Forgive him, my husband is camera shy and I rarely get a chance to shoot him. I took this shot one day after work and I gotta say, it's one of my favorites of him. That paint stain on his shirt, I was with him when he got that; it was mid-summer and we were priming a wall at the cafe. And those pants he so often likes to cook in? Well, those are the seersuckers he wore at our wedding. But the thing I love most about this picture is that I was able to capture his hands. Oh, how I love those hands! Evan has the most beautiful hands, hands I fell in love with as a seventeen year old girl, and hands that have since remained naturally manicured, calming and familiar, and baby-soft to the touch, despite grueling hours dedicated to manual labor at the cafe.
The above declaration is true: The cafe will be open tomorrow because of Evan. Sure, we all pitched in today, several of us for several hours in fact. There was even a plumber in there, finishing the last of the repair work. But at the end of the day, we all went home. All of us except Evan. He has accepted the fate of not sleeping tonight to make sure he can do everything possible so that we may open our doors tomorrow morning. He went to the cafe around 6am this morning and from what I've been able to gather from him, he will not be returning this evening. When I spoke with him last he informed me he is re-installing shelves, cooking fig jam, processing apple butter, and assembling a strata. This all after a day of financial advisory, lawyer talks, employee briefs, insurance debacles, and seemingly endless sweeping, dusting, washing, clearing, moving, and hauling. So that's why the cafe's reopening tomorrow actually owes itself to the tireless dedication of Evan, and Evan alone.
It is a gross underestimate to say that we are tired. Exhaustion barely holds a candle to the way we feel right now. I cannot remember a time thus far in this journey where our personal and professional lives have been so strained. Over these past two weeks we have clung to one another and pushed away from one another, only to later collapse into an impossibly entangled, inconsolable puddle on the floor. Evan has been fighting the urge to throw his fist into a wall, while I have clenched and pounded mine into his chest countless times. Our tears have flowed freely and without reassurance of an end. We have been battling the overwhelming inclination to stop fighting.
Sometimes we feel like we are losing this battle.
Sometimes we feel like it would be easier to stop kicking; easier to let the water rise over us and sweep us away; easier to just disappear.
Because truth be told, I'm not a very strong swimmer and we are both getting tired. Lord, are we tired.
But Evan is still kicking. Despite the lack of sleep, nourishment, and caffeine, he is still battling for the cafe, for us, for me, and for you.
Because of him, we are opening our doors tomorrow and there are no words to express my gratitude. There are no words to express how hard this man works. There are no words to express how grateful I am to have this man in my corner; how lucky I am to call him my husband and my advocate; and how proud he makes me.
In light of the recent circumstances and subsequent financial hardships suffered, as well as in anticipation for our upcoming dinner service, we have installed a few changes and focused our daily menu. We have also changed the hours for our Sunday service, which will now feature a Sunday Brunch from 9am-3pm. Please stop by the cafe at your earliest convenience so that we may explain these new changes, answer any of your questions, and/or simply wrap our arms around you and tell you how much we've missed you. We cannot wait to open our doors again and see all of your smiling faces. Again: Thank you, thank you, thank you. XO
Posted by Ali and Evan at 9:30 PM