I have had the honor and joy of making wedding invitations for Doug’s aunt. This past weekend I headed up to Green Bay for an afternoon of work. The boys decided to tag along for the ride too. Doug and the kids stayed at the house with Dave (Doug’s dad) for a day of testosterone, while Pam and I
hung with worked with the ladies.
Just before we were ready to head home, it started to snow. The drive back from working on invites was just fine so we thought it would be safe to still continue home. Let’s just say that about 15 mins on the road we started to see cars in the ditch and facing the wrong way. It started to get scary. What is usually about a 20 min drive to Appleton took us over an hour.
For those of you who know my husband, it’s not a surprise that he was barking and cranky under all the stress. We weren’t allowed to talk as he needed to focus on the road. Every noise Jaden made from the backseat was grating on his every nerve. I didn’t say too much as I knew he must be really stressed out and I wanted him to be able to drive us safety. Not going to lie though it was hard to stay understanding when he sniped at me for breathing.
I had glanced down at something for a moment when Doug called my name. I looked up and there was a car starting to slip on the ice. It came from the far right lane, across our lane, spinning 180 degrees and slammed into the median. At the very moment we saw the car begin to spin, Doug reached out and held my hand. I can still see what happened in slow motion …. As soon as we were passed the spun out car safety, Doug began to snap at me again.
But for those 3 seconds that we were preparing for the worst to hit us, we held onto each other. Reality seemed different during that 3 second moment. When the moment had passed, our guards went back up and we were “Mel & Doug” again. This tender split second really reminded me of the five days we had in the hospital with Owen. When the world seemed to move in slow motion. We saw everything unravel before our eyes. Completely out of control of what was going to happen. But we were tender to each other. We looked to each other not only for support but for what they might need so that we could be there for the other person. I remember the intimate conversations we had late at night, when the only sounds in the room where the heart monitors and ventilator. Now, our conversations before sleep are usually about the laundry, work or the hats I’ve crocheted over the day. I find it such a struggle some days to emotionally connect with the one person the Bible tells me that “two shall become one.”
I find myself clinging to the 3 second moments we have. I find myself daydreaming back to those moments as a reminder that we can get through anything. It’s not easy all the time – what relationship is? What do you do in those slow motion moments? Who do you reach for when the world seems to be crashing down around you? Is that what defines a relationship? When I’m not in a 3 second moment why is it so hard to get through my thick exterior? Why do I put up these guards? These defense mechanisms? I’m supposed to forgive, yet it’s so hard sometimes.
I wish I knew how to be a better wife. I think about it a lot … I feel like there is a biological love between a mother and her sons – I don’t have to work at them loving me as much as others. My husband is with me completely by choice, not by need. The babies depend on me for everything. They can’t go anywhere, even if they wanted to. But marriage and friendships are completely choice driven. No one is forcing you to stay, and no one can make you go.
The Generous Wife says it’s important to pray for your marriage. I never thought about it before reading her blog. So I’ve been trying to keep that close to heart when praying. Lord, be with me in my marriage and my friendships. Help me to be a better wife, mother, Mel.