It’s sad — and very sobering — to think that I may well have been a widow this Valentine’s Day. But lucky girl that I am, Esteban and I got a reprieve.
The past few days have been full of reflection. Like all couples, Esteban and I have had our differences over the years. We’ve gone through periods of extraordinary closeness. We’ve had bouts of painful distance. But through it all, I don’t think we’ve ever lost sight of how lucky we are to have found each other.
Maybe that’s why so many people have asked us what our “secret” is.
I don’t know if there’s a secret road to happiness, but I do know this: Life is about the little things. Grand gestures may be impressive, but for me true love shines through in our small, unexpected acts of kindness.
It’s time to run off to the hospital, so I hope you’ll forgive this recycled meditation on the nature of love. Happy Valentine’s Day.
I overheard a conversation at work the other day that caught me a bit off guard.
One of my colleagues’ friends was whining that his wife was getting fat and that all she did was complain. She was bad-mouthing him to her friends, he said, and she didn’t appreciate him anymore. He didn’t seem to notice that he was exhibiting exactly the behaviors he was bemoaning.
I was reminded of that overheard conversation a few minutes ago, when I called my dad. He’s a temporary bachelor tonight because my mom’s watching my nephew, so knew he’d be coming home from the university to an empty house.
But he was surprised to find that my mom was still there, in a sense. She’d taken care of everything: The table was set for his dinner, his supper was in the fridge, and there was a little note on the coffee maker. “Coffee’s ready,” it read, “just push ‘start’.” He waxed poetic about this for quite a while.
It got me thinking about the many small, sweet things Esteban does for me every day.
Every morning, Esteban puts on his shearling coat and trudges out to the garage to start my car. He makes sure it’s well warmed up before I drive off, and then he stands in the driveway and waves goodbye.
And on his way home from work, he often calls to ask whether I need anything from the store. Sometimes he makes a special trip to get me exactly the kind of yogurt I like, or to find my favorite kombucha flavor.
That is love in action. Who cares if he never gives me flowers?
In the end, it really is about the little things; 0ur smallest actions often speak loudest.
If that braying whiner comes by my colleague’s cubicle again, I may just be tempted to ask him when he last brought his wife yogurt. Women love that sort of thing.