1 Peter 1: 22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 4: 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Grief Rebutted Part 2 December 28, 2015
Grief Rebutted Part 1 can be found here
Last year December 6th & 7th was a Saturday & Sunday and Lindsey and I finally had that “weekend in bed” that we had dreamed about since the Secret Wedding. We went to bed early, got up late and retreated to our bungalow whenever we wanted to. The rest of the time we were very close by each other at the grounds of Tamarindo Bed and Breakfast on Cozumel.
Lindsey and Eliane (El-Lee-Ahn) the owner of Tamarindo had become fast friends. I have known Eliane for many years as I have stayed at her beautiful place a couple times while visiting the island. I was so happy her and Lindsey hit it off so well. They worked out to BeachBody DVD’s running on my laptop everyday. They walked together to the Yoga studio where Lindsey had bought a package deal on several occasions. Here is a little gif I made of their workout at 10:30 that Sat morning: Lindsey Rae honeymoon workout
A day before we left for Mexico I got a text from Lindsey asking me if she could bring my laptop with us as she wanted to work on her Team BeachBody business one hour a day while we were on our honeymoon.
I said to her, ‘Yes, but I want you to understand. This is likely the last 2 week vacation for us for who knows maybe a couple decades. (Lindsey wanted to have kids right away) It’s also the last time we might see each other for a couple months. (She was going to accept a job offer in Texas and move in with my folks there till I joined her in the spring). If you are OK knowing that then, OK.’
It’s incredible now reading that text as it’s one of the last dozen we ever exchanged. She sent it to me Nov 28. and her phone crashed on Dec 2.
Sometime on that weekend I remember telling Lindsey that it was my plan to do more for her and to “intentionally” show her even more how much I loved her. It wasn’t I said because I had felt that I had been lax or that I had in any way been taking her for granted. There was no feeling in my heart that she was less than pleased with how I was loving her or how I was treating her. This was evidenced by the look she gave me when I said it. She gave me that wry half grin and little head tilt to the side that said ‘silly boy, don’t be or feel insecure , I cannot be happier. You are already loving me better than I have ever been loved’.
It is a secret weapon in the marriages that last and in love that remains fresh and vital. What I realized that morning is that I had been loving her a little bit more on “auto-pilot” in the last few weeks. I mean I was still serving her as much as ever and doing whatever it was she was asking me to do and mostly doing it happily, even though no one but me knows how many things she could dream up for me to do !
I just kinda chuckled at all her requests and tried my best to address all them as they came to her mind and then through her fingers via a text or a FB message.
The word Intention was a secret word with special meaning for both of us. When I used it I knew she was tracking with all that history and feeling with me and MY intention in choosing to use it in that moment. I told her ‘baby I just want my heart to be totally engaged and Intentionally finding ways to love you better, to love you like you need to be loved’. This time she did not give the wry smile but the beautiful gaze that just said I love you and appreciate you and your loving thoughts and your Intention.
In the week preceding the honeymoon, I had some private moments while driving or when I was alone in the house. I felt very strongly 3 things that I could/should do to show Lindsey in particular ways that I was willing to change some attitudes I had so that i could love her better. In our particular case we would say that we had heard from God something addressed to the most private parts of ourselves: Our Heart. For some this will appear to be rank sentimentalism or “wish fulfillment”, I am not in the business of trying to convince folks who have no faith or a faith that differs from ours to adopt what we believe to be true. But if you know me at all you know that I aim to be true to those things that I hold to and that I try to live by these things, even imperfectly. Mostly in Prayer I find myself being directed toward the doing of things I already know are things I should be doing. I am not much into the “vending machine” approach of getting things from God. In those prayers I felt very strongly that I should 1) go to the next Jam Session. 2) Be more vocally supportive of her Team BeachBody Business 3) let go of a silly fear that shall remain private (at least for now).
The Jam Sessions were a favorite musical outlet for Lindsey and a few of her close friends. Music has been such a huge part of life for me and I always approached it with a level of craft and obsession. Fun was rarely part of this mix and doing a jam just did not match the level of obsession that I thought (wrongly) I should always bring to it. I had missed the last couple Jams and the last one I could tell Lindsey really wanted me to go with her. I was running a fever and just felt like crap but I promised her I would go to the next one for sure. At the time I promised her though I was going to go simply out of “duty”, but through the next few weeks as I heard from Christ in my “heart” I let go of my desire to be so obsessive and to just live in a moment that made Lindsey so happy. To just be with her at the Jam and see her smile and be so relaxed became a sweet thought. I Changed how I felt simply because I knew it would make her happy. I received a “gift” from her of just living in a moment and enjoying it, not having to be obsessed with doing it “perfectly” but just having fun!
As for my reticence to be more supportive about her new BeachBody venture, that again had everything to do with my prior encounters with multi-level marketing businesses that I had seen come and go, crash and burn through the years. I had to constantly be on guard of my “age based biases” and the skepticism that is a constant threat to the vibrant optimism of how she chose to live. Even though I had not been overtly derogatory about this venture of hers, I had been Less than enthusiastic. My love for Lindsey was so simple on some levels and so complex on others.
Although I would have never told it to her or even admitted it to myself, the fact of our 2 decades of difference in age weighed on me heavily at times. I felt so deeply that I should never dim in any way her beautiful idealism. I was Very careful with her. Some of her dreams seemed so outrageous but for me to pop her bubble was an unthinkable act. I also at times felt so protective of her almost in a fatherly way and I had to make sure to never let her see or feel that because my aim was to just love her as a peer and an equal. So I had to let go of the fear of her getting hurt by this new business venture, if she failed at it I would be there to help her up. If she succeeded then I would be there to celebrate and be joyful. It was really more again about My fears because in my heart I knew that Lindsey Never failed at anything she set her mind to accomplish.
I had determined to not be just resigned to her choice but to be a cheerleader and to be positive when talking to her about her business.
So every day during our honeymoon I would Intentionally disappear for an hour or 90 minutes, knowing that as soon as I stepped outside the house she would open the laptop and pick up where she left off helping people, in any way she could, reach their health, eating or fitness goals. BeachBody was surely working for her. She was happy with how she was feeling and Finally becoming friends with her body. It took a Lot of work for me to constantly tell her that she was beautiful. That I was not just saying it but that I believed she was “perfect”. When she died she weighed 143 pounds which had been her target for some time. She had let go of the unrealistic notion of being a size 4, and I certainly had no issues with her weight, in fact I had selfish reasons for wanting her to Not lose any more!! Her success was due to a very strict diet and a very structured daily workout which she Never missed. She was excited to be able to lead her new and growing team and challenge groups toward their own goals. She Loved being a positive force and a cheer leader for those who were willing to follow her. I decided that even though I had reservations I had No right to be anything less than excited and positive and give her the space she needed to grow this dream of hers.
I asked God to help me change my attitude about her BeachBody business. Part of that change was my intentionally leaving her alone. Sometimes in Mexico I would go to the market and get us food and anything else we needed. Or I would just take a walk or make a phone call, anything to get out of there. That Saturday morning I decided to go and wash and dry all of our clothes at the laundromat since we had already been there a week and had another week to go. I actually left her in bed. For the first time in all our time together she just wanted to rest and sleep in and I was happy to see her so relaxed.
We never spoke of the “why I would disappear” it was nothing we needed to talk about. We both knew why I was leaving and what she would do the moment I left. This was the way of so many things between us and what made our love so remarkable. The nudges in our hearts we were both listening to and following, Intentionally.
Lindsey for all her tech savvy ways and her internet prowess would many times rather take a picture with her phone of a webpage or article she found on the internet than to simply bookmark it for future reading. I think she preferred having it as a picture so she always had access to it rather than to something that required an internet connection. If it were me I would have just saved it as a pdf file! A little while back I was looking through all the images she and I took last year from our 9 days in Cozumel. I had likely just passed over these images that she had took simply because at first glance they were uninteresting as photographs. I could see it was just more of Lindsey taking pictures of something she had found on the internet and I had just always chuckled at these photographs and passed them by without taking the time to read the content. Usually these “screen shots” were of something food related or a home remedy or herbal remedy or a fitness article etc. For some reason I stopped and read the whole thing and then I did some internet searches to find the site for which she had taken these pictures of with her phone. She took 2 pictures of the laptop screen of particular interest on Saturday, December 6th. Here is the link to the webpage: http://www.intentionallyyours.org/blog/2013/02/22/10-questions-to-ask-your-husband
Her pictures were just of the list and did not show the URL of the web address.
As I read and re-read the list of 10 Questions to ask your Husband, tears streamed down my face as once again what had been happening deep in my heart concerning ways I could show her more intentionally how much I loved her was being mirrored in her own heart as she looked for concrete ways to serve me and to show me and to inquire of me how She could love Me better too.