"Mark" consecrated to the god Mars

Although my husband and I have many things in common, we have one fundamental difference.  He is a warrior and I am a survivor.

If given the fight or flight option in 100 instances out of 100, I would chose flight.  My spouse on the other hand would do hand-to-hand combat with the fiery serpent of death almost every time.

Mark was born a warrior, I was born a chicken with fast legs.  In fact he would probably hunt down opportunities to face the world’s demons if say we lived in 14th century or in times of Roman rule.  Alas, we don’t so he works for the emergency services instead.

Within the ‘call of duty’ I would be a draft dodger and Mark would be a Captain-Major of the first infantry, cavalry, special weapons unit combined.  You name it, he’s at the head of the line.  Warriors have orders, agendas and chain of command.  Survivors are more akin with Darwin’s survival of the fittest, the fastest, the craftiest or quite possible the best hider. Survivors rise from the primordial soup and spend the rest of their lives cell-dividing and evading the warriors.

Why does this matter? There are days and times when our warrior vs survivor relationship stuggles along because fundamentally the warrior is the care-taker of all and the survivor is the care taker of one.  This is one of those big picture items that keeps our relationship full of “communication”.

Call it Warrior-Survivor, Predator-Prey or Taker-Giver most of the time you are one or the other.

The break down:

Mark’s name means: “consecrated to the god Mars”  For those of you that don’t know the god Mars, he was the god of war and if you are wobbly on the meaning of consecrated it follows something along these lines, ‘to be dedicate solemnly to a service or goal’.

My name Heather: Heather or Calluna is a perennial shrub.  The Heather plant is one of the primary plant species grown on the poor, acid, sandy soils typical of heaths. Heathers are native to Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Russia, and northern North America.

'Heather' perennial shrub.

Fundamental difference:  God like warrior dedication vs sturdy fauna that flourishes in barren, cold land. huh.

Examples of how we differ:

Example #1

1) Perennial shrub hears what sounds like gunshots outside our suburban home.  Shrub ducks down and runs away to grab the kids.  Shrub  thinks the bathtub might be a safe place to hide.

God-like warrior – grabs pants, runs downstairs, flings open door and assesses attack options.

(Reality – no weapons of mass destruction, just idiot neighbours with semi-automatic paint ball guns firing at metal things).

Fundamental difference: Assess and attack vs “hurry, hide under the bed and don’t breath loud”

Example #2:

Shrub and warrior are in the woods at night setting a race course.  Both Shrub and warrior hear loud, aggressive, snorting noise off in the woods.

Shrub freezes, squishes down and quickly proceeds away from the noise.  God-Like warrior laughs and aims his torch towards the noise to catch the reflection of the beast’s eyes, assessing and preparing to strike.

(Reality – Beast equals a deer in the woods that makes grunting noises when startled, explains God-Like Warrior. Shrub is enlightened and passes this info on to her shrub like friends in case they are ever in the same predicament.)

Fundamental difference: Shrub is a scavenger that will eat left over cake from other people’s plate and God-like Warrior actually brings home the bacon.

Example #3:

God-like Warrior was on the Riot Squad for many years.  (This unit has now been re-marketed as the Public Safety Unit, lest the general public be pained by the fact the they are there to quell riots  - but I digress.)  This is a place that shrub would never be found, at the front of the line, out-numbered 1000 to one. Nope, shrub’s not even at the rally that is in need of the Public Safety Unit. Why? Because at any moment things could go wrong and there might be an exit stampede leading to shrub’s untimely death by trampling.  In this instance, shrub hasn’t even left the house.

Fundamental difference: God-like Warrior on the pointy end of the stick vs shrub rooted firmly under the douvet.

That's my warrior with the shield.

Conclusion: Duty, honour, respect. These are words that encapsulate my husband.  Scavenge, flee and self-preservation are my trifecta.  This self analysis may not be pretty but it is honest.  I would give my life for my children but if there was an injured man in a burning theatre, I would do my best to not step on him on the way to the exit.

I love my warrior husband to the end of the earth, but there are times that his duty is at odds with my instincts.  In all seriousness, If my husband were killed in the line of duty  - don’t send me your sympathy, send me a nanny and a college fund for our three kids.

RIP Warrior Ryan Russell.  To his wife and child – let us know if we can help you survive.