My previous understanding of the subject came from my lengthy exposure to literature and film. From the fairy tales of childhood, cartoon television, Greek mythology, soap operas, magicians and movies I learned of the timeless appeal of men who rescue their damsels in distress. I was willing to accept that all men are born with the desire to protect and women are susceptible to the need for rescue.
Transferring that knowledge to the real life of my marriage was challenging. It was difficult to recognize the ways in which my husband could possibly protect me. There were so many things he was incapable of doing because of the stroke. He could not walk across grass or any uneven surface. He had no idea how to fix anything around the house, not even to replace a light bulb. He prides himself in earning his black belt in karate, but that was before the stroke. To picture him launching a coordinated defense against an attacker was, honestly, amusing.
And then, serendipitously, an opportunity presented itself for Bruce to demonstrate his ability to protect me. No, it did not involve a black belt. But, it did involve a black, white and yellow bird. Before I describe what happened I must introduce you to a bird species that can only be found in California. It is the yellow-billed magpie. The sound that these birds make is more annoying than all the crows in the movie "The Birds".
I was working on the computer at the back of the house this past Thursday morning and the front door of the house was open. The chatter of the magpies seemed to settle in my front yard. It sounded as if there were two factions of magpies engaged in a brutal battle in the trees. The sound grew louder and louder until I decided I should investigate. Laying flat on its back, with its yellow beak facing straight up was a very dead magpie. As I was puzzling over its demise I could hear the cackling of a crow high up in the trees, I shuddered and shut the door.
I then puzzled over how I would deal with the dead bird. The trash cans were at the curb, still full. I could scoop up the bird and take it to trash. But, I couldn't get past the thought of physically handling death, germs, bugs, gross . . . just gross. Then I remembered that I have a husband with a burning desire to protect me. I would wait until Bruce came home!
When he had come inside and put away his things, I asked if he had seen the dead bird lying in the yard. He had not. He started to ask me, "What do you want ME to do about IT?".
Then, as if to state a matter-of-fact, he said, "I know. You want me to take care of it."
He asked for a rubber glove for his "good" hand and a plastic bag to put the bird in. I asked if he would like me to double the bag and he agreed. Using the bags, I lined a small bucket. This would keep the bag rigid in Bruce's "bad" hand while he scooped up the bird with the other. He then headed out the door and walked across the uneven ground and grass where he paused.
"What if he bites me?"
I assured him that the bird had not moved so much as a feather all day. So this man, ever reluctant to bend down to pick something up for fear of being unable to rise again, leaned over and scooped up the bird. Just like that! It was incredible.
When he came back inside and came to the kitchen to wash up, I threw my arms around his neck. I really was grateful, incredibly grateful, to have a man to take care of me. And I made absolutely sure, by my actions, that he knew it!
Today's Featured Card is
Word to the Wives ~ ~ Though he will not likely find you tied up and screaming for help, your husband does fantasize about opportunities to rescue you from real danger. As spiritual head as well as physical protector and provider, his calling is divine and the unseen enemy is relentless. Treasure your husband's desire to fulfill his calling.