If you are even a somewhat regular reader of my blogs you know that my wife passed away several weeks ago after months of health challenges that began with a ruptured frontal lobe aneurysm. A memory surfaced recently that served as the seed from which this blog sprouted. 

When we downsized a few years ago to what we call our English Craftsman Cottage, lawn care was initially free for two years. After that it was either pay for the service or do it myself. Sue didn’t want me to do it myself, but she never said why and I never asked. One day I brought it up again in a conversation about cutting back on expenses and just recently remembered her response. She wanted our Saturdays spent together and mentioned how in years past I had spent every Saturday in the yard. The yard work was physically and mentally good for me, but I never realized our being apart wasn’t good for her. She wanted more time with me. If I had known how numbered our days together were I would have done many things differently.

We males can be a little slow sometimes, so let me be clear. She didn’t just want to spend time with me! She wanted to be pursued! I don’t think I understood the heart of her need until after she died, but upon reflection I now do. Although we always sat next to each other on the sofa, walked hand in hand, had weekly dates and occasional getaways, she still wanted to feel pursued by her husband. As I look back, my main failure was that I didn’t initiate the pursuit as much as she did and as much as she needed me to. 

My heart breaks knowing that I can’t get a second chance to pursue her like she deserved. Death is so uncomfortably FINAL. We had an amazing marriage, but it could have been amazingly better if I had figured out the art of purSUEing my Sweet Sue (a term given to her by hospital staff). I will continue to love her and honor her memory, but as much as writing these blogs are therapy for me, I hope they are also illuminating for you. You still have time to invest in the pursuit of those you love, but time does run out!

Recently, my daughter and I visited a member of Sue’s medical team who was in the hospital following surgery that will result in a long and painful recovery. We pursued her with a card, flowers, and a small gift. A text of thanks afterwards said she was moved to tears because we cared. We all need to practice the art of purSUEing those we know and love while we can. Tomorrows are not guaranteed.

Written in honor of my purSUEt – who departed for Heaven on 5/6/17.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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