Sometimes it takes the stupid things for me to remember. Something ridiculous, silly, or petty that brings me down – and shakes me.
And, strangely it is always THEN that I remember who he is. This guy I married.
In those moments when I feel gutted and empty, he is the only one I want.
And the petty things, the irritants, like sand in my shoe, fall away. That he was late last week, or that he left his strange assortment of tools on the kitchen table again. That he leaves the shower head pointed way up high after his very early shower, so that the water sprays me in the face when I get in a few hours later. That he still manages to wear the 20 year old sweatshirt I’ve hidden from him a dozen times.
The stupid stuff that really is so insignificant, but can get under our skin and fester like the devil.
All That. Falls away. Like the sand in my shoe.
I remember that he is the one who knows me most perfectly in this world. Not the ‘me’ that I’m working on. Not the ‘me’ of my hopes or the ‘me’ of social media witticisms, blog reflections or literary expertise. But the ‘me’ of my worst moments, too. He’s got those down. He was there and didn’t leave. That ‘worse’ part of the ‘better and worse’ promise.
And he doesn’t forget his promises.
In fact, the way he looks at me sometimes? Waiting. Expectant. As if he knows the expression that will come to my face and the words that will come from my mouth before I do. I wonder that he might know me better than I know myself. He says, “There’s that Irish coming out in you again…” and I know what that means.
And I remember that I might be a bit of a mess, and rather difficult to live with at times. That my moods might swing ever so slightly at times. Rarely, I’m sure. And that I might sometimes fall short of something, be less than attentive, thoughtful, or kind-hearted. That I might just take him more for granted than anything or anyone else around these parts.
The children, I cling to them because I know someday they’ll leave. And I hope they’ll want to come back when they’re grown.
But him, he’s supposed to stick around for good, right?
And so, sometimes I think I treat him like a business transaction instead of a person.
Then, it is very good that I have these moments of feeling so small.
God shakes me, and I remember…
That he is good to me. That he loves me every second – for the best and worst of myself. That he’s always there, but doesn’t have to be. And someday he will move on from this life. I cannot fathom the thought. But he will go, and he may leave me behind.
And, on that day, I do not want to wish that I had loved him better.
I found him whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4