Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Another Reason I Adore You

Dear John,
 
We had a very windy day. It was a day to put rocks in your pocket before you went outside. I had a hard time staying upright between the bank and the parking lot. I had lunch in the break room, which has an outside wall to the west, and it sounded like chunks of the building were blowing off. The house, however, is safe, sound, and undamaged. And the dog is jumpy.
 
I don't know where this train of thought came from, but this morning I was thinking about how much I loved it that you were always there to help me but never tried to protect me. And I hope I can explain the difference. We helped each other - we were good at different things and we took turns having our disasters. We were there for each other whenever and for whatever we were needed. But you never were protective of me. That would have felt demeaning. I know that isn't the case for all women. But it is for me, and you understood that. You respected me as your equal and I adored you for it.
 
It goes back to you wanting an independent, strong-minded, smart-mouthed woman. If there was a zombie apocalypse, I'd be out there learning to shoot a crossbow. As I said last night, I am my mother's daughter. I was brought up to be strong and independent. That chased most guys away when I was a teenager, and that was fine with me - if meant I didn't have to deal with them. I'd decided way back in fifth grade that I would never pretend to be less than I was in order to be popular with the boys. The right one would like me as I really am. You were the right one, and like me you did.
 
So thank you for helping without protecting. I wanted to be loved and respected, not protected. We faced life side-by-side, not with you in front and me hiding behind you. So now I miss my companion and best friend, but not my protector and defender. Maybe that makes my widowhood easier than some. Maybe it's just that Mama raised an independent, strong-minded, smart-mouthed women. I'm so thankful that it's what you wanted.
 
Adore you for so many reasons,
Joan.

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