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Life is a Journey, So Keep Moving Forward: Part Two

When Mr. Sexy came home from work on my birthday, he knew once more that I was not doing well. However, like every other day, I wouldn’t let him in on what was happening with me. I was afraid. I was afraid to tell him about the anger that played around inside my head. I was afraid to let him in on the daily sad feelings that tried to overwhelm my spirit. But, as you know, my husband is a gentle soul.

I had made an attempt at getting dressed for my birthday, but that didn’t hide how tired I felt or the puffiness in my face or the red around my eyes. Even then, I was not willing to lay yet another burden on my husband’s shoulders. I was determined to do like I had been doing: get through until the next day. But Mr. Sexy stopped me from my finishing touches of socks and pulling my hair back. He looked at me in his deep way, the way that says, “I know, but you still have to tell me.” I guess, when you can see somebody is hurting, you can’t do a whole lot until that person is ready to, at the very least, admit they are hurting. This is what Mr. Sexy was waiting for.

I brushed him off. This works sometimes – as frustrating as that is for him. But this night, Mr. Sexy didn’t allow for me to walk away. He has a way of speaking at times with a gentle firmness I could never replicate in my own mannerisms. He can demand an answer while in the very same moment he is soft and kind. It’s a delicate balance of communicating. It’s also when I know he means business. I could see he was worried.

“I just, … Feel awful.” I could barely get the words out. They were so hard to say out loud. And then of course the tears came crashing past my eyes. Again, I tried to run away and hide but Mr. Sexy stayed right there with me. Quietly. Calmly. He sat until all the tears were gone and I was able to describe my feelings in short, embarrassing sentences.

It feels incredibly silly to feel such big things over seemingly tiny problems in life. I knew in my head I was living a good life. I was blessed with a good running car, a blessing of a home, a wonderful husband and a happy family. It just didn’t feel that way. And I couldn’t make what I knew in my head connect to what I was actually feeling.

On the morning of December 23, Mr. Sexy sat up, threw his feet over the bed, and rested his head in his hands. I was awake, too. After all, his alarm had only sounded a handful of times already. “You ok?” I asked. “I’m just in a lot of pain Babe.” For him, there was nothing I could do to help. I hated to see him in so much constant pain. He slowly made his way out of our room to get started with his morning. I dozed off, waking up a short time later with Mr. Sexy back in bed with me. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “I called in. I can’t go in to work today.”

Mr. Sexy and I spent that day sitting on the couch, holding hands and watching TV. I held a mixture of pleasure and concern that day. I was deeply comforted by his presence, yet I could see how stiffly he sat and could hear his breaths tighten with pain throughout the day. He went to work the next morning, only to come home halfway through. This went on for a short period of time, until he decided it was too much. He had difficulty concentrating and the pain nearly brought him to tears. He tried working from home for a short while, but even that wasn’t working out. The simple act of looking down at the computer and talking on the telephone was too much strain. Combined with medication, Mr. Sexy was not able to perform how he needed to. Finally, it was strongly suggested by his doctor that he take an official leave from work.

In the beginning, we spent a lot of time hanging out in front of the TV, neither of us knowing exactly what to do with ourselves. Our routine was completely disrupted. At times, I found it frustrating to have another adult to think about. It wasn’t just me and the toddler who was ready for lunch, there was someone else to consider also. I didn’t feel I could just give in to any emotion that came my way; I practiced control. I practiced taking deep breaths when I felt angry at Marie. I watched television when sad thoughts made me want to cry. And all the while, Mr. Sexy was sitting next to me, holding my hand.

Having him around 24/7 quickly became our new normal, though. While Mr. Sexy was in tremendous pain, he could hardly stand to simply sit around all day and “do nothing,” (his words). So it took a bit for him to realize that all the fixing around the house he wanted to do had to wait. That’s when he turned his attention to my business.

He would watch me work, ask me questions, then watch me work only to ask more questions. Soon he was strategizing business with me, creating spread sheets and learning as much about my business as I did, if not more. It was also nice to have a comrad in cahoots with me when it came to Deani throwing one of her infamous tantrums.

My Pure Romance business started to grow. While Mr. Sexy was learning the paperwork side of things and learning to do the laundry my way, I was able to focus on my party planning. What I didn’t notice then, is that my confidence began to grow which is now displayed for all to see.  The more Mr. Sexy learned about Pure Romance and the more he saw me work, the higher his impressions became. And while his paychecks became smaller, mine kept us afloat. For the first time, I felt that I was providing for my family. It’s an empowering feeling.

Surgery day arrived. While I thoroughly enjoyed having my husband home full time, I knew he was itching to get back to his normal life and of course to be out of pain. The pain wasn’t over yet, however. For about four days after his surgery, Mr. Sexy only moved from the couch to the bathroom as necessary. He had stronger medication now, but apparently it only dulled the excruciating pain his recovery had brought on. Had we realized the intensity of his recovery, I would not have scheduled myself to work that first weekend after surgery. But I did work. And we survived.

However, I can’t help but wonder that God didn’t have his hand in this whole situation from the beginning. As I had to come to terms with being pregnant and thus, change my lifestyle a little bit, God had thought ahead and knew the road I was on. It’s strange to say it, but my husband’s injury turned into a huge blessing for me. He was forced to come home and sit with me and hold my hand. With his daily support, love and encouragement through his own angst, I was being healed. So, I guess this means I’m thankful our car needed a flat tire to be changed. I’m thankful my husband is overly zealous and sees himself as Super Man. I’m thankful he was able to come home when he did. I have overcome many internal obstacles these past few months. I guess we both needed healing.

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Part One: Life is a Journey, so Keep Moving Forward

Mr. Sexy is back at work after two months of disability leave. In October he injured himself throwing a tire into the back of our truck. Two months later the pain in his back only worsened causing sleeplessness, increased irritability and a lack of functionality in every day life. He then made the decision to work from home. But after a few weeks, as we finally started getting answers about his injury, it was suggested by his doctor he officially go on disability leave.

I do not believe in chance. Everything happens for a reason. Our pregnancy. His injury. Going on disability leave. Heading back to work. Timing can be everything. During this chain of events, timing was everything. In the moment I knew it, and looking back I see it even more clearly.

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We Are “That” Couple

Valentine’s Day is a love-hate thing in our culture. At least, that’s my viewpoint from the multitude of facebook posts and bloggers and tweets and insta-peeps and everything else. That’s why I really liked this:

VDAY Pic

Awesome. Sauce. So true. In the spectrum of things, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the worst day of the year. Unless a pity party is something you enjoy. And if I’m being honest, I throw myself one of those from time to time.

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Remember When

You picked me up.

Remember when

You dropped me off.

Remember when

You passed time with a crossword.

Remember when

I came back out, full of excitement intertwined with nerves.

Remember when

You paid for my ticket.

Remember when

Our knees touched.

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But do you see his heart?

This morning I woke up in a terrible mood. I came out of the bedroom glaring at the world because, well, mornings and I aren’t close. However things in the house were alive with activity. Denai was running in circles screaming happily.  Michael was somewhere getting ready for school – no tantrums yet as far as I could tell.  Marie was cleaning the chaos from yesterday’s gift opening extravaganza and being loud in her own way. Mr. Sexy was doing dishes in between running around keeping everything running on course.

He didn’t notice me on the couch for about ten minutes.  But when he did, he came over to tenderly touch my face and ask if I wanted coffee. I was still glaring – but he knows me. He left me alone with Words with Friends and went about his incredibly busy and productive morning.

 

My little brother has just gotten engaged and it’s causing me to ask myself what kind of marital picture Mr. Sexy and I portray.

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The Karev Issue

Feeling rejected is the worst.  Especially when it’s from someone close.

For me, it was my husband.

I didn’t know that’s what I was feeling in the moments, though.  I did feel angry and my body language said that much.  But it was late and Mr. Sexy was tired so he gave up and went to sleep.

I stewed for a bit.  Then decided to ask myself, why? What has happened to make me feel angry? 

Hurt was the next emotion that came to mind.  I was feeling hurt.  He went to sleep, after all.  He went to sleep when I wanted to snuggle and kiss on him.

He rejected me. 

Now it’s time for some background:

Over and over again I have to learn that sometimes my body language alone does not get my point across to him. Sometimes I have to be a little bit more aggressive.  Sometimes I have to actually say what I want – out loud.  Weird, right? Yet, this is my struggle.

What if I tell him I would enjoy some intimate kissy-face and he declined? 
What if I was more aggressive and he shrugged me off? 
What if…?

These insecurities were not bred from my relationship with my husband.  They were bred from the relationships preceding my husband. 

As Mr. Sexy fell asleep and I struggled with feeling hurt, I dug a little deeper into myself.

When has hurt me in this way? 

Answer: He hasn’t.

So why the struggle?  The same struggle for three years?

Fact is, this hasn’t been a struggle for only three years.  It goes deeper and wider than that.

As I was deeply thinking all this through, I had Grey’s Anatomy re-runs on.  I love that show.  I love almost everything about it.  Because I love it so much, I have gotten really into the characters.  This particular episode revolved around Alex Karev.

Alex Karev has a history of putting up walls that make him appear as something he is not.  When he finally lets someone get through, what they find is a very sensitive person who feels deeply and loves passionately.

I decided that I am a bit like the character Alex Karev. For many – even for members of the family I grew up with – what is seen are the walls I build around myself.  I am labeled as defensive, hard to talk to, unteachable, rude, and I’m sure there are more. So when that’s what others see and they tell me so, that’s what I start to see as well.

Thank God I have a husband who is able to penetrate those walls and see somebody different.  Somebody he really, really loves.  Somebody he sees as beautiful, loving and caring.  I do put walls back up for him from time to time.  But he knows.  He always knows.  While it isn’t easy for us to get past those walls, we are able to do it.  Together.  He sees the me God created me to be. 

God is working on these walls.  He is teaching me that in Him, there doesn’t need to be fear. While there will be pain, there will also be joy.  But until I’m willing to stop building, it doesn’t look like I will get to experience the joy that only comes from God.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 

Psalms 51:12

The Single Issue

My husband was a single dad this weekend.

HA.  NOT.

Dad’s kind of breakfast.

He was at home with the kids while I went away for a few nights, He was in no way a “single dad.”
Yet, I wonder how many of us refer to ourselves as single parents when the spouse is gone.  Mr. Sexy used to be out of our home daily from 4 am to 7 pm. I was asked if it felt like I was a single parent.  My answer is: Heck no!  My husband came home every night. I texted him all day. He was working and bringing in an income so I could be home with the kids. It was always strange to be asked if I felt like a single parent.

I may hit some hot buttons with this topic.  While it’s not a huge deal, it’s still something I hear from people and I’m thinking about it today as I left Mr. Sexy with all 3 kids this weekend.

Sometimes it’s a weekend, sometimes it’s a week, sometimes it’s a few years that one spouse is out of the home.  Work conference, get away weekend, and deployment are just a few examples. But none of that makes either spouse single.

I understand taking care of the kid(s) alone day in and day out would feel lonely.  Before I met and married Mr. Sexy I was doing the single mom thing.  I consider it a huge blessing we got married when Michael was very young.  Thinking about my personal education, a steady income and Michael’s future was a lot to juggle on my own.  Not to mention the day to day tantrums, grocery shopping, bed time stories and so on.

I was a single mom.
I was the source of my income.
I was my housekeeper.
I was Michael’s disciplinarian.
I was the chef.

There was no other person coming home to us at the end of the day.
There was no one to tell me good night as I turned off the light.
There was no cash flow coming from anyone other than me (ok, well, I was on welfare so the government did their part too).
There were no love letters in my email, no love notes in my mailbox.
When I had a bad day, there was no significant other to text, email or call about it.

Am I making my point?

Denai at 32 weeks.

Mr. Sexy and I found out I was pregnant with Denai the morning he had to leave for three weeks.  Military stuff.  He wasn’t allowed to cancel or postpone.  Three weeks was a long time.  I missed him so much it felt painful.  Taking care of the two kids and growing one was exhausting work for me. I didn’t get to talk to Mr. Sexy whenever I wanted.  Most of the time his phone was off.  But I texted him as if he were able to read each one so he would be fully updated when he had some time to talk. I wasn’t working outside the home, yet there was still a cash flow in my bank account so I could do the grocery shopping. I looked forward to Mr. Sexy coming home every day – as did the kids.

In no way was I a single mom during those weeks. My husband was away and working hard to provide for our family.  I don’t know many single parents who can say that.