You wanted to sleep on the floor of our bedroom.
I reassured, you were no safer than your comfortable bed.
Shaking and sobbing, you wouldn’t believe me until I explained:
It’s not my job to hold your fears.
It’s my responsibility to cheer you on.
To remind you that your courage comes not from me, but from within.
That there, is where you discover your dreams.
The best way to describe my fingers.
Nonstop for 9 hours as I walked door -to-door on the streets of small-town Ohio.
The Traveling Salesman.
Finally, someone answered.
The furniture, well-worn. The space, cluttered.
Thoughtfully, he leafed through my encyclopedias as he listened to my pitch.
Sincerely, he asked if they would truly help his children.
It was the question I had been trained to answer.
I glanced at the Britannicas on his shelf, knowing very-well how much he had sacrificed to pay for them.
And with my first sale of the day within arms reach and tears in my eyes, I shook my head “no”.
No, you don’t need these.
No, this is not worth the “sale”.
No, this is not for me.
And with that, I thanked him for his time and made my way back into the rain.
Face up. Cleansed. Renewed.
The traveling salesman, no longer.
You wanted to fish.
I wanted to paddle board.
We respected each other’s desires and handled dinner and bedtime solo with the knowledge that we were doing it for each other.
I returned earlier than expected one evening and you breathed a sigh of relief.
Because, as much as we need our alone time, you and I both know
We’re Better Together.
Happy ninth wedding anniversary, my darling.
Camille Vaughan Photography