Love & Lightning

I once read that the average person lives 27,375 days.

On this day, he’s late. Out of all 27,375, he’s chosen this one to stay behind and grade papers while I wrangle and pacify our children. I don’t usually mind but today is Friday and no one stays late on Fridays. No one plans lessons when there’s a weekend to kick off, even if the highlight of that weekend is pajama-clad Dexter marathons – especially if that weekend is pajama-clad Dexter marathons.

His complete disregard for the memo irritates me, so I stomp around the house in a cloud of justified annoyance. Playtime? Check. Dinner? Check. Bath? Check. All no thanks to him, which I point out the moment he walks through the door. Quit being such a perfectionist, dammit, and you’d be able to spend more time with your family.

I once read that the average couple has 2,006 fights a year.

2,006 fights and only 3 vacations.

He and I are exposed wires, our frayed tips sensitive to even the slightest electric volt. The blame for our tattered ends is misdirected – we certainly didn’t do this to each other – but tired limbs and sore egos are no match for rationality, at least not this late in the day.

27,375 days. Forgiveness can wait until tomorrow.

I don’t deny that we’ve got it all. To the credit of whatever divine entity is out there rooting for us, we’ve somehow found ourselves with everything we’ve ever wanted – no small accomplishment for a couple of clueless kids. We may be Facebook clichés personified, but “lucky” doesn’t erase tantrum-induced timeouts and charred spaghetti noodles.

“Blessed” doesn’t absolve unmet expectations.

“Wait,” he says before I have a chance to storm off. “I have to tell you something.”

I once read that people make 950 excuses a year. That’s 69,350 excuses in an average lifetime.

Joey + Rory are a country music duo who, according to Google, placed third in CMT’s Can You Duet back in 2008. A year ago, 40-year-old Joey was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer, for which she has recently decided to stop treatment.

“The doctors gave us an estimate of how much time they believe Joey has, and we both looked at the calendar that hangs by our kitchen door, then I took the calendar off the wall and threw it in the trash can,” Rory writes on their blog, This Life I Live. “So we don’t have forever. We’ve got right now. And that’s enough.”

The couple has a one-year-old baby.

In a kitchen simmering with petty resentment, this is what my husband – who’s late, who’s always late – tells me.

The thing about lightning is that it strikes without warning, caring little for time or place. Its radiant charge makes no apologies to those who dare to stand in its way. A frayed wire is no match for electricity of this caliber.

I once read that the average person lives 27,375 days, which suddenly seems like not enough.

Today, day 10,512, I choose to love.


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