Hi, it’s Chris’s wife Jean again, and I hope the people who follow this blog don’t mind me posting here again. Chris will be back and blogging again soon. He’s needed an extended break from blogging for personal reasons, which he may or may not want to write about here. I’ll just say that he’s been through a lot for a long time now, but things are finally getting better for Chris, and he’s feeling happier and more like himself again these days.
I want to do another post about Chris, because even though he says he’s fine with what I previously wrote, I feel like my description of Chris was overly negative and incomplete. Although all that I wrote about him is true, and Chris himself will be the first to admit that he’s not an easy man for a woman to live with, I want to say right now that Chris is also a wonderful man for this woman to live with. He is still my one true Soul Mate and the Love of my life today just as he has always been for me, for the last 25 years.
No matter how difficult our issues with each other have been, there has never been a day that I haven’t loved Chris with all my heart for as long as we have been lovers, husband and wife, best friends, and life long companions.
Let me tell you about some of the reasons why I love this complicated and contradictory man so much.
Chris is an excellent teacher who is also patient and supportive while teaching his skills to others, and he never makes anyone feel stupid or inadequate if they are struggling to learn. And if they fail, he tries his best to make them feel better instead of feeling worse.
When I first met Chris, although I had just completed a scuba diver certification training course, compared to Chris I knew almost nothing about diving. I also suffered from a high level of anxiety before going diving. But Chris could almost always get me to relax, and no matter how many times I screwed up my gear or made mistakes while diving, Chris never got impatient with me. Instead, he would straighten out my dive gear without complaining, and cheerfully review with me whatever dive skills that I needed to relearn.
We were both members of the New England Aquarium Dive Club, and soon after I met Chris, I learned that he was one of the most popular members in the club. He was popular with the experienced divers because he was an excellent dive buddy with a very low rate of air consumption who almost never got into trouble during a dive. The veteran divers also knew that he was capable of helping them if they ever had problems of their own while diving.
Chris also frequently volunteered to dive with the newest and least capable divers on club dives, even though sometimes this resulted in a less enjoyable dive for him when rookie divers ran low on air in only half an hour, and he had to surface with them with his tank still 2/3rds full. He seldom complained when novice dive buddies ended his dive almost as soon as it started, when they couldn’t clear their ears or they panicked as soon as they were underwater. Or their rental regulators malfunctioned by “free flowing” a constant stream of fast moving air bubbles underwater at too much pressure to safely breathe.
The club Dive Masters were glad to see Chris show up for a shore dive, since they knew that he was willing to make their jobs easier by helping them with the inexperienced divers, who they knew would be safe diving with Chris.
Even the New England dive boat captains, who tended to be impatient and easily irritated, liked Chris. He kept all his gear well organized so he could suit up quickly and he was usually the first diver ready to go down. Dive boat captains liked this because they didn’t like it when divers were disorganized and too slow, since this could make them late and screw up their schedules.
But the dive boat captains wouldn’t have liked Chris so much, if they had been at a dive club party on the night that Chris did a hysterically funny parody of their sometimes less than customer friendly attitudes by yelling out dive boat commands in a German accent and sounding like a WWII Nazi. “Rause!!! Rause!!! EveryVone OUT of Das Boot REICH NOW!!! Or yoo vill AULL be SHOT! Und then VEE VILL VHIP YOO!!!” I guess you had to be there. lol :-)
Oh, and the female divers? The young female college co-ed divers??? Chris was a little too popular with them for my liking. Chris was friendly and funny, and so totally in his element with anything to do with diving, that he was like self confidence personified. There were some dives when I felt like I needed a big stick to beat those college girls with, to keep them the hell away from him!
When I first met Chris, I also had a really bad fear of heights. But since Chris loved to go hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire, I wanted to go with him, and enough to face my fear of heights, no matter how scared I’d get up on some of the steeper and more exposed higher elevation trails. But again, Chris was gentle and patient with me, and eventually my fear of heights wasn’t so bad anymore.
I also knew nothing about back country wilderness hiking and camping. But just like with diving, Chris taught me everything that I needed to know. He also opened up a whole new world of experience for me, and I fell in love with the wild natural beauty and serenity of the wilderness, as I was falling more deeply in love with Chris. And my heart sang when I knew that Chris was falling just as deeply in love with me.
Before I met Chris, I was in a very serious relationship that lasted for three years, but finally failed when the guy I was with tried to coerce me into marrying him by issuing me an ultimatum, telling me that it was over for us if I wouldn’t marry him. For personal reasons I didn’t believe in marriage at the time, so I broke it off with him. It was a very painful break up, both for him and for me.
I started getting frequent migraine headaches, and the pain from the worst ones was so bad that I couldn’t go to work or go anywhere at all. All I could do was lie down in a darkened room and try to stay still and not move, while my head was in extreme agony for what seemed like forever, until finally the worst of the pain went away.
But then around two months after I met Chris, something that seemed almost miraculous happened. The migraine headaches stopped and never came back. Maybe it had nothing to do with Chris, and the timing was just a coincidence.
All I know for sure, is that Chris could do something for me that no man had ever been able to do for me before. He could tell me that I was truly beautiful, and the most wonderfully beautiful woman he’d ever known in all his entire life. He could say this to me in a way so powerfully pure and genuinely sincere that I knew he really meant what he was saying to me. And when I heard him telling me that I was so beautiful, for the first time in my life, I felt like I really was a beautiful woman.
I was beautiful and I knew this was true, because I could see myself the way that Chris saw me. I no longer cared if anyone else saw me that way, because I saw my own beauty reflected back to me from the light shining in Chris’s eyes. His tone of voice and his words, so heartfelt and absolutely real, was my proof that yes, for this one man only, and the only man that mattered to me anymore, I was a truly beautiful woman.
The night that this realization became absolute truth for me, as his precious gift to me forever… came around two months after Chris and I were together, and soon after that night, the migraine headaches were gone; never to return.
Coincidence? Feel free to draw your own conclusions. I already made mine a long time ago, and that will never change.