I am by far much more agreeable to the crosses in my life if they are ones of my own designs and orchestrations. Spring on me a lovely bouquet of flowers, take me out to an unexpected dinner, drop a bombshell on me of a trip to an all-inclusive- I am on board baby- but when it comes to crosses, I do not like surprises. I laugh at how incredibly weak I am, because it doesn’t take much of a wrench in the plans to make me blow a head gasket. Math equation that always proves true: Obnoxious drivers around me + late – sleep divided by pre-menstrual x headache = blown head gasket. (You honestly don’t even need all those variables to make the equation true, for instance, I just need to be late and I can lose it.)
It can be the simplest of things. We were just at Starbucks the other day and I was trying to order a fluffy warm drink that for some reason was not computing with the guy at the counter, and I am not that skilled at the subtle order nuances of coffee drinks to “get it”. My husband tried to intervene and set everything to rights, but it was all I could do to keep from making some kind of a little scene. St. Therese would have loved the opportunities to “strewn those fragrant roses” of all life’s little inconveniences I balk at around the throne of Jesus. I am not quite there yet; unless I have properly braced myself ahead of time with liberal amounts of pixie dust and major dunks with grace I wouldn’t bet on me handling it like a saint.
I think I can deal with a lot, I learned from the master, my mom. But I have been months orchestrating this marathon gig, with my four reasons for going through hell, praying, fasting and the like, that even though I will for sure mess a bunch of stuff up on this journey, I feel good about the road. Bring it on!!
But my husband, on the other hand, has not been so fortunate. He has been absolutely inundated with unexpected crosses for over two years now. We think we get on top of one, and another thing takes its place. His crosses have been all health related, from shoulder surgeries to calf issues, he just can’t seem to get a break.
He never had problems like these the first twenty-five years of our marriage; in fact he was my workout inspiration. He loves things like P 90 X, Ross Enamait’s Underground Guide to Warrior Fitness, Bass Rutten’s Mixed Martial Arts Workouts, Navy Seals stuff- and I would want to throw up just watching him and his circuit of two hundred burpees on top of all the other Plyometric Cardio crap he would find “fun”.
But a few years back he started having things go wrong. It’s not like he sits on the sidelines and “accepts his fate”. He is very pro-active. Doctor after doctor, test after re-hab. And for me, watching him battle through one disappointment after another is a huge branch of crosses all on its own.
Waves of discouragement. He tries so hard to keep his head above that deluge that just doesn’t seem to relent.
I know I can never compare to the Blessed Mother, but I can’t help but think of her and how she felt as she watched, helpless, as her Son carried His heavy cross. There is a new kind of pain in being helpless. That is another tall order I keep bringing to Jesus. How I would love for my husband, my partner, to be able to be back out running with me. We would love to run a half-marathon together someday, maybe this next fall. And I offer up this cross- watching the one I love most suffer his own battles, and all I can really do is pray and place him in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
A couple of nutters, trying to be romantic on July 4th in the sunset of Lake Michigan.