There are too many things John Taylor doesn’t say to his wife. “Kind things, loving things. How my heart swells to bursting with love for her, how she is my soul mate and my best friend.”
She comes home from work, exhausted and ready to collapse to the couch. But the children are excited to see mommy, dad is excited for backup to be home, and there is always something to be done. I tell her what came in the mail, what the kids have done and eaten, and whether or not there is still homework to be done. What I don’t say is “Thank you for working hard to provide for our family” or “Can I fix you.something to eat or rub your back or massage your feet”.
She heads out on a day off to pay bills, wash clothes, take me to the doctor, grocery shopping, and more. We talk about how we wish we didn’t have to pay so many bills, wish we never had to see another damn doctor, and complain about how crowded Wal-Mart was. What I never say is “Thank you for helping me on my days off and for taking care of things I don’t” or “Let me do all of this and you rest today”.
She got a tattoo of my cancer awareness ribbon. In honor of my fight and victory. We talk about how hard it is to believe that it’s been over a year since it all started. We remember how tough life got, and how emotionally it left us both scarred. What I never say is “You were, and still are, the best caregiver I could ever have” or “Thank you for being so strong when I was so weak”.
There are so many… Too many things I never say to my wife. Kind things, loving things. How my heart swells to bursting with love for her, how she is my soul mate and my best friend. How her smile lights up a room, and how her eyes leave me in a trance.
It’s not that I don’t love my wife as much as I say I do. In reality, I love her much more than that. We just get lost in the flow of everyday life and the extraordinary things get pushed off to the sides of our minds. Before kids, before demanding jobs, and life threatening illnesses, there was always time. We often remember the quirky, silly, and sometimes stupid things we would do just to draw a smile to each others faces. Love letters, trail of rose petals, cards of hearts pulled from the deck. These little acts that showed a lot of heart. Gone with the passing years.
We talk about our time as a younger, newer couple, how we met, the love we shared, and the many countless acts of love. I tell her I love her, give her a kiss, and we turn out the light. What I never say is “I am sorry I have fallen short of showing you and telling you how much I love you” and “I am sorry I have let the flame of silly compassion flicker and die away”.
Photo: Flickr/Bryan Brenneman