Yesterday was Robbie’s birthday. I had planned to dedicate my post to him and tell you all of the wonderful and fabulous things about him. But, life happens. Instead I ended up falling behind in posts AGAIN due to a power outage.
At about 5:00 AM we were awoken by a very LOUD crack of lightning. It shook our house. Not thunder. Lightning. We still aren’t sure if it actually hit the house or if the damage we sustained resulted form the power failure immediately following. At any rate when the power came back on I realized that the satellite wasn’t working, the internet and phone weren’t working, since the microcell we depend on for cell service runs on wi-fi we had no cell service, our TV that is just over a year old (just out of warranty) wouldn’t turn on, and the fridge wasn’t cooling properly even though it was running CONSTANTLY.
At first I hesitated to tell Robbie. It was his birthday after all and I was really hoping to have it all figured out and fixed by the time he got home so he wouldn’t have to deal with it. But then he called to see if the power was back on (I was at my mom’s at this point, mooching a few precious minutes of internet, so I had cell service). I couldn’t just NOT tell him while we were on the phone so it all came pouring out. He didn’t say much, just asked a few questions and made a few suggestions.
By the time he got home nothing was really fixed. I’d made phone calls but was waiting for call backs or service people. In my mind I was tallying up the costs of fixing or replacing all of this stuff and was close to tears. He came in, calm but also clearly frustrated by the situation. But I tried to remember the lesson I learned just a few days ago about not taking on his frustrations. Instead I listened and then I told him what I was really worried about. Neither of us offered any half-hearted reassurances we just let the other share their concerns and then we each took a breath and some space.
Somehow just talking to him made me feel better though and I think it did for him as well. He came in from the garage a bit later, pulled me into his arms and said, “We have so much to be thankful for. I stood in the garage and looked around at our old but running and paid for vehicles, looked back at our home that kept us safe, warm and dry during that storm and mostly thought about the happy, healthy people inside it. I realized that buying a new fridge and TV would not be the end of the world.”
In that moment every ounce of stress and worry I’d been feeling melted. I realized that we’d been in far more difficult predicaments in the past 18 years and we’d survived, together. This was nothing. A lot of little things that happened to bombard me on the same day. This day is no match for us as a team.
The feeling immediately brought to mind the above quote. I do admit that occasionally we do gaze at each other and I think that has an important place in a relationship. But I also realized that in of my favorite picture of us we are looking ahead, together. Yesterday, on his birthday, Robbie gave me a great gift by reminding me of this simple truth.