cohesionMy kids and I just concluded a science chapter all about water.

Several pages into the text we came upon this author’s definition of cohesion.  I read aloud, “Cohesion: the phenomenon that occurs when individual molecules are so strongly attracted to each other that they tend to stay together, even when exposed to tension.”  I paused.  The kids waited.  I paused some more.

It was just that I was thinking that was the best definition of marriage I’d ever seen.

I got married when I was 19, my husband was 22.  That was 17 years ago.  The tension has been palpable.

We used to own only a futon.

Vehicles only sometimes worked.

My college, his college, my college.

Moving, pregnancy, moving, pregnancy, moving, adoption, failed adoption, moving, psychiatric wing.

There were and are Family issues–issues that everyone has–issues you cannot share because people are alive and at this point it’s just insult to injury.


We didn’t call a divorce attorney.

And we didn’t call a divorce attorney.

And we didn’t call a divorce attorney.

We pretended, still do, that we’re on a nice vacation even when we’re not because we can’t afford it, and all we’re really doing is touching each other.  Just touching, one hand on another hand.

We chat about nothing late at night in bed, the only private moments we have.

He comes up behind me and kisses my neck while I stand at the stove.  I tousle his hair as I pass him with some laundry.

We laugh at the same things.  We tear up at the same things.

I tell him his son still loves him, that it’s ok, he’s just going through a phase.  He tells me our daughter still loves me, that it’s ok, she’s just going through a phase.

I like the low rumble of his truck engine when he backs into the driveway after work–and I know he’s home safely, one more time, thank God, and I’ll get to see him one more time, thank God.  Thank You, God, for this man.

My greatest fear, the fear that is laughed off by my more pious friends: What if in Heaven it’s not like this? What if he’s not mine, and I’m not his, and there is no sound of him coming home in the afternoon?

I don’t know about any of that, how it works there.

Don’t even know how it all works here, really.

But I know marriage is still the best we’ve got.



About i said tennessee

Me, just me, in Tennessee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: