Men thrive on the known. We are very reasoned and simple. Something isn’t right? Change it. Hungry? Eat. Something needs fixed? Hit it really, really hard with a hammer until it’s fixed. Lacey once spent her 20,000 word allotment to tell me all of her problems, which I solved in a series of nods and grunts that wouldn’t have counted towards my 7,000 word allotment. Men thrive in situations that contain problems and solutions. We are programmed problem solvers that hate the unknown. This hatred if the unknown, is of course why God made us need women.
Thursday night, I sat down to watch “A Football Life” on the NFL Network. Most of these contain a behind the scenes look behind Hall of Fame players or championship seasons. A glorified look at glory. This episode’s subject matter was Chris Speilman, the All-American and Pro Bowl linebacker. Before you roll your eyes, I know he is a Buckeye, and to be perfectly honest, I probably wouldn’t have cared to watch this episode had he not been a Buckeye. And that would have been my loss.
The episode chronicled his life as football player, but more importantly, his marriage to his high school sweetheart, Stephanie. Stephanie, in addition to being a doting football wife, was a breast cancer survivor/thriver/victim. I won’t summarize/ruin the episode, but is an absolute must-watch. I found myself amazed by the growth, sacrifice, and love. A salty, watery discharge may have escaped my eyes.
After I gathered my composure and depleted our tissue supply (don’t judge), I realized what strength truly is. Despite my efforts in the gym to sculpt my guns to gigantic proportions, my wife is the strong one in our relationship.
After two hours of pointless pushing, Lacey was wheeled into the operating room where she was unceremoniously ripped open to reveal a child with a rather bulbous head. Within a day she was walking around barking orders like General Patton. In addition to that large head, our first born also had a defective ticker. Despite many trips from Pensacola to Louisville, I never heard her complain. In fact, when my mother was feeling weepy about one of the many surgeries, Lacey, in a very indignant tone, said,”Buck up, champ. It’s going to be okay.” And everything was okay. I’m not sure if I didn’t worry because Lacey didn’t worry, or if I was too stupid to worry, but I never felt uneasy about the situation. I knew it would turn out fine.
In 2011, I deployed to fight the war on terror by applying my keen coffee making skills and document binding acumen. Behind, I left a pregnant Lacey with a three and one year old. I also had recently moved her from one dumpy house, to a less expensive dumpy house (she did complain about the house). Her response to this situation: “It’s bad timing, but whatever.” Well-intentioned people tried to comfort her, but they would aways ask ridiculous questions. Like how she was going to do it without me there. She would reply, indignantly of course,”Well, it’s not like I have a choice. Either I do it, or I don’t. I have no choice in the matter.”
Despite the rigors of that deployment (coffee burns, paper cuts), I never worried about what was going on at home. Lacey had it.
Lacey drinks more Mountain Dew than a normal human being should. Her heart wants to burst, but it’s too afraid of what Lacey will do to it if it does.
Those three examples are just a glimpse into the many reasons that make Lacey the strong one. Recently, we’ve made some life changing decisions and I really have no idea where life will lead 14 months from now. That scares the bejeebus out of me. I’m making plans and trying to mitigate the unknown. Known variables are easy to plan for. Unknown variables are disastrous. But I’m relieved to know that when I’m in my darkest hour I’ll have Lacey to slap me in the face and indignantly tell me,”Buck up, champ. It’s going to be okay.”