For lovers and poets (and Damien)

Last week was hard. (This week feels hard also.)

I cried a lot because there is so very much to do and almost all of it is unknown territory for me.

I am scared. We conquer fears by facing them but I still don't like having to do it.

We had a few fear-filled discussions. Disease, pestilence, financial instability. You know, small stuff.

fire embers

You are not afraid, or so it seems. And you tend to see things much more rationally than I do.

And I wonder, "where is the gift in my emotionality?" What is the benefit of the peaks and valleys of my experience and expression? The gift of your rational, technical-mind is so obvious to me in situations like these. What exactly does my emotional response bring to the table that is beneficial?

I wanted to bury my head in the sand and wish it all away. Wish for another path, an easier one, a less challenging winter.

And then two things happened.

The kids, in their search for free music for our video project, came across this song. And though the poetry may be lost on them (the song facilitated a great history lesson though), its meaning is not lost on me.

But I'm not scared to burn
To dust, I will return again
If you'll stay by my side
I'll lay down and I won't hide from fate

Many e-mails landed in my inbox last week. Two in particular grabbed my attention, not for the content so much but for a simple phrase they both used..."after losing my husband".

And the discussions of Permethrin and lyme disease, bank accounts and funding campaigns, all of it shifts to this here.

With you by my side Damien, I won't hide from fate. I won't hide from what needs to be done.

I need you more than is comfortable to admit.

And the mystery, to me at least, is that you tell me the same thing. Even when I feel I bring nothing to table but my tears.

And though I am scared to burn, I sing the opposite because maybe singing will make it true.

Life is short. And if we don't do the hard things, the scary things, the "we're not sure of the outcome" things, we won't have really lived to our full potential, as a couple or as a family.

We will pass and blow away my dear but while we're here, you with me and me with you, let's live this well. Your rational with my emotional. Your head full of ideas paired with my skepticism. Let's live our love, laughter (and tears), our passion for life and each other, our strategies and creativity, our inextricable dependency on each other. Let's just do it.

If you'll stay by my side, I won't lay down, but I will stand by you, and I won't hide from our fate, our dreams, our future.

I won't hide from right now.

I created this video last weekend, taking a break from things that weighed heavy on me, the long list of must-dos in my day. Those must-dos will always be there but the inspiration to create a piece of video art is fleeting for me so I created art instead.

P.S. Commenting is still a bit haywire but we are working hard to fix it. Thanks for your patience.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Breanna

    Breanna on Jan. 15, 2014, 1:17 a.m.

    I love this post,  I am planning my first big adventure with my husband this year - I will be joining him with missions work in Africa in August and while its a small start, I am terrified - I also know I need to do this with my hubby. Thank you for your posts - I always feel your writing and thoughts resonate so well with me. God Bless.


  • Jessica Cowan

    Jessica Cowan on Jan. 15, 2014, 4:14 a.m.

    Thank you for gracing us with this post.  I had one of those days on my own with my 2 1/2 year old daughter when your words "I need you more than is comfortable to admit" hit me hard.  I am so grateful to have my husband by my side because it seems like it's so much easier to deal with my fears about the future or whatever when I know he's there supporting me.  Kudos to you for doing the hard things--the things you fear!


  • ariana

    ariana on Jan. 15, 2014, 4:31 a.m.

    Renee, your post and video brought tears to my eyes. It is amazing what we take for granted in marriage - the trials, struggles, barriers (even those faced together) can seem so incredibly huge in the moment, but when provided with an opportunity to work through them or take a step back, those "hard" things can look much smaller. Such a blessing to gain both perspectives.

    My husband has been in Afghanistan since August 2013 and will not be returning until May 2014 (by choice - he volunteered to go in order to pay off my huge school loan) and this season has been incredibly hard in a number of ways, but once he returns, the difficulties that we've had to face during this time will be just a blip on our radar.

    After all the work you've put into preparing for your hike, both directly and indirectly, your mental strength when you hit the AT is going to be in prime shape for facing any troubles the trail throws your way! 

    Can't wait to watch your journey unfold.


  • Clelie

    Clelie on Jan. 15, 2014, 6:43 a.m.

    thank you for sharing renee!

    I really enjoyed the video art and song. It is -go- time over here as well and I am finding myself a little worried at the moment. Good to have the reminder that I am not alone and to continue to have faith that things will work out.

    Smiles and hugs,


  • amber

    amber on Jan. 18, 2014, 3:53 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this.  I think I know exactly how you feel!

    I have such a husband.  One who listens to me (sometimes night after night) worry about illness.  Some nights it's a fleeting feeling, some nights it's a gripping fear.  He is so calm and unmoved by my fears...always in cintrol and reassuring.  I am sure he gets tired of my anxiety, but never rejects me or leaves me to sort it out on my own.  I know that I can wake hikm in the middle of the night to pray for me, if it has a certain unshakeable grip on me.  I am so thankful for his steadfastness and that he isn't like me. Where would we be, if there were two of us like me?  Oh, I understand how wonderful it is to have a rational husband in the midst of fear and uncertainty.   


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 18, 2014, 4:01 p.m.

      Amber, something funny happened this week. Not really laughing funny, more ironic. Damien got sick. Damien gets sick about once every 6 years. And the only time time Damien gets irrational is when he's sick. (So we've only encountered this a few times in our marriage). This week I was the very grounded one. The one being woken in the middle of the night to listen and calm. It's a complete role reversal for us and the experience of it this week has shown me I am stronger, and more rational, than I give myself credit for. I thought the timing of this experience was funny since I just published this post (which was written last week).



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