Our kids are home from school and I haven’t eaten all day. My oldest son is complaining that he’s hungry, in that whiney kid voice that just drives you nuts. My wife has been gone for several hours now, it’s time to text my wife to see what we should do for dinner.
My text: Should I pack up the boys and head to the Sausage Haus and have you meet us there, or just reheat the chicken?
Her text: I’m leaving now. Wait for me and we’ll all go together.
She takes another 1/2 hour to get home.
Me: “How was your time with Reese?”
Her: “It was good. She talked and tried to give me advice for like 75% of the time, which you know Reese! But it sill was really good.”
“Do you know what she said?”
Me: “Uh no, what?”
Her: “She said it reminds her of the time her husband Robert was really depressed. You remember that. He got so depressed and suicidal that he had written out his own obituary.”
Me: “Jeez, I know he had problems… I didn’t realize he wrote out his own obit.”
Her: “Well, he was at low point, overly depressed, over worked. I think you are too. I don’t believe you’re an atheist, I think you’re just burnt out.”
Me: [Annoyed Face] “Oh really. That’s just what Old Roomie said.”
Her: “And it’s what [airport drive friend] Michael said. We’re all looking at you and listening to you and trying to understand you. None of us think you’re a full blown atheist. You’re just tired of stupid people and church politics. You’re exhausted, you’ve been doing too much, and you’re depressed. We all think you need a sabbatical.”
Me: [laughs] “You don’t even believe in sabbaticals! ‘Sabbaticals are that place where pastors don’t come back from.’ Your words, not mine.
Her: “Well maybe quitting the church might be good for your faith. Easy up on your depression. You promised you would talk to a doctor about your depression.”
Me: “It’s just so weird that somehow no one believes me when I say I’m an atheist. Has it occurred to you that maybe my depression is caused by becoming an atheist, and not the other way around?”
That’s not an entirely true statement. But that’s another blog post. Suffice it to say, when things crumble you begin to look at what you believe more closely.
Me: “I feel like a gay man coming out of the closet only to be told:
‘No, you’re not gay. You’ve had a few bad girlfriends but that doesn’t make you gay. You just need to find the right girl.’
“No, a gay man is gay because he’s not attracted to women. He doesn’t need the right woman, he’s gay. I’m an atheist. Yes I’ve had problems at church, but any atheist would. I don’t need time off to find God, I don’t think there is one there to find.”
Her: “I don’t think this is like a gay man coming out of the closet at all. This is different. I think you’re ignoring the fact that your anxiety and depression has been raging out of control. You couldn’t go to the doctors because we had to pay him off first. Now that you can go, he can give you the medicine you know you need. Then you need to take some time off from church. Or even look for another job.”
We begin to have a conversation about my depression and anxiety. It’s a good conversation. It is something I need to get a handle on.
We arrive at the Sausage Haus, and she’s so exited for me to try it! We order some food, and some BIG ASS BEERS! Like you know those Oktoberfest beer glasses that are glass and huge and really old school looking? They’re a FEAKING LITER! I get a Vienna Lager, she gets an IPA. God I love this woman. Sausages weren’t bad either.
This is basically a food truck with a fenced in outdoor eating area. They have a been bag toss game that my kids are dying to play. They pretend to be the targets while my wife and I try to make it through their hoops.
There is laughter. There is giggling. Some tickling and chasing and overall mischief. I hold my wife close, breathe in her scent from the back of her neck and hair…until the kids figure out that mommy and daddy are too close. They break us up.
Her: “Do you want to go home, cuddle on the couch, make some pop corn and watch a movie with the kids?”
Me: “Yeah, that sounds nice.”
We all sat on the couch with everyone laying on top of everyone else, singing along…
“Everything is Awesome!”