Thursday, October 14, 2010
Rubbing his head
He didn't ask for my approval (only my acceptance) when he accepted their offer to stay through the summer. They had sweetened the offer with more money that he felt we needed. I voiced a deep concern for his health asking if the money was worth the wear and tear on his body, mind, and emotions. He felt it was.
He did tell them no to their requests for another year, but then I had been quite blunt what another year of this craziness would do to me.(I have written of this before).
I understand that we both started over in our lives in our mid-forties; that our parents had health issues, but great retirement pensions after devoting years to a company and a church that returned loyalty; that we have health issues and no such loyalty from companies and school districts. Thus there are concerns we have had to address. Much planning has gone into our future. He has no children. I have two. Neither of us want to become a burden to them, just as our parents did not want to be a burden, particularly financial, to us (they weren't). So we plan; we invest; we work; we pray; and we hope.
I did not want to return to the high school where I am once again teaching. The last two years were brutal. Ah--- but my job carries health insurance. His company is out-sourcing and though they wanted him another year, they are honest that the position is still temporary.. So he has left them and become an independent consultant, mainly for them. He is still getting paid well, he can work from here, and they can't call him at all hours of the day without paying by the hour. Funny how that has stopped their 24/7 including weekends need of him. He was an executive on salary before with no over time pay.
Last night as I readied lunch, clothes, books, etc. for tomorrow (I have to prepare at night as I am not my best at 5 am), he sat at the same computer. But he didn't have a phone glued to his ear. He wasn't rubbing his head like he does when he's irritated or tired or well just anything other than content. He wore jeans and a t-shirt not his night-time boxers. He went to bed at 11pm. So did I. We fell asleep in each other's arms. He rolled over and held me when the alarm went off this morning. Then he turned over and crept back into sleep when I got up. I kissed him goodbye and went to work. It was a better day.
When I arrived home, he was doing laundry. I kissed him hello and we held on tight for a moment. I've fixed good suppers for us both nights ( he was here to greet me yesterday after school). We sat at the dining room table together. We watched the news together. We will fall asleep together.
I get to have him until Monday. Then he will go back to Cinci to continue the work still to be done on the house there. There is light at the end of the tunnel as the cliche goes. The house should be on the market by the end of this month. Then I will be able to come home to him every day.
Someone recently commented in a letter to me that I seemed to not have joy in my life. The comment was made with concern, not criticism, and I appreciated that concern. I have yet to tell that person so.
I have thought about this comment. I have read back over my posts. I know that one in particular was misunderstood by this person as signaling deep depression. It wasn't. But I am realizing that joy had crept quietly out of our lives.
His friends and I have noticed how Mike has changed since August 20th. We are gradually seeing the real Mike emerge once again. I feel in my gut/spirit that the job was killing him. It most certainly was sucking the joy out of him and consequently out of me. He was on call 24/7 seven days a week. The stress was tangible. I did not feel that I could tell him about issues at school. He didn't need my stress too. So we kept our jobs to ourselves and they were both gnawing away at our insides.
He has laughed that deep, awesome laugh of his more in the past month than in the past two years. He and I have laughed over silly stuff and truly funny stuff.
He and his friend spent a day getting his boat out of the water recently. They do it every year. This year he came home, lay on the bed, and laughed---just laughed. He attempted to tell me what was funny. Story after story tumbled out. I later talked to his friend who told me they hadn't had a day like that for over two years. He said that Mike had become almost unreachable.
The good news is he's now reachable. He's here. And my job? Well, it still has its sore spots. But those sore spots are easier to handle when I know he's here waiting. I'm beginning to sense that work wasn't the problem so much as working away from him was. (If he had said yes to them, this year would have been our 8th living on separate sides of Ohio. We had one year when I was laid off and went back to Cinci for a year.)
No annoying ring of his cell phone will awaken us tonight to get him up to spend 3 hours on the phone and the computer simultaneously. He rarely rubs his head now (his one sister can still cause him to do that at times).
The joy is seeping back ever so gently.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.
Part of Imperfect Prose on Thursdays