Lord, help me! I married a wanderer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two decades ago, when we were newlyweds, Mr. Honey firmly established himself as a heart patient when he had major surgery for a blockage in his descending aorta.

Since that time, he’s spent plenty of time explaining to me that he would die young (because in his mind, his daddy did. Never mind, his daddy died a septuagenarian in the 1950s; Mike and Stelle just had a child rather late in life.)

He also admonishes me often he’ll die first, because he is older than I, and he’s a heart patient.

Mr. Honey’s had enough heart-related maladies to give some credibility to his predictions. For instance, he got three stents in his heart about 11 years ago; he takes a fistful of pills to control heart-related symptoms; he’s in chronic AFIB and has had his heart shocked four times in an attempt to get the rhythm right.

“I know what’s going to happen,” he told me last summer. “I’m going to die while you’re at work.”

That’s a safe prediction when you live with someone who pretty much lives at work.

Then – I suppose because I did not get upset enough by his first prediction – he added, “You’re going to come home and find me floating in the pool.”

So that was exactly the image I had in my head when he disappeared this week.

No answer on the home phone.

No answer on his cell.

No response to a social media message, his favorite form of communication, and he hadn’t posted or “liked” anything in hours.

I repeated, to no avail. Called the friend he meets for coffee. He’d been trying to find him for hours, too.

As I left the office in search of him, I joked with my co-workers, “If he’s not dead, he will be soon.”

From my desk to my driveway, I contemplated what I should do if, indeed, he’d had a heart attack or a stroke, trying to remember all the things people were counting on me to get done that day, and planning whom I should call en route to the ER.

His truck wasn’t at home. There was no note.

I kept calling and went back to work. Then I sent him a message via social media: “I would like to know that you have not been taken hostage by aliens. I have been trying to call you for two hours.”

A little while later, he replied with a thumbs-up.

What the heck? I supposed that meant he was alive, but technically, he could have been kidnapped by aliens and was letting me know I was right.

“Where on earth have you been? And why won’t you answer your phone?”

Of course, those questions were ignored.

An hour later, the mystery was solved. He’d been way out in the National Forest and had no cell service. Or so he said.

I am convinced the man will live forever. He’s retired and lives a stress-free life. I’m an adrenaline junkie and by all rights, should exit first. Still, he has given me pretty good cause to worry before.

But I’m going to break him of wandering off and not calling, if it’s the last thing I do. No matter how many Saturdays I have to embarrass him in print.