Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Not alone - Thanks Wayland

I want to share something with you today. Well, it's not something I want to share but for some reason it's been laid on my heart to not just keep to myself. Let me let you into my heart for a moment.
I've done something terrible during the past few days. I've been feeling sorry for myself. Things are frustrating at work, I'm a grump when I get home and the weekends - they've been filled with "must-do's".
In the midst of my pouting I received a phone call at the studio yesterday. An old pastor who lives in our neighboring town called. "Trinity I heard you need my help in there!" He said in his ever enthusiastic voice with the perfect blend of southern drawl. It was our friend Wayland. "Yes, Trinity I heard you had some snickerdoodles you needed me to come over there and eat." Wayland loves snickerdoodles. His wife was a preacher's wife who loved to cook and entertain and she always baked Wayland the best snickerdoodles in the world. I shouldn't say she "was" and she "did" Wayland's wife is still living you see. But she's not herself anymore. She lives in a nursing home. She lives in a small room on lock down because of her extremely severe case of Alzheimer's.
Wayland has to be one of the most upbeat people I've ever known. He must be at least in his late eighties but he has humor that could make the squarest person burst into a belly laugh.
Just like he said he would, Wayland arrived at our office today at 11:30 sharp. He sat down to start in on the 4 dozen cookies laid before him and began to tell us stories. He loves to talk about his wife. He goes to see her daily. Marilynn wouldn't know it though. Many times he's had to remind her who he is. Wayland shares some funny stories about the things she says that he could choose to laugh or cry over - and he laughs. He's ever positive and moving forward. At one point in our conversation Wayland handed me a piece of paper he'd typed and asked me to read it aloud:

"Alone, I can stay up half the  night watching TV and no one asks me how long am I going to stay up. Alone I can watch a football game on one channel and a baseball game on another channel and no one would be here asking me why I keep switching channels. I'm all alone. And I hate it."

By this time tears had welled up and spilled over. I didn't want to look up at the chipper man who had written such a cry for his companion. I kept reading.

"Alone, I never have to wait for the bathroom. I can take a shower and then walk to the hall closet to get the towel I forgot and no one would be here to complain that I tracked water on the carpet. Or be telling me to take a towel with me when going to take a shower. I'm all alone. And I hate it.
Alone, a baloney sandwich can be a meal and I can eat ice cream every once in a while each day and no one would say it's not healthy. I can buy my own groceries and brew coffee as strong as I like and if I burn the toast, no one would be here to laugh at me. I'm all alone. And I hate it.
Alone, I can wear the clothes I like and no one would tell me that the colors don't match. I can go where I please and return when I please. When I did come home, no one was home. Alzheimer's Disease has destroyed the mind of my Sweet Precious wife and I am left all alone. And I HATE IT."

I can't help but let tears run down my cheeks as I read this again. Wayland continued to talk with us and left about 45 minutes after I'd read that. The entire time, no matter what conversation we were having on the outside I was ashamed of myself on the inside. You see, sometimes I allow Satan to attack God's greatest relationship - my marriage. I begin to take for granted:

A man who never eats the white part to his eggs. No matter how perfectly I fry them they go in the garbage. At least he's there to eat eggs with.
A man who wears shoes in the house.
A man who becomes frustrated with my inability to cast correctly and who inevitably says I'm taking too much time packing things and then wonders why I didn't pack such and such.
A man that leaves a trail of coffee everywhere he goes - even on the new carpet and he won't put his own laundry away either.
A man to surprise me with a certain chore done I've been dreading.
A man who wakes up every morning and works hard to provide for us.
A man who tells me when I need to dress differently because "That's too hot" or "You're not a grandma yet."
A man who says what I'm thinking before I understand what I'm thinking.
A man who takes interest in my work and silly projects.
A man who asks me about my day.
A man who says I'll be able to do anything I want to do.
A man who builds me up yet keeps me humble.
A man who has given me more confidence than I ever knew possible.
A man to share so many inside jokes with, to share friends with, to share bad days, Faith, bills, sunsets, hunting trips, family moments, once in a lifetime experiences, travels, traditions and dreams with.

I can't wait for this last hour of work to get over. You better believe I'll be headed right home. Once there I plan to make my welcome home kiss last longer than usual before I rush off to plant the geranium slips that are in a jar on the table. Before I sweep the floor I'll do something the legalistic Trinity wouldn't have ever done - I'll pour my honey a cold one and turn on the hunting channel. I think chicken fried steak is on the menu tonight. Oh, and I'll say a prayer of thanks. Thanks to my Lord who has given me, at least for this glimpse of time, a companion - I'm not alone. And a request that I won't forget it! 

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