from Rachel: You Are Not an Accident

“April 21, 2004

“My first thought is that I’m pretty content in my skin. I can’t think of much that I still need to accept. But that sounds prideful, so let’s go deeper. I suppose as far as appearance, I love what God has given me, but I don’t like any changes – I pluck gray hairs, I worry that my skin looks to be losing elasticity, I wish my left foot could tan, and I have a little too much tummy. Only the last do I have much chance of changing.”

“As far as background, I wish I had grown up with more Bible study and talk of Jesus in my house, but perhaps it would’ve oversaturated me and prevented me from hungering for it as an adult. God planted me in the best place for my best growth, and I must trust in that and move on.

“As far as personality, I can think of several bad traits, but all the things I should confront and try to overcome – not accept.

  • “Procrastination (which leads to)
  • “Tardiness (and)
  • “Clutter (undealt with) (and also because I’m a)
  • “Saver not a Thrower (or a Seller – see #1)
  • “Night Owl (leading to next day all of the above)
  • “Lazy, Slovenly and Play before work”

Dearest Rachel –

Since you filled out nearly every day in this book, I figure I might as well make a weekly series out of it. Thank you for being so faithful in filling this thing out (at least until the last couple of entries). I’m not quite sure what happened in those last few days. Regardless, it’s better than I ever did with this study. And you certainly went into a lot more depth into who you are, and where you wished you could be, than I ever would have.

It was always amazing that, unlike certain other women, you weren’t all that concerned with covering up flaws – you were never one for makeup, to speak of. And it’s true that you did seem most comfortable with the body you’ve been given. It may be an exaggeration to say that you took pride in that naturally curly hair of yours, but you did wait until you started to go gray before you ever tried to dye it purple because you were concerned that the process might take the curl out of your hair. It was only after you suffered literal discoloration that you decided it was worth it to bother with recoloring; and considering some of the things you went through to keep that color (like those cold showers to wash you hair without washing out the dye), you were serious about avoiding that particular appearance of age.

As for the foot that wouldn’t town, you are the reason for that; you already survived a fairly serious accident wherein you (on your bike) collided with an automobile that turned out in front of you. In particular, the license plates scraped the skin off of your foot (because you were wearing sandals – that was a lesson learned) and you had received a skin graft to repair that. I recall our first Anime Iowa where we were dismayed to find our room on the second rather than the first floor, which was difficult to navigate for you due to your being on crutches.

And it’s true, you never really had a bikini body, despite the fact that I try to buy one for you on our honeymoon – I don’t think you ever wind up wearing it. Especially considering that before the next summer season, it well and truly did not fit you, as you were heavily pregnant by then. And afterwords, you never fully shred shed the effects of that stretching out. But hey, who am I to complain? I started out with the shape that, as a kid, was charitably referred to by clothiers as ‘husky,’ and went from there to the stereotypical ‘dad bod.’ I’ve no right to demand supermodel-type looks from my ideal woman.

As far as growing up steeped in knowledge and learning of God and His Son, I wonder if your response is from observing a certain level of complacency and my self. While yes, it’s true that I started harder once upon a time (especially in the late 70s, when I thought that the likes of a Jonestown-type situation might as easily overtake me as anyone else, and I needed to know what I believed – and why – in order to avoid such a situation), it’s true that I didn’t take nearly the active role in learning more by the time we were a couple – to say nothing of ourselves as parents. It shames me to admit that I wasn’t really the spiritual leader of the house that I should have been – certainly not as much as you were. On the other hand, you were there for Daniel in ways that I simply could not have been as the main breadwinner, and I am grateful for the fact that you did have that hunger for the word, and you passed that on to Daniel.

And as for your personality traits, well, you certainly had a grasp on yourself, and the things you needed to work on. I don’t know if you eventually did wind up accepting them, or if you just never figured out how to correct them, but I think that you can tell from many of my previous letters that there’s very little of these attributes you described back in 2004 that you actually ever managed to overcome.

But props to you for such a brutally honest assessment, and one that I couldn’t argue with. I can’t think of more to add, and while I might say here and there “oh, that wasn’t that bad,” that would’ve been dishonest of me to do so. That’s what this sort of study required of you. Again, I don’t know if I could’ve been this brutal with myself, or as accurate. And I would like to think that would be worthy of accommodation in itself.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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