It was one of the brightest full moons I had ever seen. I didn’t appreciate it like I should have. Something earlier that night led me to an attempted midnight escape down a long gravel driveway. Corey on my hip and ‘Tilda at my heels, I had no idea where I was going. I just knew that I was going.
Ya see, although dubbed the Love Shack, there were some very unloving moments within those walls. We were kids, raising a kid. Why would I have been so naive as to believe it would be smooth sailing? Duh, because I was a kid.
Money was tight and seemed to be the genesis of most of our arguments. Stuart was at work for days at a time only to come home exhausted. I was lonely and full of resentment. I was alone with a baby and no car. How selfish was I? He was doing what he had to do to provide for us.
I’m ashamed of my behavior back then. I’ve since apologized.
I found solace and friendship in my little church family at First Baptist Willis. Eventually, I would be on staff for several years as the preschool director at the little sanctuary nestled in the heart of downtown Willis. But that was much later.
My days were mundane. Filled with routine and boredom. As Corey got older, days seemed to be less mundane but that first year was rough.
Nursing, changing diapers and singing to my boy, catching naps when he napped. The never-ending household chores. Moms that choose to stay home with their kiddos don’t get the respect they deserve. I swear I wasn’t sitting at home eating Bon-Bons and watching soaps. These notions couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me set the scene for you. I quite often hadn’t showered for a day or two. I walked around with dish towels stuffed in my bra to stop the never ending “let-downs,” and my hair, oh my hair.
I nursed Corey for nine-months. That practice stopped the day he bit the crud out of me and looked up with a sheepish grin. Nursing was a money saver and bonding experience. Nursing was utterly exhausting! I was too uptight to pump, so feeding Corey was all on me. Looking back, I think that was a God send. Had I been able to plead with Stuart to help with late night feedings after he had been gone for days at a time, oh the fighting that would have commenced. It would’ve been ugly! He was just as exhausted as I was. He had been nursing wounds in the back of the ambulance or fighting fires night after night.
Stuart was so stressed. I would venture to say unhappy. On the rare occasion when he was home and slept I was leary. He had developed a late night habit of punching the pillow right next to my face with no recollection of it the next morning. He saw some bad stuff on that ambulance. I really don’t think Mr. Toughguy knew how to decompress.
That first year was trying to say the least. Would I change anything if I could go back in time? Nah. Those battles and struggles made us who we are today.
Did I ever want to give up and run away? Yep! My midnight walk down that gravel driveway was evidence of that on the moonlit night. The night whose beauty evaded me because I was too self-absorbed to notice. Running would have done me no good. I had no where to run. Another God send. We were forced to work things out, or at least tolerate each other.
When I arrived at the end of the long gravel driveway I knew I had to turn back and walk that ever humiliating walk of shame. I made my way back to the house. Back to that tin roofed refuge. Oh, how I miss that little house. Stuart was already asleep when I got back. Probably best.
I laid my sleeping boy down, snuggled up with ‘Tilda on the couch and there we would stay until the sun came up.
Stuart headed to work the next morning, yet again. “See ya later Booger,” and my routine started all over again.
Marriage sucks at times. I promise if you weather the storm, it will be more than worth it. It took us the first twelve years of marriage to figure that out. Twelve being a pretty conservative number. Hang in there and you will share a love like none other with your best friend. I do, twenty five years later.
Most certainly don’t be ashamed of the scars. Wear those suckers with pride and show them off! They are part of the your story.
Always, always, always wait for the sun to rise.