Sunday, September 8, 2013

Step By Step

I've been judgmental of my husband.  Since it's been a few years since the stroke, I expect that it's time for him to rally, to come back stronger than before.  I can't understand why he won't get up and do more - take a walk, visit friends.  I can't understand why he can't embrace his "new" self and accept that this is who he is.  I can't understand why he can't just move on.

Because I don't understand.  I don't understand what it's like to drag half my body around all day, every day.  I don't understand what it's like to have my arm hanging at my side, unable to muster any will to make it move, regardless of how hard I try or how badly I want it.  I don't understand what it feels like to struggle just to turn over in bed or to get up and use the bathroom at night.  I don't understand what it's like to go out in public and have people stare at me or not know how to act around me.

Even more, I don't understand what it's like to know that I can't provide for my family the way I used to.  I don't understand what it's like to wonder if I will be able to walk my daughters down the aisle.  I don't know what it's like to not be able to take my son on a camping trip.  I don't understand what it's like to feel like my life is over.

Most of my selfish thoughts have centered around ME.  Why can't he help me more around the house?  Why can't he pay the bills?  Why can't he help more with the kids?  Why is our relationship so strained?

Well, obviously!  Our relationship is strained because I am expecting far too much of him, and then I'm dumping all my grief and misery on him when he doesn't live up to my expectations.  

I am ashamed.  I apologize, openly, here, to my husband.  And to my kids, who have seen me treat their Daddy poorly.

The truth of it is that Al is as much of a man as he ever was, maybe even more of a man.  He may not have the physical strength he once had.  But he has more emotional strength than before.  He has more spiritual strength - he prays every. single. day. regardless of whether he feels like he's "getting anything" from it.  He is faithful.

Al loves me with a superhuman love.  There have been times that I have behaved so poorly that I believed it would be in his right to just walk away and leave me.  I have screamed and ranted.  I have pouted and sulked.  I have said very unkind things to him.  I have wallowed in self-pity.

And Al just loves me.  He is very quiet and very constant.  Through my tears and wails, he has remained steadfast.  Even after days that I've acted like Kate from The Taming of the Shrew, his commitment is unwavering. After everything I've done, he is still tender and caring and loving.

And then I remember that this was one of the major reasons I fell in love with Al:  I experience of the love of God through him.  

Recently, this song has been playing through my head, over and over.  Maybe the Lord put it there to remind me of the love Al has for me and his family.

You take that first step,
Ask her out and treat her like a lady
Second step, 
Tell her she's the one youre dreaming of
Third step, 
Take her in your arms and never let her go
Dont you know, step by step
Step by step, you'll win her love
 (Step by Step, Eddie Rabbitt, 1981)

Yeah.  My husband loves me like that.  I've been too self-focused, looking at the practical things that may have been lost after the stroke.  I had forgotten, but now I remember, that I am married to a truly wonderful, loving man of God.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, thanks - if only I deserved the kudos :)