Gary Enrig quotes Tom Anderson in this true story. Tom writes, “I made a vow to myself on the drive down to the vacation beach cottage: For two weeks I would try to be a loving husband and father, totally loving…no ifs, ands, or buts. The idea had come to me as I listened to a commentator on my car’s tape player. He was quoting a Biblical passage about husbands being thoughtful toward their wives. Then he went on to say, ‘Love is the act of the will. A person can choose to love.’
To myself I had to admit I’d been a selfish husband, that our love had been dulled by my own insensitity…in petty ways. Really chiding Evelyn for her tardiness; insisting on the TV channel I wanted to watch; throwing our day old newspapers away before Evelyn had a chance to read them – I’d read them!
Well, for two weeks, all of that would change. And, it did. Right from the moment I kissed Evelyn at the door and said, ‘That new yellow sweater looks GREAT on you!’ ‘Oh, Tom,’ she gushed. ‘You noticed!’ (maybe a little shocked)
After the long drive, I wanted to sit and read. Evelyn suggested we walk on the beach. I started to refuse but then I thought – Evelyn’s been alone with all the kids for weeks and now SHE WANTS TO BE ALONE WITH ME! So, we walked on the beach while the children flew their kite’s.
And, so it went. Two weeks of not calling the Wall Street Investment Firm where I’m a director. We visited the Shell Museum – though I usually hate museums. Holding my tongue while Evelyn was getting ready – making us late for a dinner date. Relaxed and happy that is how the whole vacation passed. I made a vow to keep on remembering to choose love.
There was one thing that went wrong with my experiment, however. On the last night at the cottage, preparing for bed, Evelyn stared at me with the saddest expression. ‘What is the matter?’ I asked her. ‘Tom,’ she said, her voice filled with distress, ‘do you know something I don’t know?’ ‘What do you mean?’ I asked. ‘Well, that check-up I had several weeks ago – did our doctor tell you something about me?’ ‘Tom, you’ve been so good to me. Am I dying?’
It took a moment for it all to sink in and then I burst out laughing, ‘No, honey,’ I said, wrapping my arms around her. ‘You’re not dying.’ ‘I’m just starting to live.’
TODAY WILL YOU START TO LIVE?