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  • Writer's pictureBradley DeRuiter

Seeing Clearly. What Really Matters In Life.

Updated: May 24, 2018

Last night we had some family time before my husband, Brad’s, scheduled surgery early this morning. 

My son, Taljon’s, music play list weaving it’s magic through our Apple TV and speakers...Brad stood up and asked me to dance with him, right there in front of our son Taljon! This so made me blush. It was so cheesy romantic and I loved every bit of it. It was good for our son to see his parents being silly romantics. You never know what your kids will catch or want to keep from your example, but I hope it gave him something to look forward to in his own marriage someday.

When we found out what time his outpatient procedure was scheduled to begin, I joked with My Love about what time his Uber was coming to pick him up and take him to UCLA Stein Eye Institute. How cruel of me to joke of my selfish preference. As a late night creative owl, I am used to the luxury of sleeping in and having coffee occasionally brought to me in bed by this romantic guy that my husband of 28 years has become. He wasn’t always like this. Note to self: never take for granted this man that I get to love, kiss and pinch whenever I please.

Taljon, kindly drove all three of us home from a long day of praying for Brad’s post surgery pain level and blood pressure to go down. Brad was immediately rewarded the much deserved snack and nap.  Whew! We made it home! He was safely passed out in his chair after a rough recovery. This was my opportunity to choose to continue my habitual relaxation therapy of knitting or surrender to my own drooping eyes and tired heart. 

As I surrendered, I got up to go find a comfy spot to lay on another couch. Before I could even sink in to the squishy pillow, my son took the hand knit blanket I had knit, off of himself, and walked over to cover me with it. My heart melted. Not only was it a reminder of how comforting all of the long hours of knitting that blanket took, but it was an amazing affirmation of the same character having been woven into my son during these swiftly passing but shortly savored 23 years of his life. 

I am learning that, yes, the good stuff of marriage as been caught by our son. I am seeing traces of how he has picked up on and chosen to follow some of his father’s loving and thoughtful example. He is a creative as well and certainly has tons of his own ways of bravely expressing vulnerability and love. 

This is how powerful men are when they love boldly and communicate bravely. 

The impact is profound and life changing. It heals hearts and flourishes souls with nurturing substance. It fortifies strength and assures trust in those that they spend it on. It can perpetuate honor and respect that has the potential of snowballing endless reciprocation. Go ahead and reread this paragraph to fully soak it in. It certainly has taken me awhile to allow my men to prove these things to me over and over again.

I haven’t always felt that way.

My guys haven’t always expressed themselves so freely.

I haven’t always been free enough myself to receive from them. 

This wasn’t our first OR or ER experience. What really matters in life gets ultra clear when you realize how fragile life can be.

When the stakes are high and circumstantial storms toss you out into the deep, it seems both choices are impossible: walking on water or breathing under the water. It’s easy to default into selfishness or go into hyper responsible serving mode to the point of dangerous self deprivation. There is a good reason that flight attendants admonish passengers to affix their own oxygen masks before assisting the child or childish person sitting next to them with theirs. Live to Love another day. 

A blanket may comfort as it soothingly wraps itself around you and envelopes you with warmth, the same way thoughtful tender loving and simple gestures can heal your uncertain heart. A dance can invite vulnerability and celebration as does the power of brave communication that often comes awkwardly and reluctantly.

It seems to me that it is the moments in between the mundane that the real breathes of life are taken, breathed in, and where an awakened and intensional soul can find nourishment and discover the real gold worth cherishing.  The type of relational gold that solidly out lasts harsh storms and is faithfully loyal in reflecting sincere value and love. 

By this, healing comes. It really does. It’s worth the hard work and holding out for.

A few weeks ago, I told my husband, in an intimate moment, “One lifetime of loving you isn’t enough.” 

Healing keeps coming. It is here the moment you choose it. Grab it. Own it. 

I am not saying it’s simple or easy. I am saying it is possible.

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