Sometimes when I’m cold, or loved well, or just lucky, Renee will lay against my back after I go to bed, and she’ll put her arm around me.

She has a certain way of intertwining her arm with mine which I’m sure no other human would know how to do.  After nearly 20 years of practice, most of an embrace between two people falls into well-worn patterns.

When she places her arm around me in that way, I am secure and warm and loved.  It’s like a quick-acting sleeping pill.  I am comforted and sleep falls upon me within what seems to me like seconds.

I’m a 42-year-old, 185-pound man, and I am most comforted by my wife’s embrace.  I’m too big to sit in her lap, but the affect is the same.  In mid-life, the crisis is still about a hug.

More than sleep arrives in those moments.  The heart-cry of a boy is met there.  The cry for a strong foundation finds footing.  The confidence needed to engage again in the battle to push back the ever-encroaching darkness takes hold.  The assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen become tangible.  The eternal kind of fortitude, born in the desperation of brokenness and need, is formed in those moments.

A simple hug.  An embrace.  The familiarity of love unfeigned.

Oh, God, how could I ever adequately express my gratitude for such a gift?

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2 thoughts on “against my back

  1. That’s cool.
    I wish I could identify. When I hop into bed with my wife, it’s usually just under a 100 degrees in there- mostly because my wife is always cold. Lot’s of layers, lot’s of covers- the mattress pad is on…but that’s not all. No. She’s cold- and wants to cuddle.

    Just before I fall asleep, I have to remember to pull the lower half of my body back onto the bed, because at this point, it’s over the covers and hanging off the side of the bed. This attempt to regulate my body temperature only fairs well some of the time. I find that the best time to cuddle is usually away from the covers and heated mattress pad- it’s on the couch (after picking up the kid’s toys or gorging on a wondeful meal).

  2. Dale,
    Your notes are such a breath of fresh air. I a world full of short term marriages and hopelessness, you bring an exciting flicker of hope. What you expressed is real life for you and yours. It sounds like something out of a romance novel but its fact. I know you guys and I see the love you have for eachother. Your words prove that there is true love out there. I pray that God has someone that special for me someday. When I read your notes I praise God for your ability to share such wonderful details of love and companionship. Thanks for the blessing!!

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