Every minute is a gift

There comes a time when man, being proud, rugged, tough, hard to the core, must come to terms with reality and admit he was wrong. I’ve never been one to believe that it was possible for me to be that way. Wrong that is. I’m generally right. Of course that is the pride and the stubbornness of a brutal blood line that includes both my grandmother and mother running through my veins. (Sorry mom, but you know it’s true: We can both be a little stubborn). The truth is: I hate losing… Video games, debates, sports, the list goes on and on… I always have to be right… This week: I was wrong…

For the past eight years I have been married to the most amazing person I have ever met. She is patient, kind, understanding… She listens when I’m frustrated, and tolerates my OCD, my dreams, my random thoughts… She holds her tongue when I try to fix problems with the house on my own, which only results in me having to call someone for help…  Especially if it is the plumbing.

She defends me when someone attacks me; and she gives the most honest and humbling advice on how to respond to those attacks… At times I can’t believe she would choose someone like me… Especially after I forgot to plan something special for our anniversary…

It’s not that I forgot: I just didn’t make an effort… I figured dinner and a movie would be good enough. But the reality is, I took the cheap way out… Call it lazy, being tired, or whatever, in the end I screwed up and was wrong… I have no excuse except that at times I suffer from the truth of being a clueless husband.

My wife and I have been through a lot… Our first year of marriage was rough… We had no money half of the time… We stretched every penny to the max… We spent many nights on a pallet of blankets, sleeping in front of the fire place because we couldn’t afford to run the heater in the winter… Grabbing can goods out of the church pantry where I was on staff at because we only had thirty dollars to buy food for the next two weeks… Despite all those challenges of that year we stuck together and made something last…

I have been blessed in ways I can’t understand… And failing to make my wife feel completely special was me taking that blessing for granted… She didn’t need to say a word for me to realize that I was wrong. I just knew I had messed up.

There is a certain reality that rings true though: If my marriage; or any of our marriages; to the women we find to be truly perfect means anything to us… Then the effort to show them our love should be something that isn’t glued to just those special moments… It should be something that is daily and habitual… Those special moments… Those dates we tend at times to not make meaningful or impressionistic… Those days should burn, like yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars… *

I have never wondered what my life would be like without her in it… I have never thought “what if we hadn’t met?” Probably because the thought is too much to stomach or come to terms with… But this week I have learned my lesson. Not that I haven’t disappointed her in the past… “Trust me, I have…” No I have learned to value every minute.

Because in the end, every minute I have with her- Every minute is a gift.

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