Tim is gone today for the first time in a long, long time. He had pretty much sworn off traveling--even to Denver--and then out of the blue ended up with three trips this month: Chicago, New Mexico, and Tennessee.
And of course this first trip has been a doozy so far, with expenses above the expected ones reaching into the hundreds of dollars (not exaggerating), primarily due to other people's errors (like whoever schedules work schedules for TSA).
Over the years, I've seen many (if not most) of our performer and sound tech friends at one point or another publicly thank their spouse for letting them "chase the dream" and for "making this all possible" (meaning making it possible for the traveling spouse to tour and be a musician, sound tech, or other entertainment industry professional).
Over the years I've felt guilty because I never really encouraged Tim to throw caution to the wind and do whatever it takes to get famous or rich as a musician.
And I am so grateful that Tim decided clear back at the start of this insane adventure that family came first, and that he did not have the freedom to abandon us to pursue his career. He's tried to never be away for more than 4 days at a stretch. Sometimes that extends to 7 days, and once 10 (because he was on a ship and couldn't get off in the middle of the ocean).
Tim has actually turned down opportunities--more than once--that would have paid him well and set him on a path to a steady income because it would have required him to largely abandon us for long, long stretches at a time (270 days a year or more). He has been mocked and blacklisted for choosing to be home and available to us in person (not just on the phone). He's put his career and reputation at risk over and over to uphold his standards, openly refusing work when we were desperate for work because it would have required him to not put his most sacred duties (as father and husband) last instead of first. (And that's not counting all the times he has put his work at risk by refusing to do events that were inappropriate for a priesthood holder to attend, for refusing even the appearance of drinking alcohol, for refusing to wear immodest clothing, etc. He is constantly having to make choices to uphold his standards.)
And every time I see an entertainment person thank their spouse for making it possible for them to chase the dream, I feel guilty. I never did that for Tim.
But I also feel grateful that he never asked me to make that sacrifice. Not only that, he regularly expresses a desire to help me pursue my dreams.
I hope that some day God will bless us with a steady, livable income anyway, despite it being nearly impossible to have a music career and a family. I hope that Tim will be blessed with a lot of work that is family friendly because he has consistently chosen to put God's commandments and our family first.
But if not, Tim regularly reminds me that other musicians tell him--often--how amazing it is that he gets to have a family at all because in order for them to pursue their careers, they had to give that up. Almost all musicians have to give that up. And so, clearly, we have been abundantly blessed by Tim's choices, even if it is not with money. Despite this career that he has been driven to, we get to have an amazing family, and that is a rare thing indeed.
I'm glad for that night many years ago, when we were just 16, that Tim and I sat outside talking all night and I asked him, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and instead of answering, "A musician" or "Famous" or "Rich," Tim said, "I want to be a dad." And I'm glad that he has consistently made choices to make that most precious dream the reality of his life.
We got the good part.
And thank you, Tim, for never thanking me for all the things I've sacrificed to make your career happen because thank you for never making me sacrifice those things.