. He leaves his underwear on the floor. In 18 years he’s cooked dinner 5 times. But at the end of the day, he’s done a few things I can’t ignore and it’s not fair to go on living in the past, regretting the one who got away, and recently, some life-altering events have reminded me that my empty glass really is half-full.
One of my parents died the other day. It was mind blowing, the way it just happened. I have been a mess ever since. Partly because I realized just how many regrets I have about every friendship and relationship that is part of my life. I feel deserted. I feel lost. I feel like I haven’t said the things I need to say or done the things I need to do. I feel like I have never required people to value me. But I look at my husband, and I realize, he has shown his love purposefully in ways I didn’t see.
My mother isn’t very old, in fact she’s 55. She’s a widow now. The life insurance she had through a job was lost when the job laid off a few months back, and hadn’t been replaced when her husband of nearly 30 years died out of the blue. She is sitting in a big fancy house that she doesn’t own, with not enough money in the bank to move on, and I am looking over at my husband with total gratitude. My mother was left with nothing, after all she survived, she has nothing. She’s made it through so many things: domestic violence, divorce, poverty, infidelity, cancer, cancer part 2, and her retired years next to the love of her life were stolen right out from under her and they didn’t even leave a cushion to land on.
Don’t get me wrong, my husband hasn’t given me everything that I wanted, but I have been given everything I ever needed. My house is NOT a page from Better Homes and Gardens. I need new flooring in the worst way. Half the remodeling projects are only half finished. The appliances are limping along. There are broken windows and sheetrock that needs patching and yet I look at this box of ugly walls and I think, thank you Lord. This man has worked his ass off for the last 11 years, and now, we are just a few months away from our final payment. This ragged little box will be mine free and clear, before I turn 40. This grumpy guy who spends too much time deer hunting made sure I have a home. How did I not understand the value in that? If he dies tomorrow, I have something.
I have a wall where half the kids I’ve loved have marked how tall they’ve gotten. I have a yard, and even though this jackass killed the grass parking his cars all over it, I have the memories of our kids hunting Easter Eggs and taking naps in the flower beds and digging up my good flowers. I have something.
If I’ve learned something BIG here– it’s that we have to love people for exactly who they are. My step-dad was an alcoholic. He yelled too much. He carried demons from VietNam and they never did let him relax. Sometimes I felt like I was walking on eggshells around him. So, I put up walls, and I think I was right to do that, but I also think I should have put a few more windows in those walls. He loved me. He loved my family. My kids were special to him. I’m not sure he knows I loved him back. So, I have a new mission in life and that is to say what I really think. I’m tired of my own optimistic demeanor. I’m tired of excusing when other people let me down, just so I don’t have to make them feel bad. But I’m not tired of trying. I’m not tired of forgiving. I’m not ready to give up on everyone, at least not yet. I hope I don’t wind up in that place, but I might. There are some people I have decided to let go of in the process, and some people I have decided to reach out to, and I’m surprised at the order that goes in, but it’s funny how lonely this big ole world can be and it’s funny how quiet it can get.
The loudest voice I ever listened to is gone now, and the world is a very different place than it was a short time ago, but I think he left me with the courage to say the words I’ve been holding back, so this is no longer the place where I admit I like to look at picture of Nick Hawk naked, it’s the place where I put my naked heart on display…
From now on, I’m going to say “hey asshole, you’re parked on my grass and it pisses me off” and then we’re just gonna deal with it. From now on I’m going to write whatever I need to write to sort it all out.
Ok, so maybe sometimes I will still need to write about Nick Hawk naked…. I can’t change completely…