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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 120 - More Given Than Taken

We're linked with Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday; please visit Beth's site for some really important marriage resources.

When you're circling the drain, or a caregiver for someone who is, it's all to easy to focus on what's been taken away.

Like...the ability to enjoy a dinner out with your spouse on Valentine's Day (which happens to be when I am writing this).

Or the chance to go hiking together.

Or sitting on the sofa, cuddling and watching a movie. For me, it hurts too much to be touched...and Barbara is afraid of hurting me, so there we are.

A drive in the country...here in the beautiful High Desert...is out. Hurts too much to ride in the car, and if I take enough painkillers to manage, I'll doze off.

Sex. A part of history.

Yes, it's easy to resent the losses, and to focus on them.

But what about what's been given?

First, there's a sharpening of the preciousness of time, and the petty arguments that were friction in our marriage (and I suppose in any marriage) have largely become a thing of the past. (Not completely...sometimes the stress will blow small things out of proportion for both of us.)

Second, there is economy of conversation, since talking has become difficult. We tend to talk about that which is meaningful, and in so doing see just how much conversation was trivial, entered just to fill uncomfortable spaces of silence.

We've become OK with silence.

Third, I can be more supportive of my wife's career, as mine is over. I can study this, and learn what to say that will get her over the unavoidable insecurities that come with rapid promotion in a challenging profession.

Fourth I guard my tongue. It's not that I would pick a fight by being confrontational or controversial...it's that sometimes expressing an opinion about something small can take away from the warmth of a situation.

Case in point...a few months ago on The Voice a contest absolutely murdered a song that I cherished. I was of a mind to say something...but what would have been the point?

barbara was enjoying it, and the song had less personal resonance than it did with me.

Why did I need to air an opinion?

And I didn't.

And finally, I spend more time in the presence of the Eternal...one foot in the grave, so to speak...and I realize that if I don't love ferociously now, when am I going to do it?

You may have gotten this far and be wondering about God...does this bring us closer together in His presence?

I think it does, but on a level that is wrapped up in  the true blessings defined above. He is implicit in all of them.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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  1. Yes Andrew, I suppose there is always beauty somewhere in the ashes. I think about old married couples that have taken a lifetime to learn some of the things you've talked about in this post.

    I love this! "I can study this, and learn what to say that will get her over the unavoidable insecurities that come with rapid promotion in a challenging profession." You are blessing Barbara so greatly in this! Protecting and providing in a manner different than many husbands can. But you're still doing the job God gave you to do :)

  2. To have your kind of "this-may-be-my-last-day" attitude would be such a gift, I would think. I'm not minimizing at all the loss and pain that you face every single minute. That would be horrible and I am so heartbroken that that is your lot at the moment, but I am learning from you, my friend. That's all I'm saying. I want to have that kind of laser-like focus that sees what is most important and pushes aside all the other not-so-important stuff that often trips me up and distracts me. Great thought, my friend! Hugs and prayers!

  3. My first time here, Andrew, and I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing this. I love your line: " I realize that if I don't love ferociously now, when am I going to do it?"

    Actually that is a question that each of us need to ask ourselves because not a one of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

  4. Andrew, you have written so beautifully a piece that reminds us that contentment is a choice. Each day you choose to be content in less than ideal circumstances...and you find beauty there. We should all follow your example. Thank you for linking with us at The Loft.