Love is a necessary ingredient on the adventurecraft.
I recognize that this is not new information. This is nothing that a Beatles song, a Hallmark card, a Subaru commercial or the Book of Ecclesiastes has not covered.
But I feel it necessary to mention how much I love my husband. In fact, as I rolled over in bed to tell him I was going to write (at 3:30 AM), he snuggled me in to him and said, “sorry you had such a tough day.” (Of course, that was just after he yelled out, “What, am I snoring?” in a deafening bark that only a man who has handled heavy artillery for the US Marine Corps would produce.)
This is the man who knelt down beside me to ask me to marry him, just weeks after a serious double knee surgery, producing a hand-carved teak engagement ring. Knowing I didn’t want a diamond that came into the world at the expense of someone else’s safety and well-being, and never having carved a ring before, he set out to make a perfect, symmetrical piece for me.
This is the man who admitted me to the hospital one week after our son was born, and proceeded to care for our newborn as a single dad for a whole week while I healed from an infection… and then for the entire rest of my maternity leave with feeble attempts at help by his wife who could barely walk.
This is the man who bakes bread, strategically, in the afternoon so the house smells like honey and oatmeal and warmth and goodness just as I enter the house after work.
He is also one tough son of a gun.
I was generally aware of all of this as we drove to Eagle River last Friday night to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary. The temperatures had dipped into the single digits and the largest Big Dipper I’ve ever seen followed us from the sky as we drove north on county highways.
As we came upon an accident, with a car pulled over and a deer lying in the road, we drove slowly and commented on how unfortunate it was. But a mile later, something in my husband’s gut told him to turn around and go back to help.
As we approached the scene from the opposite direction, the deer weakly stood up in the middle of the road and stared, shellshocked. His leg had been shattered and as is often the case with adrenaline in the face of death, “he didn’t know he was dead yet.” (Quoting Tad.)
Cars were backing up in both directions and a large farmer stood in a John Wayne-style face-off with the deer in the road, knife in hand. His attempts to quicken the animal’s demise were unsuccessful. So Tad took his own knife and assisted the man, and the young buck. Max stared out through the window, into the 8° night air pointing out the “deeah”. I explained that daddy was helping the deer (and getting a few brutal kicks to the forearms in the process).
As we continued on our drive, all of the reasons I love my husband came sharply into view. That act of bravery and gentleness epitomizes all that he does in this world to care for creation in the face of difficulty.
I don’t believe Max and I could not have gotten any luckier.