A Labor Day Tribute
Special-Tea: Genesis 2:15
Take a lesson from the ants ... learn from their ways and be wise ... they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. — Proverbs 6:6, 8 (LB)
My husband is my hero.
I tell him all the time, but he just shrugs it off.
He doesn’t see what I see — a man who works from before sunup until after sundown to provide for his family’s needs. Even when the family consists of just the two of us now. Rarely do I hear a word of complaint pass his lips.
Being raised on a farm, I’m sure, contributed to his outstanding work ethic. Back then — in the ’50s and ’60s — there were no electronic gadgets or gazillion TV shows to distract him. Even if there had been, they would have been banned by parents who expected him to contribute to the family’s well-being.
He tells of riding the school bus in the morning with the barn smell still clinging to him. Of walking in to a surprise birthday party still wearing his muck boots. Of conning his friends into shucking corn so they could clear the barn floor to play basketball.
Never, ever, have I heard him even insinuate that he’d been deprived.
When he was in the service, in addition to his military job, he worked off base to earn enough money for things on his wish list, such as a stereo system complete with a reel-to-reel tape deck. Retro, I know — but back then it was a big deal.
In the spring following his discharge from the Marine Corps, he paid cash for a brand new Harley-Davidson Sportster.
When we married and the kids came along, and I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, it was his 14-hour days that made it possible. And when he came home, more work awaited: fixing things, getting firewood, fixing things, taking out the ashes and, of course, fixing things, in addition to building this house.
When the kids got old enough, I worked out of the home. He supported me in every job-change decision, even when I felt called to freelance, which meant giving up a steady paycheck.
I dedicated my second book of meditations to him with these words: “To the man who fixes dinner, washes dishes and clothes, dusts and vacuums, shops for groceries and puts them away, does the ‘kid runs’ — the myriad of daily tasks considered ‘women’s work’ — so I could have the time to write. To the man who told me he felt God’s will for his life was to free up my time so I could follow God’s will for my life.”
Even with no kids to support, he still works 11-hour days and comes home to more work. By the end of the week, he’s exhausted. So Friday evening is “date night.” No work after work.
We enjoy homemade pizza and a movie (or a ballgame), but he’s snoring softly on the sofa by 9:30 p.m., sometimes earlier.
Retirement looms. Now it’s my turn to do all I can so his dreams can come true.He deserves it — my husband, my hero.
This Labor Day, O Lord, bless the men and women who have worked hard to make this country strong and prosperous. Amen.