I loved Friday, always have, always will. There just seemed to be something magical about the arrival of Friday. Well, at 17, it is definitely date night and great expectation filled me as I prepared to meet my beloved, Chuck, for time together. Living on an Air Force Base while my young man lived outside these boundaries proved to be difficult but he said I was worth it. Chuck had to stop at the Base Gate every Friday and Saturday to gain a pass to be allowed onto the premises. Not only did my sweetheart have to gain permission from my parents but from the United States Government as well. I did not take his devotion lightly.
Earlier in the day I had confided to a friend that I had hopes that Chuck would take us to our high school’s basketball game. It was a big game that night and I so wanted to go. We had spoken to each other earlier in the week, but had made no definite plans as to what we would do on Friday night. My parents were very strict about the time I spent on the telephone, having only one in the house before the era of call waiting, so we would decide when he picked me up on Friday.
I made sure the phone was not in use anticipating his call from the base gate. At half past seven, I was worried; at half past eight I retreated to the darkness of my bedroom, ice cream in hand, staring silently at the black and white television. By midnight I was angry, hurt, and humiliated. He had never done such a thing before. All of his tender words of love and admiration and joy seemed to slip into the despair that was overtaking my heart. I began to wonder if he would give me an explanation. I began to wonder if I would believe him. My parents were unsympathetic; but I held onto the hope that he was the man of character that I knew him to be.
The next day, I busied myself. I could not eat, and I tried to keep up the appearance that I was okay inside and out, but the swirling doubts, the nausea, the evidence that I might not be loved held me captive. I was outside trying to find something to do when a neighbor drove up with her visiting family members. We were introduced and she began to say that they had a hard time getting permission to come on base the night before. When I asked her why, she said the phone lines were undergoing some type of repair and it caused the housing area to be cut off from the front gate. I knew my Chuck would not treat me so disrespectfully! Hope renewed!
The phone rang at about 6:00 p.m. During the silence, my beloved was anxious, alarmed and down right angry. He thought I had gone out without him because he had spoken with my friend who revealed my desire to attend the basketball game. The same sickening, heart wrenching pain I had felt all day and night, he had experienced, too. He was coming over and we were going to talk about it.
It was a bit awkward to reassure one another. The fear, the doubt, the anger, the humiliation and the outright sorrow took over an hour or so to subside and reason to return. We made promises to each other right then and there that no matter what, we could remain faithful to each other, our love was special and could last.
After nearly 30 years and weathering many days of silence, anger, defeat and the threat of divorce, we remain married. Neither of us knew God during the first silence, but we came to know Him throughout the life of our marriage. He has taught us to forgive and to treasure one another and to keep covenant, because we never want to experience His silence. We have learned to be grateful in the silence as well as in the times of shouts of joy.
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