Friday, March 7, 2008

Wife Rule #27: Life is for Longing

Have you ever been suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed by a deep longing for a loved one?

I have. It happened just minutes ago to me, for my wife. The conditions usually have to be just right: a time of quiet reflection, coupled with a poignant reminder of the love she has for me, usually coupled with just a touch of loneliness.

All three elements were there as I sat alone at my desk during lunch, all my coworkers having gone out today, reading a love note she had written to me. When these waves of longing hit me, my heart surges with desire to be with her, or at least to talk to her. So I called home.

No answer. Dang.

The longing doesn't last for long at such intensity. I know that by the time I head home from work tonight, my anticipation of seeing my wife and kids will have swallowed up the memory of this brief moment. Thus, my wife usually never hears about them. She might get a hint of my feelings by a slight inflection in my voice on the answering machine, but it's likely that she won't even notice because of the background noise that surrounds her most of the day. It's the same reason I don't notice these feelings on most days either.

So, to ensure that my longing for her companionship doesn't go untold, I am writing it down today.

I long to be with you. I long to hold you in my arms. I long to see you smile, to see your eyes shine. I long to hear your voice, that voice that is uniquely yours in the world. I long for the warmth of your love and affection, the in-person version of the same love and affection I felt in your note. I long to give you my love and affection in return. Five more hours is too long to wait. I want to be with you, to talk with you now.

Life has a way of crowding us with so many things to do, many of them necessary and worthwhile, that it takes conscious effort to make time for the ones we love. So we long for them. That longing, while slightly sad, is a good feeling too. It serves as reinforcement of our bonds, reinforcement that is constantly needed because of the crowding that comes with life. In a paradoxical way, eating our bread by the sweat of our faces (Genesis 3:19), which I interpret as doing those necessary, mudane chores that take up so much of our lives, both separates us from our loved ones and strengthens our love for them. It's a necessary part of God's plan for our progress because of both the learning and the longing it creates.

I feel like I've learned enough today. I'll see you soon, sweetie.


Jenny and Al said...

Matt, you are adorable. The other "brothers" in our family have been complaining that you make them look bad. :) I love reading your blog.

LuckyMatt said...

Thanks, Jenny! I'm glad you like it. I sure have fun writing in it.

When I decided to make this a blog instead of just a private series of notes to my wife, I guessed that some guys somewhere might slightly resent it, because this definitely leans towards the chick-appeal side of things.

I am different from "typical" guys in many ways that have worked to my disadvantage from time to time in life, such as my ineptitude at and indifference to sports (I was the perpetual bench warmer). So when I had this idea, I decided that I might as well take advantage of another of my differences from "typical" guys, ability/willingness to freely emote, and tell my wife why I love her, and let the chips fall where they may.