So, welcome back to week two of the 52-Week Gratitude Challenge. I started this last week as a way to force me to think of all of the blessings in my life. The theme for week two is my Significant Other.
I know that I am terrible at making Hector feel loved and appreciated for all of the many, many things he does for me. Sometimes we argue and fight, and I think he's the bad guy. Truth be told, when we argue it's because I don't appreciate him as much as he deserves. There is absolutely no way that I could do anything that I do without his support and background help. That doesn't sound very progressive or feminist of me, but since I'm neither of those things, I'm not afraid to say that I depend on him, and that without him, I would fail at everything that I'd venture to do.
Hector and I met when I was just shy of my thirteenth birthday. I had known the very second that I laid eyes on him that he would be the most important person in my life. It seems strange to me now that a twelve-year-old child would have such a life-altering epiphany, but at the time it seemed completely normal and rational. Throughout the years, friendship budded into romance and here we are, but during those early years, Hector saved my life. He saved me from taking a path of self-destruction and misery. I may have wandered across that path a few times on my own, but I never walked along it for very long. It's much the same now. Hector saves my life quite regularly. I make terrible decisions on my own. I really have spent most of my 20s feeling completely unprepared for adult life. Hector, on the other hand, has been an 'adult' since he was about 13 years old. I can barely remember to pay bills or save a few bucks. Hector is like my personal assistant, always cautiously watching my spending and reminding me that money is not infinite.
Hector has always watched over me and protected me, even when he didn't protect himself. He always had a plan and a back up plan, in case anything went wrong. He's saved me from a million different car situations. He has turned into quite the mechanic; I've saved thousands of dollars in auto repairs over the years because Hector can do anything given the right tools and YouTube. Perhaps it is a gift that was hidden for years or he's finally found a vocation; either way, he's put me back on the road and on my way to work.
Hector gave a lot so that I could do something with my life. He has always taken the back seat and taken over domestic duties so that I could go to college or go to work. We've never had to put our kids in a daycare, because he was willing to sacrifice his freedoms and goals for them. Our mutual mistrust of everyone else drove us to that decision, but it made our family stronger.
Hector has been the one true friend in my life. Most people from jome have forgotten me here in Mexico. I don't blame them- long-distance friendships are just as difficult as long-distance relationships, and they get lost between the waves of life. Most people that I've met here in Mexico are too busy with their own lives, and I with the time spent in line or at work to try and make friends. Hector is my link between my past-life and the now. He knows everything there is to know about me, and because he's my friend, he's not afraid to tell me about my own ugliness. I appreciate that honesty, even if I don't like it. That's what true friends are for, after all.
Of all of the things that I appreciate about Hector, the intimacy between us is high on the list. It's not just physical intimacy that I could write about (I won't), but the kind of intimacy that develops in long-term relationships. Passion fades away a bit with time. Infatuation with one's partner also dims. What is left is a deep understanding of the other person, knowing their soul and thoughts with just one look. I complain of a deep and profound loneliness when I go to work. As much as I joke and laugh with my co-workers, I can never be my true, uninhibited self with them. I must always watch my mouth, afraid to offend or say something that could turn into office gossip. With Hector, there is no need to hide myself. Every joke is an inside joke- we understand each other completely without words. There's something very fulfilling just sitting next to your person on the couch, just watching a movie. A million words are spoken in the silence: that is the greatest gift to give one's spouse.
Hector is my husband, my counselor, my mechanic, my protector, my banker and my best friend. He's the lighthouse guiding me on my journey through this world. He's the rock that I use to steady myself on this planet. In Emily Brontë's work "Wuthering Heights" Catherine speaks of her love for Heathcliff: ...My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary..." He and I are the same, blended into each other by time and experience. How could one not be grateful to have that in this life? I am eternally grateful that the Lord has given me such a man to love in this life, and that he continues to love me in return."