I am not sure what my husband thought when he woke up and saw the email from me. It essentially said: “In the session this morning, the trip leader was talking about Jewish wisdom about marriage, and told everyone to send our husbands an email saying ‘Thank you for marrying us.'”
So here it goes:
“Thank you for picking me, staying with me through cancer, making a home with me, having a beautiful baby with me. Too goofy? Too bad! I love you!”
I am grateful to my husband, a funny, smart, incisive guy, but he isn’t mushy as a rule. However, I am, and we heard this morning that opposites attract; those very qualities that complete us can drive us crazy, though. So my charge to myself is to be grateful for having him in my life, to appreciate the good qualities that drew me to him, and to accept the qualities that can cause frustration. (Except the thermostat thing — it’s too hot in here, I’m turning it down to 68, he can put on another layer!)
Also, this morning, we heard from an Israeli sister, Tali, about her work increasing resilience in the face of trauma. Resilience, (or what has been branded as “grit”), is not the absence of fear. I see it as the courage and strength you find despite your panic; it’s also an act of hope that you will get through the difficult times. Tali handed out bubbles, encouraging us to blow the largest bubbles we could. The secret was to exhale very slowly.
We all face awful situations: a scary diagnosis, money problems, the death of a loved one, the pain of loneliness (even in our own homes). I can recall times when I reacted to bad news in ways I’m not proud of. I lashed out, angry at fate, railing at whoever was nearby.
So I must make an effort to exhale, to take a beat, to not act on impulse. That includes when my dear husband does something challenging.
My husband has been my biggest cheerleader and greatest friend, and I am glad he chose me. I need to make sure I remember that, and that I tell him so, again and again.
Pozez JCC /The JFGW