---originally written June 30, 2011
I woke up this morning very unready for the day. Last night I wasn't in bed until an hour later than usual, and the sudden chill that had come through our woods was keeping me awake. When midnight finally crawled around an unpleasant array of bad memories and past pains came up to haunt me, and make my night even more restless. Finally I was able to push them out of my mind and relax enough to fall asleep by whispering to myself: "I'll write to Peter about it in the morning."
When the morning came, all those memories and pains looked like they often do when seen in the light rather than in the cold haunted hours of the night... they looked far more small and important than before.
But, at the same time, they were still something. They were things that had hurt at the time, and they were things that were at least big enough that they could come back some nights. Telling Peter about it would make me feel better.
Opening my email inbox, I saw that he'd gotten a note to me first. So, I could reply and let him know what a wretched night I had and how tired I was.
Then I read his email.
It was full of funny stories from his day, smiles, and love. It was an email full of joy. Everything indicated that his day had been really well.
And I was about to throw a dark shadow over it by writing to tell him that his girl was tired and a little unhappy. Was that really worth it? Those past pains and that night of poor sleep really weren't that important. Complaining to him probably wouldn't make me feel better in the end. In fact, I was sure it would make me feel worse. I'd regret it, because my selfishness would put a damper on his day.
So I wrote him an email with smiles and love back. Instead of complaining I told him that I was glad for his day and wished I could be there with him. I told him how happy I was that in just two weeks I would be with him. And I tucked my pains away, because they really weren't that important.
After I sent the email, it occurred to me that his emails were always full of smiles and love, no matter how busy his day had been. Sometimes there were hints that it was too busy, and that he was tired. But it was always between the lines. Perhaps behind one or two of those happy emails was a rather worn out man of mine. And perhaps my cheerful emails to him made the difference to his day and brought the sunshine into it.
This is something I want to remember, for the rest of our lives. Maybe when he comes home to his little wife she'll be tired out from a long day and cranky kids. Maybe she'll have plenty of complaints she could share. But I hope she remembers that his day might have been hard, too, and puts him first. I hope she puts the complaints aside to give him smiles and love, to be either that little bit of sunshine in the darkness, or the perfect end to a perfect day.