He was my editor long before I ever thought to string words together for a blog post. Shortly after we got married (in our first year) I noticed he would do this one thing, but I could not figure out why. Just like all newly married couples, we would sit all hugged up together, even while visiting with family and friends. I noticed that, often when I would be talking and sharing things about our life together, he would nudge me. His nudge might be a finger poked in the ribs, a gentle squeeze of the hand or a tap of his foot against mine. Just a quick, unnoticeable (to others) gesture I would feel and wonder what he was doing. Soon I realized his prompting would happen while I was telling some great story or when I was just revealing the boring details of our everyday, out-of-town life to our friends and family. It eventually became clear to me that it was his signal to shut up and stop talking.
Now, for a person like me, who naturally lives out loud, this was confusing, but for him- an introvert of sorts- my stories were an intrusion of his attained privacy. I did what all new brides do…. I told my Mom about it; his attempt to filter me for no reason. And, then, I protested publically at his attempts to keep me quiet. The results were very entertaining for those who were aware of our inner struggle. Finally, when I told an embarrassing, story-to-end-all-stories one night, his actions became legendary! (I’m sorry, reader, but if I told that story here, he would only edit it out.)
We were visiting with my parents. I was sitting, but Ed was standing up across the room away from me. When, to his horror, he realized which particular story I was telling, he just started saying (quietly at first, but soon much louder) “poke, Poke, POKE!!!!” But I was not stopping! He was not going to keep me from saying what I wanted to say! Wise to what was happening, my parents cracked up in laughter. And, from then on, screaming “POKE!!!” has become our family’s way of trying to censor anything you don’t want told!
Over the years he has given up on filtering the things I share. And I have tried to be mindful of our personality differences. I have grown to value his comfort, as well as his opinion and perspective of things.
Just days after we became “Mr. and Mrs.,” I snapped the above photo on an island in the Caribbean Sea. Obviously, we each left our hotel, equipped with our own camera, to capture how we (as individuals) viewed the world. Having photographed the same lighthouse, I turned to see him on top of this rock, peering through his own view finder. I raised my own camera and caught this image just as something inside of me made me pause and think, “man, I love him!” I had just an inkling then to the wonderful, godly person he strives daily to be. Before him, I had never known anyone who could recall applicable scripture in situations. Like our children, the way he approaches life amazes me. I give him a hard time about how- with such ease- he lays his head down at night and is soon fast asleep, waking up every day to a new world. He very rarely stresses about anything. His wit is so quick it is hard to beat. It surprises, and often shocks, those who only know his usually quiet demeanor.
To this day, this photo is framed and on my bathroom vanity. It is a daily reminder of how I feel about this man who through the years has taught me to view things around me from a different perspective. Often times, it is a painful process and not always pleasant. It is something I tend to fight with every ounce within me.
When I started blogging, I forced him to read every post; checking it for grammatical errors, and because I value his opinion. It has been written that editing is refining; improving the overall quality. Not sure he cares a great deal about what I write here in this space, but for sure I know he refines me and improves my overall quality as a Mom and as a person.
Yesterday, we celebrated seventeen years of marriage; I at one ball field with the boys, and Ed with 3B 60 miles away at another ball field. Our time apart was spent texting each other with play-by-play updates of the ball games we watched. So typical of how our communication is most of the time these days. Like any married-with-children couple, our life is less about us and certainly more about our little family. Without a doubt, I know Ed would not want our life to be about anything else. To our children he is the best Dad in the world. And for me, he is undeniably the person God placed on this earth to help me write our story!