unsung heroes

So what’s a girl to do? Twenty-seven years with the same man. How can you be creative and give a nice anniversary present and still have some significance to it? If I reverse it, it is plenty for me to go out to eat and have some meaningful conversation and remember the good times. I like simplicity. But my sweet husband always likes to add all the bells and whistles. That is his love language, so I have to think like he would. I think I’ll write a little note to him—sorry you can’t see that one, but I will finish this blog post with a tribute to my hero, my knight in shining armor.
Often the brunt of the joke on TV now, men have become the “I Love Lucy” doofuses that can’t seem to figure out what is going on in the household to save their tiny pea brains. The savvy wife winks and smiles into the camera and tells him, “Honey, you’ve had your head in a cubicle all day, so let me tell you how life really works.” I am tired of this humor at the expense of men and their dignity. I am tired of men not being men or our perception of them being portrayed in this negative light. Being from Texas, there’s a stereotype of men here, too, that isn’t all that flattering about macho guys who wouldn’t shed a tear if they lost their best horse on roundup day. Neither of these images begin to convey the importance of men in families or give them any credit for all they do.
Yesterday, a friend and I spent a lot of time in the Sprint store trying to get a plan for a zillion minutes and negotiate the best deal with a family plan that serves five cell phones and two broadbands. Don’t ask. They love me. However, that is not where I was headed with this. Israel, our patient assistant, spent literally a couple of hours with us, I later realized, after the store was closed. They were supposed to close at seven, and that is about the time I got there. He never complained. However, his phone rang about three times while we were there, and I was pretty sure it was his wife wondering what day he might return to their abode. He just smiled, and said no problem. I couldn’t help but remember the times I had been upset with Mike when he couldn’t manage to get his tail in the door before 7 or 8 when quitting time was 5:30. And you can be sure, I let him know I wasn’t a happy mama. I don’t think I had any idea how his day had gone that would have caused him to be so late. I wished I could take those times back now, but I’ll let this post serve as a heads up to anyone who reads this and can relate.
My man gets up at the crack of dawn, drives in the Houston gridlock two hours, and tries to solve multi-million dollar problems for a company each day. He deals with all kinds of people and few are out for anything other than themselves. Work is after all, work. He’s the one who, when we were first married and weren’t making it financially each month, took a Saturday job just to pay the bills. He’s the one who took the risks, bore the worry, and stepped up to the responsibility and provided for this family. My girls are going to have a hard time finding husbands because he set the bar so high. One of the things I tried to keep in mind when I was feeling selfish and frankly, lonely, as he worked so hard over the years, was reminding myself what a good father and husband he was. No matter how tired he was, he had time for us. No matter if he felt like doing a project for the kids, or winning Science Fair single-handedly, he was there. I grew up with a teacher mom who taught me to tell the kids “School is your job. Taking care of you is my job.” So I rarely offered extra help with those crazy school projects. But not Mike. He made plaster of paris statues, completely functioning, authentic replicas of volcanoes, and followed the scientific method on neon poster board to the nth degree. He made lunches for the kids when I couldn’t look at bologna at 6 a.m., and he was the one that made the 11 o’clock runs to Walgreen’s to get a folder cover for the reports. He has always been the one to count on, the one who, when mom said no, that you could probably convince otherwise. He’s the back scratcher, the rub-your-back when you feel bad go-to guy, the good-looking Marlborough guy in the commercial in his boots rounding up the cattle in his “spare” time. He’s a dad. The best kind. And he’s a husband. The best I know.
Men are not appreciated enough today. Don’t think they don’t notice. At some point, some say why bother? Others keep at it despite the lack of gratitude. Maybe this post is only for me to remember and appreciate, but in case I’ve struck a nerve, make a point today to tell the man in your life whether it’s your dad, your brother, your son, your boyfriend, or your husband, that you notice what he does and he makes a difference in your life. I’ve got to go pick out something for our anniversary, but it’s my guess that the letter with words of affirmation will be his favorite gift, but I’m probably not thinking like a man.


2 thoughts on “unsung heroes

  1. Annie,
    I agree we should appreciate our husbands more. I’m glad you have shared this. I do appreciate my darling dear, Eldon. He works late a lot in his work. I too early on had to learn to appreciate it and not complain about it. Now it doesn’t bother me at all. Well actually not like it used to. I understand. He never went out with the guys after work; and he always comes straight home to be with the family.

    I don’t have girls, but I am so glad to hear that he set a high standard for them to look for in a husband.

    I hope you two have a very special day1! After all 27 years is significant!

    Blessings to you both in Christ!

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