Last night was a bad night but also a wonderful one. It is quite possible that if I had known how the day was going to end, I most certainly might have stayed in bed all day and kept my husband HOME. But then again…maybe not.
The day started out normally, the kids and I got up and did our morning routine. Hubs called when he thought we would be awake and spoke to me and Sweetpea. He said he thought it was going to be an early day and he hoped to be home soon. That was at about 9:30AM. We went on about our business as usual.
Shortly after Sweetpea went down for her nap at about 1:00PM, my mother in law called me from my sister in law’s house next door and asked me to come over to pick up some things that she had purchased for the kids from her recent trip to Pigeon Forge. I got Bub, locked the door and walked over. Don’t worry, Sweetpea was asleep and my sister in law’s house is only a few feet from mine. While there, my brother in law, who works with Hubs, informed me that he had left the job at 11:40 that morning. I didn’t think much of it because I knew that he had wanted to run a few errands(cashing his paycheck being one of them) before coming home. I got the souvenirs from my mother in law and came back home.
I started to get worried when the hours kept passing, and finally at 4:00PM, I got a phone call from a payphone from Hubs. He said that a coworker had needed a ride home and he had taken him. No big deal, but that was hours ago. Why wasn’t he home yet? He said that he had decided to take a back road home to avoid the late afternoon traffic. He was tired(he had been at work since 3:00AM) and forgotten that he hadn’t gotten any gas. So, he ended up running out of fuel. He pushed the car to the side of the road and trekked for over 2 hours in the 95 degree heat back to the nearest gas station. He purchased a gas can and a 3 liter bottle of soda, dumped out the soda and filled both containers with gas. Then he called me. He said that he was about to start heading back to the vehicle.
I was slightly irritated. I was a bit snippy with him, because he had been late coming home the day before as well. He mentioned that he might try to catch a ride with someone to get back to the car faster and refused my offer to call his mother to try to come find him. He said he would have a hard time explaining his whereabouts to his mother who is bad with directions and that by the time she could get to him, he’d be almost back to the car. I told him to not get in a car with someone he didn’t know, to be careful, and to hurry. Boy, if I had only known.
The hours started to tick by. I wasn’t too concerned until it started getting close to 6:30 and there was still no sign of or word from Hubs. Finally, at about 7:15, Hubs walked in the door. I was sitting in the rocking chair with Bub, trying to get him to sleep. I looked up, ready to ask him why it took him so long to get back, but the sight of him stopped the words short. He was red faced, trembling, holding back tears and very visibly shaken. What on earth could have happened?
He actually started to cry and I was taken aback.
“What is going on?” I asked.
“I don’t have any money.”
I didn’t expect such an odd reply.
“They took it.”
At this point, he started to get really upset again, and I became very alarmed.
Then the question of the day.
“Who took it?”
It took him quite a few minutes to compose himself enough to answer me. When he did, I felt the color drain from my face.
He had been making the return trip to the Jeep and was walking along, carrying both containers of gas. A white Nissan with two men in it stopped and asked him if he needed a ride. He was hot, sweaty, exhausted, and wanting to get home, so he said yes. He got in the car and they started to drive, but instead of going back towards the car, these guys pulled off into a little unpopulated side street. They stopped the car, and the driver turned around to Hubs and told him to give him any money and valuables that he had. Hubs lied and said he didn’t have anything. Stubbornness prevailing. If only they had left it there.
The driver then proceeded to pull a gun out and pointed it in Hubs’ face and told him to, “do it or die.” Hubs handed over all of the money from the paycheck he had just cashed. Then the other guy searched his pockets and took everything else he had. Hubs was pushed out of the car, and the gas containers were thrown at him. One busted open, the other didn’t. He said that he then went into the nearby woods for a bit to compose himself, then finished walking to the car. He barely had enough gas left to make it home.
I could not, and still have a hard time believing what I heard. I didn’t even have words to speak. Someone almost killed my husband. I was this close to becoming a widow. Over nothing. Money. That’s it. Unbelievable.
I hurried and put the kids to bed, so that they wouldn’t have to see Hubs so upset and so he and I could be alone. Once that was done, he asked me to call his father, who is a pastor, to come over.
Hubs is not really a religious man and has led far from a perfect life. In fact, he’s done many things that he is ashamed of and has made great strides in his life over the years since I’ve met him to change himself. However, although he believes in God, he’s not really had a close relationship with Him. When my father in law got here, Hubs cried. He said, “I almost died today and all I could think was that I was going to hell and my kids would be left here without a daddy.” He got down on his knees, and sobbed and prayed for Jesus to save him.
I have never in the four years that I have known this man seen him so upset and shaken. Never. Everyone was crying but me. I just felt like I had to keep it together. Sweetpea also woke up when she heard voices in the house and I had to keep tending to her. I eventually let her get up for the time being. We all prayed and talked some more. I kept thanking God for letting my husband come home safe and alive and praising Him for saving his soul.
Many, many thoughts were running through my head. He could have died. My last words to him before this happened were snippy and unappreciative. I’m violating my number one commitment to become a better wife. I could have never seen my husband breathing again, and the last thing I said to him was that I really want him to hurry up. I don’t‘ even think I told him I loved him. Why? Because he was running late from work. What am I thinking?
After I got Sweetpea back to bed and Hubs went to bed, I called my mom and cried and cried. When I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I kept seeing Hubs’ face and someone shooting him. What would I have done? It’s really put things in to perspective for me. All of our problems are so trivial. This is my husband. My life partner, my best friend. I almost lost him. If it weren’t for God, I would have. So, now I really need to straighten up. There’s not a single one of us promised another breath on this earth, and I don’t ever want to worry that my loved ones don’t realize just how very much I need them and love them.
Thank you God for letting my husband live to breathe another day.
Thank you God for letting him have that money in his pocket, because who knows what would have happened if he really didn’t have anything.
Thank you God for letting my children continue to have their father in their lives.
Thank you God for helping Hubs to see that he needs You.