Our whole household is sick, which is a real bummer. We had several plans made for the remainder of the week that have since been cancelled so we can hunker down and concentrate on getting well. We've got multiple boxes of tissue open and strategically placed around the house. We're loading up on vitamins and snuggles, and hope for this to soon be but a distant memory. All the down time, though, has given me a lot of time to think. And question. And wonder. Uh oh.
The other night as Brent and I were headed to look at the first home in our search for a new dwelling, it struck me how life just happens - mostly without our consent or permission. So much of what has transpired in my own life is not at all what I imagined or anticipated. It's not all bad. It's not all good. It is what it is. It struck me, nonetheless.
I reflected on these truths as we were headed to a potential new home for us, wondering what stories the walls of our next dwelling would collect. I turned to Brent as he was driving and asked, "Did you ever think you'd be married to me and end up with kids one day?" It may have seemed an obvious answer, but I was asking in all sincerity. His answer, sweet as can be and without hesitation was, "Uh, yeah. Pretty much from the first time I met you."
And yes, I swooned.
But then I thought even more about it. I suppose upon more honest introspection I would have rephrased my question to ask him, "Is your life with me living up to all you anticipated or expected it to be? Am I living up to your hopes and dreams of spending the rest of your life with me?" Without hesitation he answered yes. It wasn't about the trials we have been through as a couple. As parents. It wasn't about the moves we've made, the choices we've been faced with. It wasn't about the fights we've had or the compromises we've made. His answer was all about the big picture for him.
He knew he wanted to marry me and be the father of my children. He didn't have to know more than that. He didn't know what that road would look like. He didn't know the obstacles he would face in that journey. He didn't know we would uproot and move to another state. He didn't know his wife would get lost in fits of rage, suffering from PMDD. He didn't know our firstborn would come two months prematurely. He didn't know we would lose our second daughter, Harlynn. He didn't know his journey to fatherhood would be such a treacherous one. He didn't know he'd have a son with a hearing loss. He didn't know any of it. He couldn't have known a single piece of it. But he chose it anyway. From the first time he met me.
It doesn't matter what we've hurdled over, waded through, or found ourselves stuck in. What matters is the bigger picture: we're together, and that by the grace and mercy of God. We stayed together when either of us could have turned foot and walked away. When times got tough, we fought our way through. Together.
I was more than a little humbled by Brent's unrehearsed (and super romantic) answer. It was a special moment I'll forever tuck away in the folds of my heart. I asked a big question, and I got a big answer.
I don't deserve him. I don't. I'm far from perfect. And yes, so is he. I sometimes cringe when I see the Facebook posts or other social media shares of ideas and ideals that encourage women to wait for the perfect guy, and here are several fantasy-laden, unrealistic traits you'll be able to identify him by... I am baffled there are people who buy in to the fact a soul-mate, who will never insult, hurt, or befuddle them, actually exists. We're people. We're imperfect. We'll always screw up. Every last one of us.
Brent and I don't have the perfect marriage, or the perfect relationship, but we've got it pretty good. We both have a faith in which our relationship is grounded. We both are, and have been, continually surrounded and lifted up in prayer by others. We respect one another. We admire one another. We don't always enjoy the other's company. We don't always see eye-to-eye. We don't always like each other. But by golly, we made a vow. And when it comes down to it, we're crazy about one another. Because of the other, sure, but mostly crazy about one another. Our relationship is not always easy, but it's always worth it.
In the big picture, I struck gold with Brent. No doubt his reward is in heaven for sticking life out with me. Say what he will, he never could have imagined life would have him settled down with a mess like me. And for that lack of creative imagination within him, I'll be forever thankful. Well, for that, and for his spider-killing skills.