It had been a tough day and we were struggling to find anything to laugh about.
My Englishman was visiting for the day trying to ease back into routine and we’d been out to buy a car. I say, a car, but what I really mean is four wheels a roof and an engine. His mood was fragile. Everything was overwhelming. The weather, buying the car, my anxiety that perhaps this trip was a little too much too soon.
Feeling down we piled back into the rental car to head back to hospital where he was getting some respite from the overwhelming day to day. A homey environment it was something of a relief for fractured nerves.
We started heading down through the busy Saturday traffic. There was a buzz in the air. A change in the weather, barometric pressure dropping? Something.
My Englishman was agitated that I was taking a different route than what he was used to. I tried to calmly explain. He just wasn’t getting it. He wanted things to be stable, predictable, calm.
“But it’s quicker!” I protested. Too loudly. My own impatience and anxiety showing.
Would we ever get back to the easy joking relationship we enjoyed, before?
‘Before’ seemed like an age ago. The now was flinty, and confused and stressful. I felt bubble-bound like a shaken bottle of Sprite. It wouldn’t take much to blow. I kept driving, quietly explaining the route so he could relax that I did know where I was going. He wasn’t buying it, and I quickly stopped speaking.
The radio in the rental car had somehow managed to stick on Life FM, the local Christian radio station. I hadn’t minded too much because as I drove through the crisis it was somehow calming. The music was surprisingly rock inspired, the words of wisdom calming. And anyway, every single other radio station seemed to bring up static. My Englishman could probably have fixed that, but not now.
I sighed as the music stopped wondering how much longer it would be until things were back to normal. My Englishman was frantically trying to understand the route by plugging it into Google Maps. And then layered over the anxiety the radio announcer’s voice came strong and clear.
“Have you heard from God lately?”
His eyes widened as I stifled a giggle, and he snappily turned the volume button all the way to mute. Send in the clowns and all that, but timing….? Timing is critical. We retold this story on the weekend past, and we both laughed.
Laughter is the best medicine.