We were barely married, in the day and age before mobile phones, when my husband decided to go and kayak the Upper Salt with his brother and a friend.
I trusted my husband and his skills in kayaking. After all, he had thousands of miles on the Arkansas River in Colorado. But tragic accidents still happen even to skilled rafters and kayakers. He had lost a friend just the summer before to one such horrible, tragic accident.
Therefore, as much as I trusted, I still tucked away a little bit of fear. So, when he traveled hours north to go and kayak, despite the fact that the river he was about to embark on was far calmer, still bearing some whitewater but not the same amount or same level, I had trust in him and I had fear in him. Both emotions swirled into one.
Yet, being the good wife, I sent him on his way with merry wishes and kisses for a great day.
And all day I prayed. I knew when they should arrive at the river. I knew how long the river should take. And I knew approximately when they should arrive home.
Unfortunately, that time when he should arrive came and went.
He was not home. Worse yet, there was no phone booth phone call to say that they were fine.
Okay. Sometimes rivers take longer than they should. Sometimes drives take longer than they should. Sometimes…
My mind was racing. To calm my anxiety, I decided that I would get out of our adorable little apartment, our first abode together, and go grocery shopping.
Food and shopping. Two categories commonly used in many lives to avoid truths, eh?!
I took my time grocery shopping but made sure that I was finished by 9pm so that I could be home to watch the evening news. I was not hoping my husband was on the news-instead I watched hoping my husband was not a story on the news. Does that make sense?
Thirty minutes of news and no “Breaking News” of a kayaking accident or incident or ??? Needless to say, I was grateful. Grateful that he did not make the news but still just as concerned that he also had not yet made it home.
More time passed and I really had to think. At what point do you call the authorities to let them know that they may need to assemble a search and rescue team? Truthfully, I wasn’t sure. What would I say, “Hi, I’m a new wife. My husband went kayaking. He’s not home yet. I don’t know if you need to go and search the river or just “stand by” the phone…I’ll let ya know.”
Eventually I decided that I would give him more time. After all, flat tires also happen.
Groggily, hours later, I was awakened by my husband. I looked at the clock. I looked at him. He was saying something about his day…
At this point I feel complete relief. Then, bubbling up inside I felt my second raw emotion—the one that took over. Anger.
He didn’t even think to call me on his way home to tell me they were okay? He didn’t think to call me when they stopped to eat that they would still be a couple hours out? He didn’t call me to tell me he had a great day? Point. He didn’t call.
I was left until the wee hours of the night wondering if he was okay, and he didn’t call.
So, as he was talking about his great day, I picked up my pillow and marched into the living room. And I slept on the couch.
As I drifted to sleep, I thought, “Are you kidding me, Brooke, Richard doesn’t call and you are the one that is sleeping on the couch? There is something wrong with this picture.”
The very next morning, I walk into our bedroom, and, still sleeping like a baby, my husband. Snoring. Soundly. Not a care in the world.
Why is it, folks, that we often lose sleep when the other party seems to get plenty? I have no idea.
Last night, present day last night, my husband and I also had an argument about all things related to being newborn parents. Lack of continuous sleep does not always bode well for civil conversations. Therefore, we had a “lively” discussion about many topics.
Warning—when you have not slept well—avoid all topics.
But we didn’t. And we argued. And I ended up on the couch again—my choosing. Baby in a rocking cradle next to me.
Now, the morning after, awake for hours, I have got to ask myself, “Brooke, at what point in your life will this madness end?” Needless to say, silly Brooke, I have no idea.
I’m too passionate to give an answer. But my husband has already made me coffee this morning.
Marriages and couches, my friends, two things that will keep you humble.
Happy Presidential Monday to all! Hope you got a few winks of sleep for me 😉
At least little Josephine looks well rested, eh?!