My first blog of 2021 almost didn’t happen. 2020 had me ready to dig a deep hole and bury my domain, along with much else. Somehow, my domain got renewed, so I’ll take that as divine intervention that God isn’t done with my words just yet.
I think most of us can agree that last year was a never ending train wreck that we seemed to not be able to jump off of. I hope tonight’s blog will give you some hope and maybe a bit of advice. A chuckle would be nice.
Tonight’s blog is about a made up word….WillyWonka. It has nothing to do with a chocolate factory or a Golden Ticket. It has every thing to do with my love for a man I lost, a man I love now.
Before I lost Joseph, we were like so many typical young families. With small children. Stress. Mortgage. Stress. Jobs. Stress. Bills. Stress. Somewhere in all the chaos, we lost each other. Then he died. Literally sitting in his recliner rocking Hunter on a Sunday night and dead Monday morning.
I’m going to stop right now and tell you that every bad word I ever said to him, and every fight that we ever had came back and haunted me. Every single one. There was no 5 minutes to say I was sorry, or tell him one last time that I loved him. There is another, older blog where I share those demons and the battle that ensued.
Loss changes you. You love harder, deeper, and in a much different way. It’s a Godly love. For me and my boys, we call, tell, and text all of our loved ones daily that we love them. I can’t/won’t yell things in anger that I can’t take back. I can’t do it. You could spit in my face and I might get mad as fire, but you won’t hear me let loose on you. I can’t do it. Now, I can’t promise that I won’t take a baseball bat in the woods and tack a picture of you up on a tree! But you’ll never know.
Later, Preston came along. And came the stress of blending two families. I was also Ms. Independent and Preston was very old school in terms of he was supposed to be the spiritual leader as well as the breadwinner. It was chaos.
When the disagreements came, I would shut down because of my fear of it escalating and words flying out that I couldn’t take back. It wasn’t healthy. We prayed about it and decided that we needed a code word that either of us could throw out in the heat of the moment and the conversation would have to immediately shutdown. Then in an hour or two, we would talk again.
In the 8 years we’ve been married, I think we’ve each used the code word once, maybe twice. Looking back now, it had to have been a hilarious scene to see one of us raise our voice and say “WILLYWONKA!”. I’m sure we burst out laughing! Who can have a serious disagreement after such a silly word?
Sweet Preston has long forgotten that code word, but not me. It’s one I remember affectionately. My gentle giant has never said a cuss word or called me a name. Ever. I’ve never called him a name, or cussed at him in anger. That’s pure, simple respect and lots of love.
Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. 2020 brought out the worst in many of us. Many marriages are struggling. The next time you want to call your spouse a name other than “honey”, just yell out “WillyWonka” and remember that you do indeed hold that Golden Ticket…. a gift from God.
Treat your loved ones in a way that if they died tomorrow, you’d have peace in your soul and no regrets.
We are all on this train together. Be kind. Love hard.
Until next time,