Poem: The Prayer of a Waiting Wife
Driving at Night
Prayer of a Wife Who Waits for Her Husband to Come Home
The journey's long,
And he's not strong.
and he is weary.
Six hours ago he said he'd call again
When he knew when
He would start home.
He's now been gone for fifteen hours
He's alone, and driving in the showers
And he is weary.
Perhaps because it is so late
He has forgotten that I wait
He is so weary.
Perhaps he stopped to spend the night
Perhaps he really is all right
Just was too weary.
It's too late for him to drive.
Please bring him home alive.
He is so weary.
Still for his call I wait
Even though it's late,
And I am weary.
Now I fear the phone.
He should be home
For he is weary.
I hope he stopped at some motel
To sleep a spell
It's late, and he was weary.
He will not call tonight
I'll trust he is all right
The night is dreary
And I'm weary.
The Story Behind the Poem
This poem was definitely therapy. I began writing it at 1:30 AM this morning as I waited for my husband, who had been up since 6 AM to come home from a very demanding business trip. He's the sort who needs his eight hours of sleep a night. He had gone to Ventura -- a three hour trip -- to make sure a tenant he needed to evict really got out. He did not want to have to wait for a formal eviction, which would take another 60 days, because this tenant was responsible for some violations of city codes, and the city has given us only 60 days to fix these things. The tenant was always uncooperative about letting workman in to do anything, and we had to get her out in some legal way.
Our lawyer thought my husband's plan to offer to give her $1,700 security deposit back even if she did no cleaning if she voluntarily got out before midnight last night was a good one. She agreed to be out, and my husband went with two men and a truck, which she said she wouldn't need, just in case she did find she needed them. Meanwhile, the two men worked on some landscaping to help clear some of the violations we could tackle from outside. I knew my husband had the cash in his pocket, and I was concerned about his carrying it that way, but he'd promised her the cash, knowing she could use it for a security deposit for another place or could get a place in a residential motel with the money so she would not be out on the street.
Naturally I was concerned about his long day, and had hoped to hear from him, but I knew he would have his hands full. He called me about 7 PM and said the tenant was partially out and would be back before 9 to finish and he had to wait. He said he'd be back in touch later. I expected he'll call when he left Ventura. I did know that he and the other two men that went up separately with the truck had gone to get something to eat earlier, so at least he'd eaten. But I know how tired he can get. He is 72 years old, not in the best physical shape, and in the past two days his knee had collapsed on him twice, and the second time he fell, fortunately not doing more harm than a big bump on his leg.
As I waited for him to come home, these things passed through my mind. I knew the tenant being evicted was on drugs, as were the people whom she had recruited to help her move her stuff. I was worried because I knew they all knew my husband had cash on him. What I did not know until later was that a previous commercial tenant, who shows the property for us, and her husband, who had just changed the locks on the apartment for us, had decided to stay there with my husband until he left. They were worried about the possibility of the tenant and her companions hurting or robbing him. But I did not know they were with him.
And so I waited. At midnight I began to wonder why he hadn't called to let me know if he had started home. At 1:30 I started writing the poem to distract myself. At 1:55 I told my friends at myLot about my concern. And a minute before 2 AM he finally called to say he'd gotten as far as the 101 freeway after driving Highway 154 past Lake Cachuma -- a shortcut that bypasses most of Santa Barbara. Although it had been pouring for hours at home, another reason I was worried, he said he hadn't hit any rain yet. He said he'd stop in Santa Maria for coffee and if he hit bad driving conditions he'd get a motel -- even if he was an hour from home.
The phone call relieved my mind enough to allow me to go to bed and try to sleep, praying God would help him make the right decision about whether to continue driving or to stop, and to bring him safely home. Evidently I fell asleep right before he got home around 3:30, since I did not hear him call up to me when he got home. When I got up at 7, I checked and saw him sound asleep in his bed and then we both slept in. I was very thankful that God sent helpers to make sure Kosta wasn't robbed or hurt by these tenants who may have had criminal records and outnumbered him. I know God was seeing that he was protected.
Although the tenant had not yet gotten everything out , Kosta decided everyone could call it a night at 12:30 AM. Although we changed the locks, the tenant was allowed to get the few things left in the apartment the next Monday, under supervision. We obtained a written receipt that she got her deposit back. I am thankful Kosta got home safely and that he was able to rest all the next day and go to bed early.
God kept his Psalm 91 promises to Kosta.