I was talking to a cherished client a few days ago, and let me tell you, folks: she is one WISE woman (I'll call her WWW: Wonderfully Wise Woman). Her words made me really stop and think about what it means to be a loving human being.
Mr. WWW had surgery recently, and WWW was telling me how he was recovering. It was only a passing comment, but WWW mentioned that she made sure to take out the trash and that sort of thing when Mr. WWW was busy. She didn't want him to feel unneeded, an invalid and weak.
On the surface, maybe that seems small and insignificant. Look closer, because that is one of the most thoughtful things I've ever heard of. WWW knows that Mr. WWW would feel bad to see his lovely wife doing "his job". Mr. WWW isn't stupid, and he knows that the trash isn't magically disappearing. By taking the trash out when Mr. WWW is busy elsewhere, WWW is giving him the opportunity to not think about it. That is a great kindness. You don't need a lecture on the fragility of masculine pride, I'm sure, so I won't go there.
Maybe something as apparantly tiny as taking out the trash is the truest demonstration of love that I could show. Not that a sack of garbage is that important, but the thoughtful consideration of the needs and feelings of my spouse is. WWW made me think about what I'm doing.....and not doing..... to show the sweet hubs how much I care and how pleased I am to have him in my life. Here's one thing I could be doing differently. I don't like to ask for help. I will usually fight with something past the point of reason, rather than ask someone to help me. I love TO help, but I hate to ask for it. The sweet hubs also loves to help his fellow man and does so happily every day in ways small and large.
We manage our lives together very well, I think, and very seamlessly. We don't struggle about who is going to do what. But I hardly ever ask him to help me with something. Even if it's only something as small as opening a jar of pickles for me, maybe it's nice for him to be reminded frequently that my life is better, happier and easier because he is mine.
All through the years of our lives, the people who care about us have opportunities to demonstrate how much they value us and love us. I remember how much it meant to me when my Daddy would stop what he was doing and listen to me yammer, and talk with me. I was a very talkative child and got ignored a lot. (I think the sound of my little voice was like the sound of the refrigerator running: so constant that you eventually stop noticing it?) When was the last time you sat down with a child and really listened to them? It was always such a joy when one of my older siblings would play with me. How long has it been now, since I showed my sister that I still look up to her?
When was the last time you asked your parent for some kind of advice? I hate to admit how long it's been since I showed my Mom that I still need her and love her. Maybe I'll call her tonight and ask her how she made that Crabmeat Spaghetti that I used to ask for on my birthday.
Am I telling my friends how deeply I cherish them? Do my kids know that, even grown and gone, they are the light of my life and will always be my babies? I could be doing more. We all want to be cared about, loved, liked and admired. I can do more to show my loved ones all of those things.
What WWW didn't say, didn't have to say, is that Mr. WWW is her hero, her champion. In sickness and in health...happily this was a temporary setback. Men want to be our heroes, ladies. If your knight should happen to fall off his horse, the loving thing to do is help him back on without ever quite admitting that you saw him stumble.