Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Mother Trucking Mudpocalypse, PART 2: Love Wins

The Mother Trucking Mudpocalypse, PART 2: Love Wins

The first day of the Mother Trucking Mudpocalypse had been frustrating, tiring, and surreal. Growing up in D.C. suburbia with mini-vans and sedans, I never expected to ever be dealing with a truck stuck in the mud. Welcome to Texas, Angie! Drew and I went to sleep at around 5:15am Sunday morning and planned to wake up around 8:00am to assess the situation and plan our next move. Thunder and rain woke us early, and our spirits were dampened (pun intended) by the knowledge that water was accumulating around our already muddy Bruce.

Drew spent some time researching and watching videos trying to figure out what strategy would provide our best chance for getting Bruce unstuck. It would not be feasible to get another truck down into the pit and risk getting it stuck, so we headed to Home Depot and purchased a pair of Come-Alongs and over 200 feet of recovery straps. Our hope was that when the rain stopped we would be able to get a truck to tow Bruce out of the mud from a safe distance.

I don’t know if I am going to be able to adequately explain to you what happened on Sunday, but I believe it was a direct effect of my choice the night before to be understanding and supportive of Drew. Let me preface it by saying that I do not cry very often. Especially not when other people are around. My friends from college used to call me “the ice queen,” much to my chagrin. I do indeed feel emotion; I just don’t share all of it with everyone.

When we got back from Home Depot, I laid down on the bed, tired from having gotten too little sleep and feeling very helpless. Drew was frustrated, the truck was stuck, the clouds were dumping rain down upon us, and there was nothing I could do about any of it; I was fighting back tears. Drew sensed this and came over to me, asking if I was crying. I told him I was trying not to. He sat down, put my head on his lap, and asked how I was feeling. I replied, “Helpless,” and he told me he was feeling the same way and that he was amazed at how understanding I was being. I sat up and he looked at me and said, “I love you.”

I looked back at him and my mouth formed the words, “I love you,” but I don’t think any sound came out because I burst into tears and fell into Drew’s arms. (I feel teary-eyed just typing this now.) When I regained the use of my vocal chords I tried to smile and said weepily to my husband, “I love you so much it is leaking out of my eyeballs!” I searched my heart to find any sign of resentment, disappointment, or anger, but there was none. Those tears were made of genuine, pure love. I truly believe that when I chose to be patient with my husband, God poured so much love into my heart that there was no room for anything else. This made me feel overwhelmingly blessed, but it did result in a very emotional morning.

We knew it would be pointless to go out to check on Bruce and we doubted we’d be able to get out there through rain soaked dirt roads anyway. We had not heard from any of the guys who had helped the night before, so Drew contemplated taking a nap and then going to evening Mass. I am terrible at taking naps and I knew we’d still be exhausted even if we went to Mass late in the day and so I insisted that we try to make it to church at 1:00 that afternoon. “I need Jesus now,” I had said. I drove us to church through the rain, working hard to keep more love from dripping down my face.

I am so thankful that we went this particular Mass. I knew it was a good choice when I opened my missal and began reading the summary of the week’s readings. Drew had told me in the car that he felt like part of his youth died when his truck got stuck, and he would “never do something so stupid again.” Funny enough, the following words were on the pages I was reading:
“There are people who try to live without restraints. They follow the epicurean philosophy of the pagan Romans: ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.’ But we could also look at life in the following way: In order to transcend life, I must die to my old, immature, egotistic self. If I want to become a mature and grown-up person, I must leave my youth behind me.” (From the New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal, Complete Edition)

I showed this passage to Drew and we smiled and chuckled, realizing that we were probably in for a very enlightening and emotional Mass experience. And what a doozy it was. It is like Fr. Jim knew what we were experiencing. His homily emphasized the importance of our reactions to life’s situations - Yep! We are learning that lesson right now! THEN, he went on to explain that although the Gospel reading about Jesus and Lazarus says, “Jesus wept,” the more original translation read, “Jesus burst into tears.” Father wanted us to think about a time when we felt that much emotion and how bursting into tears was often a sign of love and shock and overwhelming feelings – Yep! Been there, done that, two hours ago! Trying not to burst into tears right now! Needless to say, at this point I was fumbling around my purse looking for tissues and hoping people around me weren’t bothered by my sniffles. Father’s homily was exactly what we needed to hear, and the comfort of Communion with Jesus in the Eucharist provided the peace for which my soul longed. I am amazed at how often the lessons of the Mass align with the goings-on of my life. It would probably be a little bit scary if it weren’t actually so awe-inspiring.

We left Mass feeling very in love with each other and very loved and blessed by God. It became so easy to realize the important aspects of our dilemma: Drew was safe and healthy and we had people around us who were willing to help us find a solution to our problem. We didn’t know what the solution would be or when we would find it, but we felt a little more optimistic. After consulting our friends and realizing all we could do was wait, we went home and had a relatively relaxing evening.

Of all the silver linings to be found in the Mudpocalypse, it is the overwhelming feeling of love from this day that I appreciate the most. It is easy to say that you will love someone “in good times and in bad,” but it is harder to do it in real life. In the grand scheme of "bad" things that can happen to a married couple, our problem was pretty low on the totem pole, although it felt very large at the time. We aren't dealing with many of the awful situations people all over the world face everyday, but as far as our daily lives go, we had been thrown into a tizzy. If I can love Drew this much when things are tough, how much better can I love him when life is running smoothly? I know my words here cannot have come close to conveying the profound stirring that occurred within my soul, but I hope I have given you a glimpse of it. Choosing love is worth it, and when you do you will be rewarded beyond measure. Love wins!

I just read this post to edit it and now I am crying again. Geez, Louise, I can feel my "stone cold" reputation slipping away.
Come back tomorrow to see pictures of Bruce stuck in the mud and read about the continuation of the Mudpocalypse! I promise it will NOT be as touchy-feely as this post was. :)

4/27/2014 UPDATE: If you want to listen to Father Jim's homily, click here.


  1. I started tearing up reading your emotional descriptions. I think one trick to maintaining an "ice" reputation is not having the talent to express emotions as eloquently as you did! lol

    1. Thanks, Kris. :) I am pretty decent at explaining how I feel in writing, but not as much in real life.

    2. And thank YOU for being so helpful and supportive through all of it!