The year 2008 has been a most difficult for me. I lost my way. I lost my job. I lost my trust in people. But, most importantly, I lost the confidence of my wife. Oh, she knows that I love her. She knows that I love the children, but what she does not know is if I love me? This would seem to be a darn good question in light of my past behavior.
Let’s me begin by laying down some foundation. I grew up in a household full of boys, six boys to be exact. I was the next to the youngest. I was the smallest. I was the most ill tempered. Consequently, I was the one with the least amount of confidence. Not a good combination to say the least. An example of this is the fact that when I ran away from home at the age of eleven, I did not make it far. My place of freedom was the roof of the house. It did not take them long to find me. The whole neighborhood could see me. Not the best idea I have ever had. Unfortunately, it was also not the worst.
I, however, had wonderful parents who let all of us be ourselves, no matter what that self was. My mother worked for the Social Security Administration and my father worked the United States Postal Service. That is where my trouble begun it seems. You see both parents went to work everyday. I cannot remember them not going to work, except for when they had to come up to my school because I had gotten into trouble again. Again having a temper, big mouth, and little body is not a receipt for success. But, I must say, it does sound like the making of a good postal manager.
Having good parents to most people would be a blessing and it is a blessing. But what children do not see is that working all the time and being a good provider has its drawbacks if not properly explained and demonstrated. I did not know the difficultly of maintaining family and work in it proper balance once I grew up. The lesson I wished I had learned from their hard work is that being a provider means more then just providing money. Anyone can give money, but the strong and mighty also can give love and support while being the very best at their job. This is tricky, but very rewarding.
Fast forward to 2008. I had reached the level of Postmaster in the United States Postal Service. My parents were proud of my accomplishment, as were my brothers. Four out of the six boys worked for the postal service in various positions. We were a true-to-life postal family indeed. My advice to anyone, however, is to diversify. But let me continue. As postmaster I was responsible for people and things. Things I can take care of. People I cannot. You see I care too much for people. I did everything and anything for my employees. I wanted to be liked and even loved by my employees. But in order for this to happen I had to neglect my family. That is what I did. I fooled myself into thinking that if I worked hard and moved up in the ranks I would do better for my family. Wrong on so many levels.
I forgot to love my wife and children like I loved my job. Not the people so much but the job. Well once I lost my job and career because of my lost state of mind and balance, I had to turn to my wife for guidance, guidance she always was giving but I was not listening to. Oh, the love of a good woman. My wife is the smartest person I know and I know a lot of people.
To make a long story short, I showed my employees the love I should have shown my wife. She said all the things a wife should say in order for her spouse to survive in this harsh world. I simply did not listen. I was foolish and proud of my male determination and false sense of self-worth.
This is where the 25 days of Christmas came into play. One day was thinking down on myself, than I came to the realization that these are the best of times, not the worst. I have been given a second chance to be a husband and a father. Not many get a chance at a rebirth. Right then and there I made up my mind. I was going to make the best of the situation. I was going to love my wife the way I promised her when we first met and fell in love. I demanded that I wanted that time back. I wanted her to know that I have her back and that we will fight to the end together. No person will come between us again. Be it boss or employee. I am the leader of my household not outside influences.
Out of this clarity came the 25 days of Christmas. I wanted her to know in no uncertain terms that I am her husband and that she is the love of my life. But more than that, we are two people joined together by God. If I am to be the priest of my household I must know God again on a personal level. I must demonstrate daily my love for Him before I can love me or my wife or my children. It is a wonderful feeling to be born again. I said to myself, I will not let this opportunity slip through my hands this time. I will grab and hold onto it like it was my last breath.
My sweet and wonderful bride will know everyday (or at least for 25 days:) that she is the one that I delight in and that she is the one that the Lord has blessed me to be united with. I made a vow to God, not the United States Postal Service.
To share these letters with the world is my gift to those individuals that have lost their way and need a light in order to ignite the flame back into their marriage or relationship. But, more importantly to understand that the vows you gave during your wedding day or the love one declared to that special day is not time dated, but everlasting and strong. They will get you through the hard times and will make you a king or a queen in your household. Take your rightful place. Enjoy.
This story was written by Wade J. Savage.