Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wife Rule #162: We're Family

Sometimes when I want to say something most, it's hard to find the words to say it.

My cousin Erica passed away a week ago from cancer. Her funeral was yesterday. We grew up together. For several years she has lived in Florida with her husband and children, whom I don't really know. I've occasionally checked in on her blog, and tried to offer condolences when her mom (my aunt) passed away last year, also from cancer. She has extended sympathy to me regarding my dad's cancer the last several years. There have been mutual prayers sent back and forth in our respective struggles, but in truth I haven't been all that close to Erica in recent years. Now she is gone.

I know from reading her blog that she loves her spouse and children, I'm sure just as much as I love mine. And I know they must love her back, just as much as mine love me. And so my heart breaks for them--for the children who miss their mother and for her husband, who has lost his wife: the source of so much happiness and balance and meaning and direction in life.

I have learned from loving my wife that there is a beauty that comes into your life when you enjoy a happy marriage and family that cannot be replicated in any other way. This is because the married life--the family life--is what God intends for His children. It is the way to happiness. It is a shadow of His life.

Feeling this celestial love and yearning in our own families is a big part of what makes the separation from our loved ones sting so much. Because of what Erica's husband and children lost when she died--because of her love for them and their love for her--they must literally be going through hell.

I believe this is why God sent his Beloved Son to save us: so there would be a way back out. So that we can find a way to dry our tears. So that after the sting of death eventually loosens its grip on us, we can have hope again. So that we can find joy again. So that we can overcome both sin and death, and live together as families again, with Him.

He is real. He cares. He loves us. He really did rise from the dead, and because of Him, so will each one of us.

Some day I'll see my cousin again, and I hope that in the next world--the world that never ends--we'll keep better track of each other. I hope to get to know her husband and kids.

After all, we're family.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wife Rule #161: It's a Half-Full Life

I've heard social media criticized because people tend to only show the positives in their lives and neglect sharing the negatives. This can lead to unfair comparisons between a person's real life, with all its baggage, and the picture-perfect lives portrayed by others online. I suppose this blog is no exception to that criticism.

I haven't written much lately, and that is because I have often been busy, down, stressed, or my mind otherwise consumed to the point where I simply didn't have much to say. "If you can't say something nice..."

So this blog tends to reflect only the times when I am feeling happy, grateful, and positive about life. I have written about some hard times in my Wife Rules, but typically only after I have arrived in a place where I can put a positive spin on the end of the story. To me at least, this blog is clearly a half-full glass.

The half-empty times mostly pass in silence.

And in a way, my wife is a lot like this blog. She chooses to love me with a half-full-glass attitude. She sees the best in me. She assumes the best in me. She expects the best of me. She downplays or ignores those parts of me that are part of the half-empty glass. And on occasion, when there's just not much nice to say about me, she refrains from saying much at all.

Not that she shies away from the occasional constructive comment, or avoids talking about the serious times we sometimes face. She's willing to tackle tough issues when they need tackling.

I guess I'm just trying to say that when I'm not at my best, and I know it, and she knows it, she simply lets it be.

And in so doing, she shows her faith in me and love for me, and soon the half that was empty is filled up again--in part, because she made it so.