Once upon a time, my husband had thoughts that twisted his mental energy up like a cyclone that spun and spun and spun.
Thoughts that didn’t make any sense to me—anxious, snapping thoughts about invisible maybes, one in a million what-ifs.
They plagued him constantly, pinging from a radar of worry that only he could detect.
I went about reasoning with him about those spiraling thoughts, untangling them with logic and realism and reassurances.
When that failed, I aimed mutters under my breath his way, sighs of frustration, eyes and pride rolling. Sometimes I laughed right at him as if his fear was ridiculous.
These were the terrible gifts I presented to the man I love.
Then my turn came. In the blink of an eye, my mind took a sharp veer from the way it had always operated, and I entered a new terrain—rocky with fear, landmines of what-ifs blowing up in my face at every step.
I was utterly . . .
Ashamed as I wore the shoes my husband had worn for so long, as I closed the same cell door behind me that had locked him in for so long.
Ashamed that I had added those terrible gifts to his burden.
I deserved to suffer in solitude, what penance was there for heaping hurt when love was the answer?
And yet . . .
He didn’t treat me the way I deserved.
His heart had been shaped by a cross that hadn’t treated him the way he deserved.
And so. . .
He moved toward me with a compassionate heart.
Bearing with me.
Applying the seal of Gospel love to my broken places.
He knew how to give me good gifts, ones that His Father, the Father of Lights, had handed down to him.