The radio talk show guy broke our bedroom quiet; the red glare on the clock face said 3:00 AM. Only two things in my life are appropriate for a 3 o’clock wake up…fishing or hunting…Yet, here it was, and I was even out of bed and grabbing my electric shaver. Sweet “Dollie” was also up and heading for the kitchen. “Want coffee?” she asked. “Just water and a peanut butter cracker,” I replied. My early morning quick start ups, typically fishing or hunting days, begin with a small pack of peanut butter on cheese crackers and a bottle of water. Today would be no exception; I was scheduled for a two day business meeting in Kansas City, and my flight left at 6. In my twenty-nine years of financial services work, these conferences with insurance companies were fairly routine, every year or so. This trip sponsored by a great life and annuity firm in Des Moines, Iowa, Davis Life & Annuity, had been on my calendar for about two months. I had recently associated with this firm, although several Davis marketing and service reps had worked with me years earlier through another firm, and I was very pleased to come on board and renew that excellent relationship.
These trips were always a mixed blessing for Kath and me. On the one hand, I accepted and looked forward to the updates of products and strategies, changes in tax laws, meeting and visiting with other agents but, then there was this other issue, Kath would be home, and I would be away! OK, some of you guys are frowning, maybe gagging some…thoughts like, “really, guy! Tell you what, if I had more trips away from my ol’ lady, I’d jump at that chance.” Well, for you “tough guys,” maybe a trip to the fridge, or just moving to another site might be in order. ALTHOUGH, before you hit that key board, just maybe, if you hang with me, you might catch a glimpse of something you secretly, way back in the cobwebs behind a deflated football in an old gym bag, wished you had more of! First of all, for altogether too many guys, this whole subject of love and stuff, gets all mixed up with online, late night TV and a few X movies. Let’s talk a sec about manly…guts, courage, tough, in charge, OK , and your idol is? Really? No one said Moses or Jesus? You all been looking at the weak stuff. Now, if this carpenter’s son was whom he claimed to be, just how much more manly could He get? The mission called for a sacrifice; someone or something had to die, and it had to be a really good sacrifice, no weaknesses, no flaws…but who would step up…who would dare to try and who stood up and did it? You know the rest…My point, guys, is that we all don’t have to be a Rambo or an ol’ John Wayne type to be all the man any woman would appreciate. Matter of fact, earning the trust and appreciation of your “woman,” has little to do with macho. If the greatest manly man that ever lived died on a wooden stake, humiliated, mocked, and voted least likely to succeed by the government of his day, do we not get a slim idea that manliness may have more to do with earning respect than demanding my way!
So it is with Kath and I. We both lived with great pain, disappointment, broken promises, and broken hearts, but no longer, God was good. Heartbursts tells the story. Thus on that early morning drive to the airport, we spoke quietly, knowing it was a short two day trip, but also still feeling ever so deeply the preciousness of each and every minute together, even though we had been blessed with twenty-two wonderful years.
Ten years earlier, a similar trip occurred. Sadly we kissed and I flew off; gladly, my plane landed in San Anonio; I had returned to my sweet “dollie.” Kath was waiting at the gate when I landed. She had posted a rather large sign behind her that read in very large letters, “WELCOME HOME, LOVER!” An older man also waiting for a passenger on my flight, smiled at her and said, “Nice sign, your husband been gone a long time, huh?” Kath smiled, her sweet lovely eyes sparkled, and she replied, “Oh, yes, he left early this morning!” Corny love, oh yeh… Rambo and John Wayne types don’t have a clue…but I promise it doesn’t get any better… From my heart to yours….See ya next time.