As I anticipated the onset of the new year, I thought of things I could write about in this first post of the year. One thought was to acknowledge various writers who have become important to me—those I’ve met personally and those I know only as cyber friends. But whether I mentioned five people or fifty, I might somehow overlook you and the contributions you have made. I wouldn’t want to do that, so I tossed that idea out the window.
Another idea was to recap all my blogs for last year. But those are already there. Those who were interested probably already read them, and those who didn’t read them the first time probably wouldn’t be interested now—so I decided not to do that either.
A puff piece about my kids and grandkids wouldn’t be of great interest outside the circle of my own family, so that probably wouldn’t be a great idea, either. About that time I thought of something that should be of general interest.
Most writers and blog readers are have a spouse or some significant other in their lives. Maybe a post about the new appreciation of my wife I’ve been gaining since she had hip replacement surgery and needs me to step up and be her caregiver would strike a chord. It might even prompt some to give thought to all the little things that spouse or significant other does to make life easier.
Sharon and I have been married for 21 1/2 half years, and we dated for three years before that, so we know each other pretty well after that length of time. I know that I love her more than I did ten years ago, or twenty years ago. That’s not too difficult to recognize, but there’s a danger in all that familiarity.
We tend to become accustomed to whatever and whoever is familiar to us. And whatever or whomever we become accustomed to, we have a tendency to take for granted. I may be the only person who does this, but I don’t think so. I think this is part of human nature. Over the years, I’ve come to take for granted a lot of little things my wife does—little things I don’t even think about doing, because she always does them.
One of Sharon’s areas of obsession (actually, one of many) is trash. She doesn’t allow trash in any receptacle except the kitchen trash can, and she empties it into the trash cart in the carport
several numerous times each day. We also have a separate recycling bin in the kitchen, and she empties it outside each time she takes trash out.
All these years I’ve sat smugly watching her obsess over this, sometimes even making snide remarks about it. But the fact is that trash and recycling do need to be taken out. Maybe not twenty times a day, but still . . . and I’ve almost never had to take it out in all these years, because she did it.
Right now, she can walk only with a walker, which means she can’t carry much of anything. If the trash goes out, I take it. Not a big deal, but something I’ve always taken for granted she would do. In fact, I’ve become so used to her doing it, I’ve hardly given it a thought. Until now.
She always launders our clothes every Friday and our linens every Saturday. I may help hang the clothes when they come out of the dryer or help make up the bed when she washes the linens, but she basically does it. My part takes five minutes when I do pitch in. Again, something I’ve just taken for granted until now.
These are but two examples of things she has always done—and I’ve always just assumed would be done—that I’m doing now while she is not able. There are many others, and I’m just now coming to appreciate how great a burden they all add up to—a burden she has always spared me from.
As I said earlier in this piece, I’ve loved her for over 24 years, and that love grows with the passage of time, but I haven’t properly appreciated her and all the little things she does that I take for granted. Dealing with her recovery has awakened me to see all these things and to appreciate her and what she does more than ever.
What things does your spouse or significant other do that you take for granted? How often do you express appreciation for these things?
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.