He leaned against the counter in the kitchen, arms folded casually, looking at me with compassion.
“You don’t have to keep homeschooling. If it’s too much, we’ll think of something else.” He said to me, hoping to stop the breaking of my heart.
I stood across from him in the kitchen, sobbing. It was all too much. Homeschooling, being watched all the time, having my children watched all the time…I was having a “good cry” as they say.
He reached out and pulled me close. I could smell the cologne on his shirt. He held my face in his hands, my tears spilling across his fingers. He didn’t care, he just wanted me to be okay.
“I’m sorry for crying.” I said, sniffing. “I’ve just had a bad day. I know it sounds crazy, I mean, I am tired of homeschooling today, but, I can’t just stop. Please…(sobbing)… don’t make me.” I said , with more tears flowing.
“I’m not making you,” he said to me with tender eyes. “I just want you to be okay. I don’t like seeing you cry.”
I wiped my tears with the back of my hand, and went to blow my nose. I felt better. I could get up and keep going. Why? Because he cared. He listened. He wanted to help me, even if it meant changing everything. He would do that for me. For me. I didn’t deserve such love, such sacrifice, and yet, he gave it.
This scenario played out years ago in our kitchen. It has played out other times since then with slightly different circumstances. Perhaps I’m sad because I miss my Dad. Maybe I’m worried about finances, or people liking me. Maybe a “friend” or family member has said words that cut me to the quick. Whenever my soul feels as though it has butterflies – not fluttering, but ripping me in half – he is there; my husband, my soul mate. He dries my tears. He embraces me with strong arms. He prays with me. His eyes look into mine, but they see more than just tears flowing, they see inside of me.
“I’m here.” He says. “I know you miss your Dad. He was an amazing Christian and one of my closest friends. I miss him, too.”
“It’s okay, you can make it. We can make it.” He says another time.
“Don’t worry, the money will be there.” Yet another.
“You’re so strong. You are handling things beautifully.” He says to me tenderly. But, I know the truth. I know I’m not strong. I know I don’t always handle things “beautifully.” But somehow, after he says this to me, I get stronger. I become better. I can keep going, all because he took the time to dry my tears, to hold my broken heart gently in his hands, to listen, to love.