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March 2014

Never Mow Another Man’s Lawn

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Many relationship experts say that the attainment of love is not a sprint, it is a marathon, or hurdles or perhaps a steeplechase for you track and field aficionados. But what happens when you can’t get off the starting blocks at the firing of the gun. For Mark Tame his world is about to drastically change and his wife Shelly is about to find out more about herself than she could ever have imagined.

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Mark Tame is a police officer who was named Chief Of Police after gunning down a dangerous madman. Murders happen all the time but this assailant raped women with the assertion of having loved ones present while he carried out his evil deeds. Rather than a congratulatory handshake, Mark is promoted and dives headfirst into the overwhelming responsibilities required of the position. Shelley is a part-time school teacher who is having an emotional time adjusting to life in an empty nest. With her two young daughters enrolled in school the thought of being alone frightened her. On one ordinary day Shelley rushes to the hospital after hearing the love of her life had suffered a major heart attack. After a dreamlike confusion paralyzes Shelley, she comes to and the only thought she has is of a life without her husband. After assuming it would be a lengthy recovery, Mark is back on his feet in no time and acclimates to a life with medication, a new diet, and exercise regiment. Unfortunately for Mark the factors that expedited his trip to the hospital are the things he can’t escape.

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Mark and Shelley’s relationship seemed to be built with sex as a major pillar. At first the idea of spontaneous sexual exploits for a man is obviously great, but what happens when something out of your control takes the readiness away. Throughout history men consistently have had to put up with the women’s “headache” or cold shoulder in the bedroom but when a man has a little trouble their partner may look for help from an outside source, further emasculating the man in the process. With all that said, Mark should be the one that’s displeased because by all accounts he doesn’t seem like the massage the prostate kind of guy (sorry to offended readers). The way Shelley dealt with sexual problems was very juvenile and it didn’t help that her best friend from “high school” was there influencing a lot of her decisions. I thought peer pressure dissipated once you became a parent, and responsibilities became more about other people rather then selfishly putting the relationships with these loved one’s at further risk during a tumultuous time.

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“She pulled her shirt off and the rest of her clothes as she continued to reminisce about her seemingly absent sex life. As she lay on the bed, her heart pumped rapidly in long lost pleasure, for a moment Shelley thought ‘why am I sad? Mark wasn’t taken from me; he’s still here. I should be thankful for that. We can still spend the rest of our lives together and this dry spell could be only temporary.’ She swallowed and peered over at the picture of her and Mark on their wedding day sitting on the night stand. ‘But what if it’s not temporary? What if we can never make love again?’ “

Some people will point to Mark’s lack of presence in their marriage as a point of blame, but it is blatantly obvious that Mark’s heart was always in the right place. The way he handled the crime scene investigators less than stellar work was pure class and he deserved better than what he got if his actions at home were a reflection. This is a story of love and marriage and how the form can change over time. On the positive side I enjoyed the eternal aspect of love brought on by secondary characters Charlie and Madeline. These two identified the way partners should handle troubles and how, although not recommended, when the possibility of an isolated life seems much more complicated than being with your other half.  If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.

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I really couldn’t have been more disappointed in the actions of Shelly Tame. At a point when her husband is dealing with the realization of extreme lifestyle changes she is thinking about her wants and needs. Of course you are internally going to selfishly think about how your life will change when the grim reaper knocks, but externally she could have been more accommodating to help with her husband’s transition. This was very much a soap opera to me, the story was not laced with a flowery prose, but it managed to be quite gripping and did not become tired and overdone. It did make me angry reading this from time-to-time but I got through it rather easily. There is also a good murder mystery that I failed to write about, but I’ll leave that for you to figure out.

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“I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”

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