My husband and I usually travel together. Ever since we married over thirty-six years ago, we’ve found it difficult to be apart for very long. We realized that very early on when I went to visit my parents out of state—he showed up just a couple days later because he missed me! That wasn’t the last time that happened. So we try to plan accordingly now.
Recently, he took a 5-day trip to see his extended family. It was a long awaited trip that had been put off for months due to some seasonal imbalance in our lives. Unfortunately, the seasonal imbalance was still in my life due to caring for my mom, so I wasn’t able to travel with him this time.
When he first planned the trip, I was excited, imagining all the things I could do—get together with some friends; tackle a deep cleaning project that may put the house in disarray; take a break from cooking (yay!) and laundry; catch up on reading. WOW! No responsibilities and all my time to myself! I couldn’t wait for this little stay-cation!
Subtle Reminders—He’s Gone
So there I was, getting my time away from the routine, and somehow it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. First of all, it rained almost every day he was away—I like sunshine. And who was there to share my day with? As a girl, I love to share the victories, the challenges, and the comical events of each day. Then, there was the quiet. iTunes and Apple TV got more of a workout that week in my home.
I woke up that first morning and rolled over for my morning kiss—but he wasn’t there. I wandered into the bathroom, ready to do my quick wipe down of the bathroom sink—but there wasn’t any stubble in the sink from his morning shave. I ran downstairs for breakfast—but alas the coffee hadn’t been brewed and there wasn’t a green smoothie waiting for me. I left to do some errands, but the gas tank was on empty.
Ain’t No Sunshine
Is it possible that I’d taken my wonderful husband for granted? How was it that I would notice the extra work when he was home, yet forget all the thoughtful things he would do quietly in the background.
I guess we’re more of a team that I’d realized. We each have our separate roles and responsibilities yet there’s a powerful synergy in our relationship. Sometimes after being together for so long, life can become ho-hum and we aren’t even aware of the strength of our partnership.
So, what was my take away from that week? Notice the little things that he does for me. Be grateful for the shared responsibility. And, more than anything, appreciate the person in my life who is my best friend, my true love, my constant. The one who gets me through the mess of life, who builds me up when I’m down, and who gives me a reason to embrace each day with joy. The day may come when he is no longer there, and I will wish I were making his dinner and cleaning up the bathroom sink after him. Today, and every day, I want to remind myself that there ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone.
Question: What are some of the little things your spouse does that you appreciate? Share your answer in the comments below.