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- Chris Fabry
- Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now
After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.
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Friday, August 30, 2013
11:02 AM | Posted by Chris Fabry | | Edit Post
Have you seen the old guy in the parking lot? He’s waiting for his wife. He’s biding time. Letting life pass him by until he can pull up to the front and let “the wife” in. I have not wanted to be that man. I have not aspired to this endeavor. It has always looked a little sad to me. I'm not trying to be harsh here.
I’ve always felt my wife doesn’t want me to become that old guy. She deserves more than a chauffeur in her twilight years.
Age dulls the senses and makes you oblivious to fashion. You wear black socks with sandals because it’s more important how you feel than how you look. You don’t care how you look. You don’t care how others younger than you perceive you because they’re not coming to your funeral anyway.
I was sitting in the parking lot of Walgreens the other day and realized I had become that old guy. I had my Cincinnati Reds hat on and gray hair was sticking out in unseemly ways. I need a haircut, but pulling the hat down makes me presentable. White shirt, red shorts, black socks.
The dog was with us. We’d taken the dog to the Farmer’s Market. Big mistake. He was too excited to contain, so we put him in the car and listened to him yap while we picked out carrots and broccoli. And then, on the way home, my wife said, “Could you take me by Walgreens?”
“What do you need?”
I thought she’d say she needed Epsom salts or hydrogen peroxide or Advil. A prescription, maybe. She sent me there the other day for 100% juice, any kind, she said. Didn’t matter the sugar content. So I walked up and down the aisles and finally found the juice and then called to make sure she really meant it.
Just like old guys will do. I’ve not only become the old guy in the car waiting in the parking lot, I’m the old guy who goes on a mission but has to call to make sure he’s getting the right thing.
“I want to take a picture of toothpaste for my blog,” she said.
I was supposed to accept this and just keep driving. I knew it in my gut. Don’t even look at her. Don’t smile or laugh. This is what I said “I do” to more than thirty years ago, driving to Walgreens to take a picture of toothpaste.
And I did. And I didn’t smile or laugh or question, I just drove and parked and sat there like those other old guys I’ve seen.
This has been my view. Again, not to be harsh or judgmental, but I've seen them as young and vibrant and at some point they give up. People point and they walk. Like sheep, they listen for “the voice” and they obey, herding themselves into respectable pens. And they listen to ball games on the radio in the parking lot. At least that's what I do.
I have bucked this for years. I’ve followed my wife into Stein Mart and Hobby Lobby and Pier 1, acting as if I’m supposed to be there. Milling around candy displays and lusting at the stack of Milky Ways I know I shouldn’t have because of what it will do to my digestive system. Or standing over the cast-off items at Ross, thinking I might actually want to watch 50 episodes of some old TV show I saw in reruns as a child or that the sandals with built-in socks would get me noticed.
“I’m ready,” she said one day, standing with her purse and bags. Looking at me. Willing me to leave. Calling like a siren. Years ago I would ask to be lashed to the main mast to see if I could resist the voices. Now, I just shuffle off behind her and carry the bags.
It was in the Walgreens parking lot when I understood why men wind up in the car, in the driver’s seat, with the dog, waiting. I saw it clearly. And I realized I was wrong about them. I had NOT become a man without a purpose, I had become a man with a different purpose. Sitting at Walgreen’s made me realize these guys are the smart ones. They can’t hear the same frequencies as younger people and they have to look over their glasses to actually see things. But they are hearing frequencies of the heart. They're seeing beyond themselves.
Perhaps instead of driving his wife out of duty or to avoid guilt, he actually WANTED to be there. Perhaps he wanted to do this because after all the years of everything revolving around him and his needs and desires and wants and vision, he understands, finally, that life is really not all about him. At least, not JUST about him. It’s about him and her become an “us” or a "we."
So if you see me in the car, in some parking lot, weep not for me. I’m not really waiting. I’m saying “I do” at the speed of idle.