In Good Times and Bad... and When You're Under Attack!

Yesterday proved to be a traumatic day. It started off simple enough before taking a drastic turn. I ripped the sheets off the bed to wash them and started to pile the clean laundry up on the bed so I could fold it and put it away. I know I'm not the only one that has discovered this trick... make the clothes and lack of sheets an actual obstacle and the likelihood they get properly put away before you go to sleep increases dramatically. If you haven't figured out this little play-tricks-on-your-own-brain trick of housekeeping yet, well... you're welcome.

Anyway... back to the story. As I started to put the pile of CLEAN clothes on the bed, a giant ninja roach jumped off the top of the pile, on to my arm and then hit the floor before the worst imaginable thing possible happened. IT SCURRIED, VERY MUCH ALIVE, UNDER THE BED! Yes... the bed where just hours later, I planned to go to sleep. I screamed, had a small heart attack, saw the bright lights of heaven's gate before I came to and regained my breathing. In and out... in and out... in and out...

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You see, I have a full on hatred and deep seeded fear of roaches. I've never liked them, but the fear grew to irrational levels in college. We had the big, giant, flying kind that hung out around Tuscaloosa, thanks to the hot weather and the nearby river and lakes. My roommate and I found ourselves in a dramatic stand-off with one late one night. We were getting ready to go to bed in our tiny 5' x 5' room with the twin beds... ah the college life... when we saw it staring us down. It was hanging onto the wall right above one of our beds, lying in wait. So one of us stood guard and watched it, because we all know the worst thing is to lose sight of the creepy crawlers, while the other one grabbed the broom and a shoe. The plan we came up with was to swat it down with the broom while the other one was ready to squash it with the shoe. Easy enough... except we underestimated this little sucker. As we prepared to swat it down, it flew, landed on the broom and started making a mad dash down the broom handle towards us. We screamed and lost our ever-loving minds. Somehow we survived the night! Our friendship was sealed forever that night as we huddled with the lights on taking shifts watching for the enemy to attack us again.

A couple years later I spent a semester in a house that I'm pretty sure was actually made of roaches. It looked like it was constructed of regular walls and floors, but when night came, the house came alive. It was an old house in a college town, with a crawl-space under it. Heaven for roaches. Hell on earth for me. And that was the semester my disdain of the critters turned into what is probably a full blown phobia.

Fourteen years later, I still have to talk myself out of a panic attack and have trained one of my weimaraners to be my attack dog. I just have to yell "Ollie! Get the roach!" and he comes to my rescue. If one is headed towards my baby or I have no other option, I have to psych myself up to get close enough to kill it and will stop breathing for the time it takes to get rid of it. So when the one jumped on me and then ran under my bed, I did what any logical person would do. I text my husband and told him it was time for us to move. Clearly, we cannot live here anymore.

Today we celebrate our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Today we remember the pledge we made to each other on that wonderful day back in 2003... in good times and bad. Though the roach attack is a silly story {to everyone else but me}, I had to pause in my panic attack last night and realize what a sweet man he is. Rather than laugh me off - like my so called best friend did when she told me it was probably just hiding in my closet now... {Heather, be forewarned. I will get you back}, he grinned at me as I told him I realized I was completely irrational but terrified none-the-less. As we got ready to go to bed and I had to face my fears, I didn't have to do it alone. This sweet guy acknowledged that I may be crazy, but he loves me even in my crazy moments and he got the flashlight and looked under the bed one last time for me. He then came up with some great sounding story about where roaches actually prefer to live that placated me enough to let me drift off to sleep.

That's what love does. Whether you're under attack from ninja roaches waiting to crawl on you in the middle of the night or more serious things, like health issues, family situations, unrelenting jobs, financial strain, moves across the country, or just day to day stress, love acknowledges where the other person is and holds out a hand so they're not alone. Love goes the extra mile to make the other more comfortable. Love checks under the bed for the monsters and makes you feel protected.