In the dictionary of my husband Mark’s life, there are too many words in the English language.
Mark may be described by our children and others as somewhat obsessive, controlling, fixated and fanatical when in fact he is truly only committed – regarding everyone and everything he cares about, whether that be the Vancouver Canucks, fishing and hunting, air cadets, our son’s hockey, his parents, his career, our children and me.
A stranger in our house would never know what a Canucks fan he is because he usually finds some excuse to leave the room as soon as a game starts on the TV.
During the first years of our marriage, I never sat with Mark in hockey arenas because when I was there, it was always to watch him play.
Once our son, Stuart, started playing hockey, we would sit together. At first I’d sit quite close. Sometimes he’d put his arm around me and I’d cuddle in. Soon though, I’d have to move away because everything about Mark twitched as he watched these games. His body motion followed the action on the ice – sometimes gently, but then other times quite animatedly, and he’d frequently shout out. The same can be said about his responses during Vancouver Canucks games. Hence, the reason he leaves the room.
Since Mark was given an iPhone by his employer, he always checks it. The instant there’s a beep, hoot, twang or ding, he reaches for the phone to see what it’s about. He’ll then comment that he really should – do this… call so and so… send that… I have to remind him that he’s not at work.
He is the same as a passenger in our car. As I approach every obstacle or stop, every muscle in his body tenses and his feet push into the front of the car before I can even think about starting to brake. As I make a turn, his entire body moves with the turn, all the while clenching his fists. Thank heaven his reactions are usually physical and not verbal.
Being the father of two independent teenagers truly highlights his passion and commitment. He worries. He frets.
The independent natures of Erin and Stuart sometimes cause them to ‘chomp at the bit’ and they prefer to come to me about anything controversial. They are now dating, making plans to attend college and driving. These are all areas that trigger Mark’s reactions, causing him to sometimes appear to others to be controlling, when I know HE CARES.
As my husband, he’s wonderful. I truly trust him as my best friend and partner in life. No matter what we need, he’s there, and our stresses, aches and pains always come first above his own.