Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
TITLE: This Empty Shell
By Carole Robishaw
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Yes, I do still love him, but not with the heat of desire, not any more. More out of habit, maybe. Or because he’s the father of my child. Or because I just don’t want to be alone.
I love him because I made the choice that I would. For better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, whether he’s a jerk or not. It’s not like he’s always a total idiot. There have been numerous times through the years when he brought tears of joy to my eyes, or made me smile when I didn’t want to. He’s a good man, just not always good at making the right choices. He makes foolish mistakes. His intentions are good, but what good are intentions without follow-through? He’s loving, and giving, too much so sometimes. Others get to be on the receiving end, when I wish it were his family.
Our desire seems to have gone cold. We share the same bed at night. But we never reach out for each other any more.
We eat together. We watch a few shows together in the evenings. We go to church together. I don’t remember the last time we really talked together. It’s like we’re roommates, not a married couple of several decades.
Where did the fire go? The hot passion that made our blood boil just looking at each other. I would gladly settle for something warm, instead of hot, if it meant we still communicated. Now, we just get excited over television shows, or cheering on our grandkids. The dog gets more attention than I do.
Is this what marriage is all about? Is this the choice I made? To share my life, till death do us part, with someone who is self-destructive, and insists on taking all of us with him?
I would gladly trade the heat of anger for the heat of passion. But I don’t have the energy to figure out how. So instead we coldly share our lives. Waiting.
I’m so worn out just trying to exist that I no longer have any joy in life. Even my jubilant three-year-old granddaughter barely breaks through my “I really don’t care anymore” feeling.
I want to be on fire again. I want to find that passion for life I once knew. I want to know that my life was, and still is, worth something, to someone. God, hear my plea! Help me find a way to turn this empty shell back into a… I don’t know. Into something productive.
I want to be someone that can see the roses instead of the thorns. I want my tears to be because I’m laughing so hard, not because I’m angry and afraid.
God, hear me. Please help me turn this cold life back into something on fire. To find the energy to seek after my dreams. I need the heat of passion for you, oh God. I need the zeal to do what you would have me doing. If not, then God, please take me home. If I still have something left to do, then Lord, I can’t do it by myself.
Help me God, please! I want to leave a legacy for my grandchildren that will show them your power and glory. I want them to see you shine brightly in my life, not be hidden in this cloud of despair. I want them to know, in this day of disposable marriages, that love still exists. That it is a good choice, not a burden.
Help me, oh Lord, to find again the dreams that you gave me so long ago. Help me, please, to seek after them, to strive to fulfill them instead of abandoning them along the wayside because I no longer have the strength to lift my head to see them.
Help us, Lord, to enjoy our growing old together, instead of just waiting. Waiting for it to be over.
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