Saturday, November 06, 2004

My Wife's Home And Who Do I Sleep With?

It's going to take some adjustment for Amy. Leaving the hospital is, like many things, a leap of faith and she worries that she won't be able to handle all that is put before her. There are a few more IV's and things that came home with us than we had expected, but there is also familiarity here...which brings a level of comfort I hope will soon override her fears.

We were also greeted by a felony.
Someone had opened my mail.
Of course that someone called me to admit to it.

It was Gordon. My Pastor; federal criminal.

He saw a package on my doorstep when I called to ask him to let our dogs out because busting Amy out of the hospital was taking longer than I anticipated and he couldn't resist opening it.

With good reason.

It was a copy of Chuck Sigar's book and although Gordon has the actual galley proofs (if you're in writing circles I think you share such things to prove you're truly among intimates) he hadn't put his hands on a true copy of the book. So he opened mine.

He called me right away to confess (maybe somewhere there's a little Catholic in Gordon) and I absolved him...I didn't turn my collar around or anything, but I did make a motion with my hands to sort of make it official.

I got Amy and her Mom settled in last night and then I went to bed...with Chuck....okay with Chuck's book.

It's weird. Chuck and I have met once. We've emailed in flurries. We read each other's blogs but in truth that's all the contact we've had with each other, before I slept with his book.

I was tired last night, and I have a church meeting this morning, so I had already given up the idea of trying to stay awake long enough to watch the Spurs/Lakers game...which means I was really tired - the Spurs won by the way....but without Shaq in L.A. the victory is not quite as sweet.

I didn't even turn on the TV. I turned a lot of pages though.

Chuck's book is a collection of his newspaper columns. He writes for a small town newspaper which I believe has been picked up by a few other small papers.

Have you ever met someone and instantly known that your relationship with that person was on a different level than it should be with people you barely know?

That's how I've felt with Chuck, even before I met him.

We've shared some similar struggles...yet at opposite points in our lives. My father died when I was young. Chuck's father died far too recently. We're both still haunted a bit by "what ifs". Like Jacob of old we've wrestled things in the night and sometimes we've awoken unsure if we've been beaten or blessed.

His wife attended the same college as I did at about the same time. His daughter is a musician and attends the same school. All of my kids are musical, as is Amy - yes, they are my step kids they don't get it from me - and my youngest is the same age as Chuck's daughter. She's also studying music albeit at a different school about 180 miles from Chuck's child.

Last night I was blessed. I stayed up far too long reading Chuck's book. These are simple yet stirring stories delivered within the length confines of newspaper columns...which makes it easy to say, "Well, I'll read one more before calling it a night." I said that a lot last night.

It's also a weighty book; there is a lot of Chuck's life in "The World According to Chuck". Much I didn't know, much I did. I look forward to reading more much as I look forward to learning more about Chuck in "real life" and sharing our stories in emails and blog entries.

Chuck's book is for sale and I'm blatantly plugging it because I honestly believe it would speak to anyone reading this in one fashion or another.

Besides, it seems the honorable thing to do...after I slept with him and all...well, with his book.

Buy a will bless you.