Easter, for Christians, is the big one. It’s about loss, atonement, redemption and salvation, it’s the really big one that defines our faith. For me, it represents, among all the other things, second chances.
If I could, if dreams were real, I would have my crazy, angry, passionate, driven, brilliant Marty, the one I loved so long ago, warts and all, back. There is one caveat, I would want to have the experience, the knowledge, the what I now know of the last 11 years.
I guess most of us would like some do-overs based on what we now know.
Before, before our life was changed by a pin prick sized hole in Marty’s brain vein, I wasn’t a very patient guy, I was an impatient intolerant ass, at times. Honestly, at times I was selfish, short tempered, self absorbed, too focused on work and maybe a little emotionally distant.
I was an okay husband, I treated Marty, okay. I listened, at times, I participated in the home, I worked hard to provide, I wasn’t out running the bars at night and I took my turn bathing the kids.
I suspect I was an okay father, listening to our children at times, reading to them, taking them to functions, teaching Sunday school, going to ball games and band concerts and all that family stuff.
I’m not sure how engaged I was, I’m not sure I wasn’t constantly distracted by my work and my own angst about life, and I know I was living with too much fear of failure as a husband, a father and an employee. Fear does weird things to your brain.
As awful as the strokes have been they did give me a do over, they gave me a chance to atone for so many of my past short comings as a husband, and I hope as a father.
It took a cataclysm for me to finally re-order my priorities. Work went completely away and there has not been one day, not one when I have wished to have my career return. I miss people; I don’t miss being pulled away from my most important responsibilities, being a partner to Marty and a father to Matt and Erin and their broods.
I still struggle with the whole patience thing and too often I’m not tolerant of change and according to my wife I’m still way too controlling. To quote Marty, “You tell me what to do, too, too much.” I’m guilty.
I am better at waiting; I am better at letting the old lady fiddle with her coupons in the grocery store check-out line, I am better at waiting for Marty to process what she is thinking and translate the thoughts into words. I think I am anyway.
Mostly, I hope I have learned to focus on what to fear, I hope I have learned to only major on the major issues and not fret about the little stuff, because there is a whole lot of little stuff. I hope I have learned to give my time and energy where it’s really important and to ultimately fight only those battles that are important. The little fights eat up your energy and your life and you really need that energy and life for the big stuff.
My do-over, my Easter, is really about showing a woman I fell in love with 40 years ago how much I really love her and how much she is really loved. My Easter is being the best father I can be to my adult children and their mates. My Easter do-over is not losing fear, it is finding the appropriate things to fear, facing that fear and acting against it. My Easter do-over is very simply having this amazing opportunity to use what I have experienced with Marty and our kids and being a better man than I was, being a good man.
That’s why Easter is the big one for us Christians. We, the world got the biggest do-over ever.