The gift of being there

This is dear wife. We have been married for a while. Before getting married, I was a person passionate about giving gifts. I loved picking out gifts for the people who meant a lot in my life. I liked to show my gratitude through gifts. Likewise, I also expected gifts in special occasion.

Things did not change a lot after I got married. For special days, like birthday, or valentine’s day, I would have some gifts ready for dear husband. A lot of thoughts (and often, money) went into getting those gifts. But, it was not always the same with dear husband. He was not that much into gift giving.

At first he tried, then I tried to remind him when it seemed like he was forgetting an important day, then we both gave up. During one of those early years of our marriage the following conversation took place around a Valentine’s day:

Me: Valentines day is coming.
Dear husband: You want something?
Me: Why else would I remind you that Valentine’s day is coming?
A few days later, during Valentine’s day, at Walmart:
Dear husband: Wow, look at those flowers. They are having a blast with those flowers!
I give him a cold gaze.
Dear husband: I read somewhere they sell most flowers of the year in Valentine’s day! Can you imagine?

My gaze went from cold to freezing, or maybe we were near a freezer. I don’t remember.
We went home with our regular groceries, no flower, no chocolate, no gift. He later showed me a receipt for a necklace he got me online, that was supposed to be delivered on Valentine’s day. The delivery was delayed and dear husband did not hesitate to make the most of this delay.

A decade has gone by, now I am starting to forget the exact date we got married. I know the month and year though!
I used to get mad at him for not giving me gifts. I don’t anymore. What has changed is that I have seen how he cares about our family, how he is there each and everyday, for me and our son. He has been there through my ups and downs for last ten years. He has stood there like a rock. His being there with me is the best gift he can give and he has been doing that diligently for over a decade!

The gifts of shared memories are the best of all. So, I am thinking, for this V-day, and for all those ‘important’ days in the years, at least for the ones I will remember, we will do something, instead of buying something. Maybe we will burn a few candles, we don’t do that. Maybe we will watch a movie at home. Dear son may like that, we haven’t done that for a long time. Maybe we will jump, walk, run, hike, or bike. We will be there for each other, just like every other day.

Have a loving Valentine’s day!

Settle in El Paso team

Prompt: Aware

Comments

24 thoughts on “The gift of being there

  1. Very sweet! That’s what it’s all about. I too believe that every day is Valentine’s Day! And more, even if the likes of Hallmark made their own calendar.
  2. Love the sentiments you’ve expressed. We’ve been married 49 years, and for V-tine’s Day we usually give each other a great big hug. And that’s fine with me!

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

    1. A hug sounds like the perfect way to celebrate this day! Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely story of your life. We always look forward to your comments. Have a wonderful weekend.
  3. Last night I showed him a Facebook post of a friend whose husband gave her a truck — A FULL-SIZED PICK-UP — for Valentine’s Day. He, in turn, showed me what kind of vehicle he would buy me. And we just laughed about it because the vehicle will never happen. We’ll drive our two cars with over 200,000 miles on them until they die.
    It has never been about the gifts because we have each other.
    1. That is absolutely right. People have different ways of expressing their love. Having each other is definitely the best gift we can ever have. Thank you for leaving a lovely comment. Have a wonderful weekend.
  4. My husband is the same way. He was rarely there in holidays anyways since he was deployed for the military most of our marriage, and when he was home, he simply didn’t remember because he has Autism and those things don’t matter to him. I’ve bought my own gifts throughout the years and even when we out grew our wedding bands (yea fingers get swollen with arthritis) I went and picked our own replacements because he just didn’t see the need. Sometimes it hurts because it’s not the materialism, it’s the thought, but we’ve been married 25 years and I wouldn’t trade him in for anything because his thoughts of me come in other ways – like you said, being there, my husband understands that I gave up a lot with three kids while he deployed (including a career and my sanity) and because of that he is letting me stay at home and do whatever I want for the rest of my life without ever working. That’s how he perceives love, supporting me and the kids, and that is an amazing gift!!

    You sound like you have a great man there, keep it strong girl! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    1. First of all, we would like to thank your husband for his service to this country. I, dear wife, wholeheartedly agree that sometimes it hurts, and more than anything, it’s the thought that counts. Yet, as times go by and life unfolds all it’s complexities, it’s the presence of our partners that stands out more than the gifts. It takes time to gain a different perspective on something. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the sweet words of encouragement. I like the idea of buying my own gifts! I buy things I like, it’s just that I never thought of them as gifts! Thanks again for the heartfelt comment. Have a lovely weekend and great Valentine’s day.
  5. This is great! I completely understand. I feel the same way about birthdays. I have a friend who plans a whole week birthday for herself. She is never upset around her birthday. Ha ha . Maybe that’s extreme, but I realized that happiness comes from within. If I really want something, I just plan it. I’ve also started to pay more attention to the things my husband likes to do like play with the kids, take them to their activities, etc. He also works really hard. I love him for what he does for our family. Love evolves. Right? Have a wonderful Valentines. Thank you for this lovely post!
    1. You said it perfectly, love evolves. It took me a few grumpy birthdays to realize I can celebrate it in my way 🙂 Compared to that, I am regularly receiving Mother’s day gifts, pink shirt with names and cute messages written on it!! You too have a great Valentines day. Thanks for reading and leaving a sweet comment.
  6. Dear wife, I love the lovely posting. Best regards from Indonesia.

    Living is knowing how to love and loving is knowing how to live!

    1. What a nice way of putting things to perspective. Thanks for sending such a beautiful message from Indonesia. Our greetings for you from USA. Have a wonderful week ahead.
  7. Ahhh.. Valentines … My husband always forgets it and it used to get me mad . Now I am buying myself a little something I like and thank him so much for the kind attention. I am happy with a present I like, he is happy with not feeling guilty. Win win 😉
    Happy belated Valentines !
  8. Lol. We seen that gift shift in our marriage too, and its totally ok. Just makes the spontaneous gifts that much more exciting. <3
  9. What a wonderful reminder that we can be such different persons, with such diverse orientations towards something supposedly straightforward like gift-giving!

    It was the reverse with my husband and I: he is the great gift-giver and I am the the great doer. It took us forever to learn how this translates to a completely different love language for each of us.

    1. Yes, you said if perfectly, translating the different love languages. I couldn’t agree more. Each one of us is different in so many ways, and the difference shows through our thoughts and actions. Sometimes it all boils down to having the patience and willingness to listen to a different channel. Thank you for the nice comment and have a great day.
  10. Creating memories together is so much more important, I think, than collecting stuff! Good choice for Valentine’s Day. What did you end up doing?? We had a long drive from Southern to Northern California and went out for street tacos in a Mexican neighborhood in the evening. 🙂
    1. Long drive followed by authentic food, what a great way to spend the day! We had a nice dinner at home. Thanks for reading and leaving a lovely comment.

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