Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reunion - With No Housework

Dear John,
I had a busy day at work, and a long one. So the errands I was going to run after work will get done tomorrow or Friday. Oh, wait - you could do them all on your way home from work tonight! What do you think?
We had a good system worked out that saved us a lot of money on gas. With Panera where it is - and 40 minutes away from here - it worked so well for you to pick up groceries on your way home from work. Since Meijer and Walmart are open 24 hours, it was easy. Besides saving on gas money, you always said that it gave you some time to wind down after work. The big grocery trips we made together on a day off. But the little things you would get on your way home from Panera. It was the most normal thing in the world to you - I remember you saying it was the only logical way to do it. But I still think very few men would do that after a long day on their feet at work. And I so appreciate it.
You've always been so kind and thoughtful! I realize I owe a lot to your father for punishing you that day when you were small and he told you to take out the trash. You told him that was women's work - I can't in my wildest dreams imagine you ever saying that - and evidently, by the time he was finished with you, you couldn't imagine it, either. He brought you up to respect and be kind to everybody, and that's one of the things I've always loved about you.
Remember those two pre-marital counseling sessions we had? They seemed to be a colossal wate of time except for one question he asked us: Who will be responsible for doing what? I was brought up in the Deep South in the 1950s, so of course I refused to consider letting you do anything at all around the house. We were both going to work full-time, and when we got home you'd relax in front of the television while I did all the work. You were brought up by your father, so of course you said we'd split the housework in half. I think Roger expected us to argue about it, but taking the oppsite positions. So we sat in his office and hashed it out, and I had to agree to let you help me with the housework.
It was our first, but by no means last, backwards argument. It seems like that's what we always did. We'd go shopping for something for me, and we'd argue in the stores - you saying I needed it, and me saying I didn't and it cost too much. It reminds me of the O'Henry story, "The Gift of the Magi."  We each wanted to make the other one happy.
So, if you wanted to make me happy, why didn't you take me with you when you left? Huh? I guess the answer to that question goes back to the same pre-marital counseling session, when Roger asked us what we expected of each other. You said the only thing you expected of me was to be obedient to God, and I said the same. I think you're right - he thought we were being flippant. But we were both dead serious. And you said one of the most wonderful things I've ever heard: You told him that I belonged to God, not to you.
So that must be the reason you didn't take me with you. I can't imagine why He wants me to be alive, but evidence indicates that He does. So here I am, waiting to find out which train I have a ticket for. And you just had to take an early train, didn't you? But this time apart will be very short in the span of eternity, and the separation is more a matter of appearance than reality. We remain married and in love with each other - temporary separation doesn't change that. And just think - when we're together again, there will be no housework!
Waiting for the reunion,

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