Saturday, November 1, 2014
For All the Saints
November. Where the heck did you come from?
I kind of got in a groove the second half of October. I had my tidy list of "personal values" sitting on my desk, so I knew what I was going to write about each day.
Well, I got to the end of the list, and I'm sure you all are ready for something different. I have some ideas stirring, but not solidifying. Yet.
So, today, I will stick with the obvious.
Happy All Saint's Day!
I am sure we all have people in our lives whom we refer to as "Saints." Lots of times, it is our grandmother's. Somehow, they managed to raise 15 kids, keep the house spotless, do all the laundry by hand, make a huge meal every evening (and clean up afterward) bathe the kids, make sure their homework was done, wait on her husband, and never break a sweat.
I'm lucky if I'm showered and have put last night's dishes in the dishwasher by the time my husband gets home after work.
Ugh. My dog is sitting next to me, and he smells like nasty feet.
Back to sainthood.
I was thinking about "who should I write about?....who do I think of when I hear the word 'Saint'?"
I didn't have to look very far.
Yep, I married a Saint.
I don't even know where to begin.
Let's start with his work. He has been a band director since 1996. His work ethic is ridiculous. He is so dedicated to his job, and to the kids he teaches, that he leaves no time for himself. His lunch break typically involves about 5 minutes of choking something down between lessons. I can't tell you the number of times he has had to move every single piece of band equipment for a rehearsal or performance (including stands and chairs...and all of the drums, xylophones, etc.) I would be DONE with that after the first move...but he just does what needs to get done without complaint.
A year or two ago, he was getting ready to head out of town for an all day bus trip with the band. I noticed he had picked up a bunch of granola bars and other snacks, as well as extra cash. When I asked why he was bringing so much with him, he told me that he had some kids who couldn't afford to bring money along to buy food on the trip. Rather than say anything, these kids would just go hungry. Apparently he had always kept an eye out for this, and would discreetly slip the kids a granola bar or other snacks along the way. When they would stop to eat, he would buy extra burgers, and pretend he was too full to eat them, and get them to those kids.
I had no idea he had been doing this all these years. I wasn't surprised though. He has always had such a kind heart, and he cares enough to make sure he really knows the kids, and knows their situations. He wants to make sure every single student in his classes have the same opportunities and experiences.
I have to admit, his unwavering dedication to his work has sometimes taken it's toll on our marriage. While he was working hard to prove himself, and support our family, I was feeling neglected. Silly, I know, but I'm sure some of you have experienced the same thing. It's hard when your spouse is always away from home, or when they are home, it seems that they are still focused on work.
Like everything in life, we just needed to get this "marriage thing" down. It was easy when it was just the two of us. We had each other, and we both had our careers. Things changed so much once we added two kids to the mix.
Like everything in life, it's all about working through it, and learning how to communicate.
Mark is the kind of guy who will do anything for anyone.
He has literally helped me with every concert, performance, event, etc. I have had to do. He sets up the equipment, he runs the sound, he makes sure everything runs smoothly, and more often than not, he is also either playing drums or trombone for me.
As I am typing this, he is making dinner. And this is a very regular occurrence. Whenever I teach lessons at night, or I am just being lazy (always) he comes home from work, and starts making dinner. He is also the master brunch maker on Sunday afternoons.
He is also an amazing father. He has been since day one. I have always played at church, and he would be there with the kids (even as infants) every Sunday. He would spend hours playing "ball" (their favorite game when they were little...which was him sitting at the top of the stairs, and they would try to catch it and throw it back up) every single night. Bike rides, snow forts, wagon rides, you name it, he did it.
Now that they are teenagers, we just make a point to embarrass them at every opportunity.
I could go on and on about how wonderful he is, and everything he does for us.
But the thing that makes me love Mark the most is his ability to love and to forgive.
There have been bumps in our life together that surely would have broken many relationships. We questioned whether our relationship was even worth fighting for. However, in the end, we always knew it was. We knew it would take work, and it would be painful. But we also knew we couldn't imagine ourselves without the other.
The depth of love, kindness, compassion, patience, forgiveness, and honesty this man has given me is immeasurable. It is so much more than I will ever deserve.
Everyday, I think about how lucky I am to have him in my life.
I am blessed, and I am grateful.
Who is a "Saint" in your life?
Why are you grateful for them?