Wednesday, April 25, 2012
His Old Hat
Today started out as every other day does in the Olachia home, busy. I'm up , followed by Johnny and then the kids. Breakfast goes on the table, clothes are laid out, backpacks readied, hair and teeth brushed, kisses all around and then all three of my boys head out the door in three different directions leaving me to tend to the chaos behind. Slowly I pick up the dropped clothes around the house, wash up the morning ( sometimes the left overs too) dishes, make the beds, and start the laundry. This is where my story begins today, in the laundry room, stuffing dirty clothes into our washer. I was caught off guard when I felt my heart skip a beat. What was so overwhelming, well it was a simple object, a beloved and prized possession I often push aside during my daily chores but today as my eyes caught sight of my husband Johnny's old, time-worn, dilapidated,crumbling, shabby, worn out, UT baseball cap sitting on the dryer I found my heart pounding strong in his absence, longing for him.
Johnny's old hat is one of his biggest treasures, and nope it doesn't matter how worn out, torn or falling apart it is, the truth is the bigger the rip, the more he loves that old hat. It has character, personality, and it's barely recognizable anymore but when you see Johnny in a hat ( and that is often) this is the hat you will see on the top of his head. He wears his old hat with pride, affection and reverence. Johnny regards this old, worn down, busting through the seams hat with respect and in many ways with tenderness. To Johnny his old hat is beautiful, he admires his hat, appreciates, and is extremely fond of each line, each tear, each stain. Johnny truly cherishes his old orange baseball cap, holding it dear, regarding this old hat as if it a crown jewel. It doesn't matter to him how old it is, how long he has had it, how many new hats come his way or how dusty and broken down it is: Johnny's hat is the only hat he cares about or for that matter to wear. So this morning when my eyes caught sight of that worn out hat, I was struck by my husbands loyalty. I picked it up, investigating each broken seam and visioning it on top of his head as the scent of him came sweeping over my senses from this cherished old hat. I stood there, realizing how blessed I am to be married to such a man as Johnny.
Sure, we have had our rough patches, we have had weak moments entertaining lives without one another, we have been chained to our pasts, turned from God and watched at times as our family has slipped away from us yet despite all the worries and the difficulties of this life, Johnny and I have endured the augments of our youth, the dark, grim, demanding days of breast cancer, and the trying, tiresome, tough, troublesome financial times of the recent years. Just like Johnny's old hat, we are committed to loving, nurturing and caring for our marriage. Even when we have been unfaithful to the Lord, He has been faithful to us, pulling us closer to Him, never abandoning our love or the family He created in us 16 years ago. All our pain, all our sweat, all our struggles are part of his old hat, they remind us how far we have come and just how much life we still have left to experience together. Just as Johnny sees his old hat, loves that old thing , Johnny sees and loves me.True I may not be the same young, beautiful, slender, full bosomed girl he married 16 years ago standing there glowing with the beauty of youth and young love , sealing the deal with an I do. No,the truth is today, all these years later I am glowing with a deeper love, a passion for a man who has become my strength , my lover and my husband, not my girlish idea of some kind of a knight in shining armor. I am unashamed to admit I have become the image of Johnny's old hat, worn, with developed character, full of rips and tears. But you know what, he still loves me, longs for me, desires me in spite of all the imperfections showing through all these years later. Even after being dealt the devastating blow of losing a breast, I know in his eyes I am a crown jewel. Despite the fact I may be busted up or need a good spite shining Johnny loves me just as I am.
Johnny and I have seen our shares of ups and downs, but I have to say this last year has been one of our strongest together. Together, we have found a faith in the Lord, a faith that has made our family complete. Our lives are far from perfect, yet we are resolved to raising our children in His grace, we are committed to reigniting our passion for one another, taking time to enjoy each one of our rips, tears and all. Falling in love is easy but staying committed to the love you share requires great effort and the ability to forgive, to bend. True love is bold, challenging, demanding, difficult, impressive and in many ways visionary. When I doubt my self, when I worry I am not enough for my husband I see his old hat, loved and cherished. I can hear the words of the Eli Young Band ringing in my head, as I hold his old ratty hat in my hands, "you crazy girl, don't you know that I love you. I wouldn't dream of going no where."
Johnny and his old hat have taught me many things about my husband, but the biggest thing I have learned watching him wear his favorite old hat day in and day out is this: Johnny is truly captivated, crazy about, enchanted by, fascinated and in love with me. He really cherishes me, he has chosen, delighted in, dotes on, longs for, and has lost his heart to mine, and together we are thriving , finding our treasure in one another. God has truly given us this love, this marriage we share. Yes, tragedy can bring you down and yes there is always a fallout zone when two people come together as one. Let me assure you there are gonna be some fairly major bumps in the road, you may even suffer engine failure but I can tell you it is worth the ride! Love and marriage are never easy, neither are absolutely simply or perfect but we carry on, don't we? Not because we have to or because the kids need us to or the world expects us too. No we persevere, endure with all we are, because in the journey we ultimately find love and understand marriage brings out the best in us, even if the worst has to come to the top first. That silly old hat sitting in the laundry room right now to most folks would be ugly, ready to be burned, thrown away but in Johnny's eyes, his old hat is splendid, marvelous, wonderful, incomparable and he delights in wearing it. Holding his orange hat in my hands this morning, I was puzzled by the large rips as I ran my fingers across the hard, black, plastic form bursting out from under the skin of that crazy hat but you know what, I realized how strong Johnny's old hat really is and just how strong Johnny and I together as well.
Honestly, like Johnny's old hat, just as he knows each and every crease, I know his touch like the back of my hand and even when the lights go out I know he sees my beauty, despite the creases and this torn, worn out deteriorating body of mine he is captivated with the mileage we have made together. Without each other we would be lost, and in the end, past the craziness of youth, the insecurity of middle age and the unknown future of the coming years ahead of us, love and the journey it leads you on makes you stronger, creates a fire that burns even stronger, brighter as the years go by.
Happy Anniversary baby! I love you more today than I ever have. And by the way I love that old hat of yours too.