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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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Thursday, October 23, 2008
Busy, busy, busy. That's the way we live our lives. We rush from one thing to the next, trying to squeeze as much time as we can into the day to do more things and get more done. To what end?

Normally I'm a pretty laid back person. If I'm stuck in traffic, I try not to let it bother me. I look at it as a natural phenomenon like a storm and try to ride it out. But I had one of those days this week where I found myself rushing around, trying to get lots of things done. I even called my wife and asked if she needed anything from town.

"Oh, yes, Ryan needs his pants picked up," she said. "I'm so glad you called."

So that added meaning to my rushing. I was now on a sacred mission. I hurried to the mall, found the store's location, and parked in a perfect spot location to rush in and rush out. The store was just inside the mall next to Macy's.

I usually don't go into Macy's. It's a place I walk through rather than have as a destination. And I was glad the aisles were pretty clear so I could rush past the women's clothing and purses and jewelry and perfume and get to the mall doors, then purchase the pants and exit. The perfect hunt, kill, and run we men are so adept at.

I checked my watch. I was right on time for the next appointment. I slung the pants over my shoulder and headed back into Macy's, having memorized the route I would need to take to get to my car. However, right at the purses I was stopped by an elderly couple. They were walking slowly together, hand in hand. I checked the route and stepped left to go around them, through some nice looking sweaters, when something inside, something deep inside said to stop. Don't go around them.

Weird. I was in my man mode. My rush happiness. I was making good time. I needed to hurry.

But I chose to slow to a snail's pace. Painfully slow. Agonizingly slow. And I watched them. She was obviously in much better shape than he. Her strides were more vigorous. She stood taller and her skin tone was much more vibrant. Her hands didn't seem as gnarled as his. He was taking at least two steps to every one of hers. His shoulders were stooped and it looked like he could barely see over the brim of his hat. And still they walked, hand in hand, blocking the middle of the aisle.

They were talking to each other in that morse code of older people who have known each other a lifetime. Grunts and short bursts of conversation. I wanted to get closer to hear, and I could imagine some of what they were saying, but I didn't dare get so close as to interrupt their walk or make them feel...rushed.

Now we were three people walking slowly. The women from the dress department, about four of them, were talking loudly to our left. There was something about a price mismatch or a display that needed tending. The couple glanced their way but kept going. I could see my door coming up, but I lingered there, imagining them 40 years earlier rushing around and running errands and tending their children. White haired and lovely as the sun they now walked together, like two ducks waddling toward fresh water.

I finally peeled off to the left and passed them. He looked over at me, his face turtle like, his eyes fixed on my stride, as if he envied my quickness and youth and purpose. But I was the envious one.


Sandra Bowie said...

Isn't amazing how when we let ourselves get caught up in the "world" of living from one chore to the next chore we forget the big picture. God has a funny way of speaking to us if we listen. I think he was Saying " hey Chris slow down look around what is truly important to me is you". Having five children and a very hard working husband I know how it is to rush constantly. My husband is too a laid back guy and when he steps into my world for a day he brings me back to the reality of " Is this what God wants me to do today?" Then one day I slowed down. I quit saying yes to everything and started listening to the Lord. Yes Lord I can do that I found myself saying. Although it might appear as if my life has not slowed down to others, to me I find peace in those moments when I am slowed down. I very happy that you shared this because I know it touched your heart just like God intended.

Sandra Bowie

FreeCellPenguin said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Chris. I read it on a day when I was reeling from the news that a friend has filed for divorce, a tragedy that will tear apart a family with three young children. It did my heart good to read a story of a love that has endured the test of time, and to imagine myself and Ron in the elderly couple's shoes... although in our case, it would probably be a comedy act to watch us!