As I write this, the man who relieved my husband of his job almost exactly a year ago just walked past me in Starbucks. The man who, because of his actions, caused my husband to find a new job which he spends 3 hours a day driving to and from. I am resentful of this man. I resent his shiny shoes and expensive suit. Of his well groomed head of hair swept back so handsomely. I resent that he tries to make eye contact and I avoid, because this time, I think I really might punch him. I resent the fact that I am stretched farther than I ever thought I'd be stretched. I may be fraying. I expect to snap soon.
As imperfect as it was, I miss our old life. I miss my husband. He is my best friend. I adore him. He listens to me talk. When we first started dating, he told me "I like how you talk. It's like I can hear your brain". For most men, that would be a nightmare. How lucky am I?
But now, he kisses my forehead while I sleep when he leaves in the morning and I watch him fall asleep on the couch next to me only minutes after the kids are tucked in. He tries to stay awake. He just can't. I'll call him with a run down on the kids: "This one talked back to the teacher, that one cried all through recess because she wasn't invited to a birthday party. French Horns cost $400, let me know if we're going that route. The boy was hopping around the living room in that tall laundry basket, fell into our new bookshelves and whacked off a chunk of wood. Tune in again next week..."
The other day, driving home, he had to pull over on the side of the road, next to some farm near Cameron, TX because he was falling asleep. I don't know how long he stopped. I don't know how often that happens. I do know that I listen to the radio each afternoon, ears perked for news of car accidents. I pray over his tires and the skinny cattle that sometimes wander onto the highway. I strain my every nerve to keep myself from obsessing over his safety, from generating statistics on the number of hours he drives, the daylight he is allotted, the condition of the rusty tin can he calls a car. That has no air conditioning.
All this, and I get angry. Seems like he should be the angry one. But he's not. He just goes on. He's tougher. He does it for us. Sometimes I think I need to be angry for both of us. And, at moments, I am.
I know it will be good in the end. That much worse things befall couples every day. I just never thought this is how it would be. I know someday, we will reminisce with our children and grandchildren, "Oh, remember that job where you were gone all the time and all mom made for dinner was pizza and hot dogs wrapped in tortillas!?" That will be nice.