Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Respecting Our Husbands

Molly had an appointment with the dentist early this morning which was wonderful for her because she could finally get that hideous red band in the middle of her smile replaced with nice old dull gray. The green bands and one red were Christmas colors, but they put them on when Christmas was nearly over so she was anxious to get them replaced.

Our dentist office is a wonderful place with wonderful people and I was enjoying myself sitting in the sun when an elderly woman walked in. She reminded me of an aged movie star - aged being pronounced as two syllables, I don't mean that in a derogatory way - she was just very made up with a certain air about her. She was not one to make eye-contact or chat a little so I let her enjoy the warm sunny waiting room as I was. A few minutes later an elderly gentleman walked in, or rather breezed in despite his slower gait on account of his sunny countenance. He hung his jacket and smiled and sat down in the chair between the woman and myself. She was his "honey". I heard him refer to her with that easily spoken endearment of many years I'm certain as he mentioned this or that. He proceeded to remark about the weather, how chilly it was, but his manner was cheerful and he spoke to the room as well. He was just adorable, this tall, sweet, distinguished man. He remarked that he should put down his collar and get a suntan, so warm was the sun coming through the window. I sensed rather than saw her fuss with his collar and then I heard him say something about the fact that he was shedding like a coon hound. I was still smiling inside when I heard him look at her and say, "What, did I forget something?" It ran through my mind as she looked at his face that he must have forgotten to clip his nose hairs or some silly thing like that. She took hold of his chin, said something gruff about not having brushed his teeth, and in the mirror across the room, I saw him close his lips up tight, run his tongue over his teeth, and never utter another word while I was there. She'd sobered him in an instant.

Before I close this story and say why I chose to tell it, I want you to know that I realize that many times there are extenuating circumstances. Pain, heartache, the burden of living days under stress take a toll on a person and we have no idea why someone we meet who is cranky might be acting that way which is why we need to be mindful of that and give extra smiles, go extra miles in forgiving and caring and understanding. I couldn't know this woman's life, her heart, or why she acted as she did.

But, I could use this moment to remind myself how vital it is to be always caring of my husband, always respectful. One tiny moment is all it takes to rip at a heart, to cut someone to their knees. Our husbands, tough and manly as they are, are also very fragile.

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