It’s Gratituesday! Today I find my heart filled with gratitude for a sweet companion. I often wonder at his patience with me. I marvel at his resilience when I’m criticizing, nitpicking or complaining. I’m amazed at his willingness to stick around.
At first we were both equally antisocial, avoiding double dates, making friends, making connections. But over the years, very slowly, I’ve picked away at my shell of shyness and found that I need and want people in my life beyond family. Friends have become part of who I am. And he has occasionally, and carefully, waded into a few social puddles with me.
I tend to seek the limelight and he will be mortified that I wrote about him here, so publicly. I try to respect his privacy while still writing, honestly about my life and that is why I refer to him as MSH, My Sweet Husband.
Just as he said he would when we were dating, he has traveled far and often for work and I’ve been left to tend to hearth and children. Not quite as often we have followed him across the country, crisscrossing it, then settling, sort of, here in the heart and heat of the desert.
I joke that all his traveling is what has kept us together. It sounds funny, but it’s been the reality. And, I’m afraid that cuts both ways. for the two of us. And yet, that old missive that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is as true as any fact you can hold and touch and taste.
He’s kind of my opposite, which is probably a good thing, but doesn’t always feel like it is. His willingness to take chances probably balances out my complete and total lack of desire to risk much of anything. We’re still working on this one. And many other things.
The idea of Yin and Yang, seems to describe our relationship better than almost anything I’ve ever run across.
“two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and
feminine; Yang is positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to
maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it.”
The harmony of our universe has been a constant flux of give and take, up and down, sorrow and joy. It hasn’t always been fifty-fifty. But we have become an interesting balance of and with each other.
The man I married wasn’t interested in things that got you dirty, like camping, or the outdoors. But that changed as I embraced that part of my life and pulled him into it. He became the avid camper, the rock climber, the rappeller, while I became afraid of heights and decided I’d prefer a cabin to a tent. His ideal home would be in the wilderness and mine, somewhere between wilderness and civilization.
He has always looked forward to the future, and I have always been firmly settled in today.
How we’ve managed to stay together so long is more a testament of what weathering a storm or two or three will do to a relationship than any other thing we’ve consciously done. I’m grateful he hasn’t given up on me. And I’m glad I haven’t given up on him. We are a pair, oddly matched, but strangely well matched.
We do have some things in common.
We share a love of music. We share a passion for knowledge and learning. We love to dance. We share a love of our children. We share similar spiritual values.
We share a love I didn’t think was possible. In that I am more blessed than I deserve.
As Robert Browning wrote, I repeat to MSH, my love, my sweet companion:
“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”
Thank you MSH, for the ride so far!