My expression must appear ugly contorted when he catches me looking at the faded yellow and purple smear outlining the Zorro stitches on his arm, because he laughs. I’m looking at my Valentine gift. He asks if this is really the gift I wanted, when it makes me hurt all over to look at it, even more than before.
Twenty-two years of marriage and I ask him to go to the doctor, to get the black pencil eraser-sized place on his upper arm checked for my Valentine’s Day present. Because he just can’t find the time to go, for a year now. Peace of mind is worth more than a trinket.
And on that day, when I tell my son I have to go pick up a prescription for his Dad, he responds, “Oh yeah, for your Valentine’s Day present.”
That sore zigzag, it is my crown of thorns in the here and now, reminding me of sacrificial love.
He has shown me love like this from the beginning. When he hosts a yard sale in the upscale neighborhood where he grew up, for the wedding ring he wants to put on my finger, when he asks on the balcony of the Phoenician.
Again, when he asks his parents if I can move in with them, until the wedding. Because there were safety issues in the apartment complex I called home.
I move in with the untrained lap dog that whizzes all over the white carpet in the room with the grand piano. It’s okay with him but I give the dog away to a good home. And that dog, it demolishes the inside of the bathroom door the day they take him away.
H walks in the snow so I can have the car in Colorado, drives the car without air-conditoning in Phoenix, sells his car so we can keep mine in Tennessee.
And when I endure twenty-two hours of labor giving birth to our first child, my man gets empathy sick, sits beside me awake through the whole ordeal. Feeds me ice chips between wiping his nose and body aches. Stays the course.
On that Valentine’s Day before the Zorro scar, when the kids were still too small to crawl out of bed, he presents the mini aqua box with the white satin bow I didn’t expect. It holds the silver charm bracelet with my initials engraved on one side, Tiffany’s on the other. The one I never mentioned I wanted. We both looked at that aqua catalog on the floor next to the porcelain throne for weeks. I still wonder how he read my mind.
I know he loves me when he lays on my side of the bed first to warm it up, and when my cell phone finds its home on the charger without me. When he tries to fix my curling iron, reminds me that it was on all day in a normal voice, and says, “we need to buy you a new one.”
Then there are days like last Friday, when I admit forgetting to pick up the coffee that ran out two days ago, when he calls from work to check in. Says he will pick it up on the way home. And he brings flowers too, the ones in the pictures.
When I lay awake at night as a little girl, soaking my pillow with tears and wondering why God gave me parents who don’t love each other or have the capacity to parent, this scripture becomes a miraculous reality in the person of my husband.
Joing Amber and Seth on their series of marriage letters. How would you finish the sentence “I knew you loved me when . . . .”? Linking with these beauties too:
You gave me flowers after your liver biopsy leaving a card that said, “thank you for being my strength”…
Oh wow Sharon, that is a lovely finish to a sentence. What a kind, thoughful husband you have!
You are truly a blessed women to have experienced the good & sadness in life.
Plus, to have the gift to write about it makes one know…through it all…. God is so good.
(Love the flowers) Blessed by your writing Shelly, Terri
Terri, you might actually remember when we got married. Trying to remember when I met you at Valley. So glad we are still connected on-line. What a gift.
I absolutely love this post. Tears over here. So beautifully written. And the perfect verse for me. God led me here this evening, and I was blessed by your words.
Joan, it encourages me to know that you were led here and it was just minutes after I posted this story. God is so good.
oh, this is it. True beauty. In love and in words. I LOVED this.
Thanks sweet Tara. I used to find it hard to write about my husband because it felt sacred, but it has been a good excercise. When I went to bed last night, he said, “We need to buy you a new pillow and I will take yours.” I laughed and said, “I could have used that line in my post.”
True love beautifully woven in words…
What an inspiring post. ^^
JUST SAY IT (FROM KOREA WITH LOVE): http://chrissantosra.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/just-say-it/
Thanks so much and what a pleasure to have you join our little community here . . all the way from Korea. Thanks for following.
I love how our marriage/love transcends fom getting trinkets to showing they love us by going to the dr 🙂 I love all the ways he shows you he loves you. So sweet!!
Thanks Kristen. Marriage evolves as we reveal the grit of life to one another. It becomes beautiful over time doesn’t it?
Lovely post 🙂 I’m so glad to have found your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine, too.
Paula, it was nice to meet you today too and I pray your husband finds a job soon.
While in Ukraine, a beautiful retired school teacher, looked up to me perched on top of a bunk bed. I had met her for the first time in our little dorm room days before. She said, “Dea, I am so thankful that when this ministry is over that you will have your husband waiting for you at the airport…that you won’t go back to an empty home.” (Major lump fills my throat!)
So I asked her how long he’d been gone (7 years); how long they were married (40). With tears slipping from her eyes, she told me how much Gordon had loved God and how he took such good care of her, treated her like a queen. Everyday she misses him… ( I mostly listened.)
When the lights went off that night, how I wished I could pull up close to the one I loved. Instead, I asked God to help me cherish each day with him and express it more fully when I returned home.
Oh, he has loved me—not perfectly, but well—even when I have made it difficult, tested his love because I was insecure. He has loved the real me— in all its “ugly beautiful-ness”. I am blessed.
Dea I often want to read your comments more than once. They are so rich with vivid detail. I think these moments with those people in the Ukraine will transcend time. So glad you had this experience, for the rich meaning it brings to your life.
Such precious love, bless you.
Thank you Denise.
You’re making me miss my husband. He’s away on a business trip this week. He’s good like this too. I don’t know where to begin to explain all the reasons how.
So glad you have a good man too Lisa. They make us better don’t they?
This is so cute and lovely. How blessed you are with a wonderful husband.
Yes, I thank God often for the gift of a Godly husband and father for my children. I didn’t have that growing up and so thankful for Him in our lives. I don’t take it for granted.
The chronicle of sacrifice from the one who has proven he loves you as Christ loves… is more than beautiful… it inspires me to ponder about and be all the more grateful for all the silent sacrifices my husband has made for me and I cannot remember even a thank you given…
Thank you for this… and blessings to you.
Michele, I have thought the same. Wonder if I have been as sacrificial in my giving to him as he has been to me. Glad to connect with you today.
Totally love this…what a sweet post! I love it when my husband does those little things too!
Thank you. It was a good excercise, just to think about it. So many things popped into my mind that I forgot about it.
What a beautiful post on how God has loved you well through your husband…Linked up after you at Painting Prose… To answer your question, I know my husband loves me when he takes the time to really listen, and when he fills my car’s gas tank on his own initiative. To be truthful, he does it in some many ways and I am very grateful.
Thanks for filling in the rest of the sentence Dolly. And for sharing about the ways in which you are blessed by your husband. Love it when mine fills up the tank too. Its the little every day things that speak volumes sometimes.
This is why I love your writing so much. I am filled with images from your life…thank you for a window into your home.
Aww, I am humbled. Thank you. It is a joy to journey alongside you. It’s one of the greatest gifts of blogging, the relationships with wonderful people like you.
So beautiful! I treasure stories of marriages longer than my own more than you know; gives me strength and hope and excitement for what the future holds. Love this, Shelly!
Sarah, we do need that don’t we? People ahead on the journey to give us hope and reassurance along the way. And from my experience, each year is better than the one before.
Your sweet words, once again. There are so many ways that I have been blessed and my husband is one of them. We will celebrate 30 years this year and I am reminded constantly of his love. H’s gift to you by going to the dr. sounds like a gift I have asked for before. Assuming his was okay?
Paula, I can’t believe it was thrity years ago that I stood in your living room to witness the I do’s. I even remember the suit I wore, maybe because it wasn’t mine!
We don’t know if it is okay. Waiting on the pathology but we don’t feel anxious.
I could have written that last paragraph. God has been so good to me through my husband. I love this sweet sweet post!
(visiting from Red Oak Lane)
Louanne, love meeting a kindred spirit. So glad He brought you over here today. Nice to meet you.
It sounds like you have a lovely husband! a rare breed.
You painted such a beautiful picture of your love and marriage, thanks for sharing.
I don’t think there is any better gift than parents loving each other well in front of their kids!
Alecia, I think you are right. Didn’t realize it until I heard my friends complain about their husbands – unfortunately. I didn’t have that example of loving parents, mine divorced when I was three. So thankful my kids have both of us.
Very beautifully written. Thanks for using pictures of the roses and not the scar. 🙂 I’ve never read that Scripture passage that way before, but wow, that really impacted me.
Thanks for saying that, about the pictures. I almost took one of the scar but thought it would be too creepy. So nice to meet you Katrina, thanks for leaving a comment. We are following scripture readings during Lent around here at http://www.esvbible.org and that happened to be one of the verses. It really stuck out to me when I was writing this post.
oh my heart aches for that little girl-you. i’m so glad God gave you him.
Emily, I read your comment this morning and then went to Lisa-Jo’s page to find out what our word is today for FMF. You used that word in the comments and it spurred a whole train of thought for today’s post. Linking to your site today as well. Thanks for all you do for the Kingdom and for visiting here once in awhile!
What a beautiful post. You write an amazing picture. How wonderful it is to have such an amazing man for a husband.
I love that you recognize all that he does and appreciate it. Too many of my young friends fresh in their marriages do not see this. How they need to ‘build’ their husbands up.
Love, Love, Love this post!!!
Thanks Sherri. He came home last night and told me I was getting him trouble, saying all those nice things about him when his employees read my blog! He said it with a smile of course.
Simply put: Your husband rocks. Thanks for sharing this.
Yes, he absolutely does. He rocks big time and I am grateful to be on the receiving end of all that rockin’. Thanks for visiting!
Thank you so much for linking to Thankful Thursday.
This was an absolutely beautiful and captivating post. I felt the love for your husband and found myself praying that that Zorro scar was nothing to worry about.
Theresa, I kind of found you inadvertantly while I was commenting on a blog. So glad to find you and thanks for letting me link up. We are still waiting on the pathology for my husband but feel like it is okay based on the doctor’s initial thinking.