Thursday, March 6, 2014

marriage letters: what makes you come alive

hello dear readers-
this is part of amber & seth haines monthly marriage letters.  they provide a prompt on the first monday of each month. you can check them out at run a muck or seth haines.  they believe "when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriage of others" and i think they are right.  

dear pjm.

i didn't want to write this one to you.  because of "that" and you are growing less alive each day...and you would say in a very sarcastic tone, "we are all a day closer to dying than we were yesterday" but with your "end" more obvious than mine, it was a prompt i wanted to bypass.  but then i remembered my intent behind writing you marriage letters: to leave behind a history of you+me, especially knowing it will be just "me" one day soon and our children & grandchildren might find them as valuable as that pottery barn dinnerware or john deere tractor we will leave them.

and when i think about when you were most alive, i wanted to write when we adventure with our children to cities and countries vastly different from home.  or on our weekly sunday night dates, leaving the olders at home taking care of sweet brown eyes.  we'd sit across from one another at harry's {did you know it has gone out of business? probably because we are not dating there anymore} and share a dinner with drinks. me & chardonnay. you & gin+tonic+lime.  or perhaps you want me to boast about how you could play the game...whatever the game was.  a foot race-crazy eights-golf-monolopy-tennis.  you loved the competition, but that is not what truly made you come alive.  yes, you were a family man & a doting husband, & a hell of a game player, but you were never so fully engaged as when you were working.

your life was constructing & building & coordinating.  and you would come alive at twelve midnight.  alarm set.  jeans, work boots, company t-shirt, baseball cap and carhartt jacket embroidered with "laser screed rentals". driving your unmarked F-150 up to a job site on brisk, dark nights.  light towers beckoned you from miles away.  concrete trucks filed one behind the other like frustrated patrons at the DMV.  there was a confidence & sureness in your step, experiencing the hustle & purpose of all those on site.  and you stopped to converse and shake hands not just with the "big guns" as you called them, but with the laborers and pump crew busy pouring concrete at o-dark-thirty.  you climbed up on that expensive ass tractor and clap your operator on the back, inquiring how the pour was going. in the middle of mud, men and construction was where you were most alive.

and as i sit here without you, i realize your passion for work defined you.  i recognize it made you feel most alive because it provided.  not just for me-you-our precious family, but for each of those workers on that site in the dark of night.  you were most alive when you provided an opportunity for others to work hard and improve their lives as well as the lives of their families, and that is what makes you a doting husband & devoted father & ultimate winner of the game.

and as i watch you let go of life, i most believe you were fully alive when you were providing.


p.s.  would love to share dinner & a bottle of chardonnay with you.

1 comment:

  1. and little did he know what provision he has left behind in the avenue of constructing. how the industry is not the same without him, but is continuing on with him in its midst because of the risks he took and the marks they made. how he created a legacy in which not only his family, but his dear employees, have the chance to remember him in their daily (or should i say nightly) work.