“I don’t understand Valentines Day. It seems to me it’s a day that Hallmark invented to sell cards. I think people should say I love you, everyday.” Julia said.
As we set the table for our dinner on Valentines Day, Julia expressed her opinion, as she so easily does. Roses and chocolate that my husband had purchased covered the table. “Yes, Julia, I agree. We should say I love you, everyday,” I said.
Contemplating this statement, I thought about my actions earlier in the day. Did I say, “I love you?”
I had met up with my husband for a lunch at the Chinese restaurant down the street. I was between meetings, and I kept checking my watch, which got on his nerves. Finally, I had to leave, so I kissed him goodbye, left him to pay the bill, and like a hurricane, blew out the door. Seconds later he called, “Patricia, you took my car. I don’t have keys to the other car and now I am walking home.”
Realizing that I had stolen his car in a moment of brainlessness, I quickly turned around and drove back to the restaurant. I greeted him again with a half smile and a giggle. Did I tell him I loved him?
Stephen’s love language is, “deeds done for.” If I clean the garage, wash the car, make him tea, he feels loved. If I steal his car because I have chosen to let things distract me, well….I am not showing my love very well.
There are many days my time is divided. Meetings, projects, travel arrangements, kid stuff, it all piles up. He sits in his office in our home while I whiz around and do my thing. I make tea and forget to offer him some. I become focused on my projects and my to-do list. Where does he fit in? Where does the one who stands by my side, the one who has vowed to always be there for me, where does he fit in? Have I taken him for granted?
Do we make time to love each other? Are we sharing life together or are we just dwelling together? It’s easy to drift apart without even knowing it.
Stephen and I have never been separated, but we have been to the cliffs edge looking at each other over the canyon a few times in our marriage, wondering how we were going to reconnect our hearts. Where is the bridge to bring us together? Who will take the first step to cross it? It takes time, effort, humility, forgiveness and the ability to see yourself for what you are and what you have become.
Some couples never reconnect only to find that they have lived together in two separate lives.
Stephen and I are much better about crossing the bridge and reconnecting when it is needed. Still, there are those days when I have moved so fast that after the day is over, I realize I never acknowledged the one person with whom I have chosen to share life with. He is next to me, but did I say I love you?
It takes saying I love you everyday. I don’t mean in words, I mean in action.
Valentines Day whizzed by. Most of the day was filled with business. However, in a spontaneous moment after dinner…we danced. Yes, the music got a hold of us, and like an infatuated teenager, I got my husband on the dance floor of our living room. Isabel, being the little romantic that she is, quickly joined the party (and got the camera).
Wednesday morning, the rain pounded on our window. The darkness of the northwest covered the sky. I turned to my husband and said, “let’s hang out today.” We did. He took the day off, I took the day off, we sent our girls off to school, and we headed into Portland for a while. We lived the day together. We bought $4 sunglasses to defy the rain,
Everyday….I love you.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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