My husband isn’t an ink-and-paper-love-letter-kind of guy, but he writes love letters to me every day, in big and little ways.
In graduate school, I had to translate French 78% successfully in order to earn my degree. In knitting, I have to translate the abbreviations and the directions so my slouchy hat looked, well, slouchy and my sock scarf had heels and toes. In my marriage, I translate my husband’s actions into love letters – because that’s how he tells me he loves me.
I’m over at The Mom Initiative for the Week of Love and Gift Giveaway with my post Translating Love Letters. Won’t you join me?
I’m learning that sometimes when I try to do extra-nice things, extra-unpleasant things happen. The subway steak and cheese sandwiches for under-weather boys after a long work day? It didn’t play out like I’d planned. I locked my keys in the van – both sets.
There I was pressed against the mini-van for leverage, wedging the flat wooden spatula between the car door and frame, on a bitterly cold Friday night without the delightful benefit of snowflakes.
Come to save me, side-by-side with me, worked my husband. No fussing, remonstrating for my carelessness, no complaints about the bitter cold, no eye-rolling as I cheered him on – just a “not so loud” once or twice – ‘cause you know heroes don’t like their good deeds announced.
Every now and then, my husband’s cold, freckled hand would reach over mine, re-securing the wedge as he maneuvered the wire hanger, attempting to trigger the un-lock button.
It reminded me of a time 30 years ago, just-married, in an apartment with no telephone, television or hot water for the first 3 months we were married. The $150 deposit was a big chunk for two college students starting life together – so we held off paying as long as possible.
“We’re going to look back at this as the best of times,” he promised. Honestly, I hoped they would get better – maybe I wouldn’t have to boil water to flush the toilet when the downstairs tenants went home for Christmas because they turned the heat off.
A woman once told me she had divorced her husband because he hadn’t loved her, he hadn’t given her the words.
I asked if he had done things for her, like build a raised-garden bed, lay creek-bed stones for a path, change the brakes, paint walls corn-silk yellows and put together bookcases, coach their kids in soccer, basketball and baseball, mentor through a science-fair project, lay wood floors?
He had, she said, done all kinds of things for her – but she wanted the words. She couldn’t translate his actions into the love letter they were.
Standing there, in the bitterly cold, snow-less night 30 years later, I thought how we’re still a committed team, got each other’s back and still crazy love each other enough to try and unlock a car door on our own (apparently locksmiths don’t answer their phones on Friday night).
Standing there watching my husband in the parking lot glow – I thought how eloquent is my husband’s love for me – not in words, but his actions – his actions translate into a beautiful love letter, written just for me.
The best of times didn’t just happen 30 years ago. They never stopped.
How does your husband express his love to you? Can you translate it into the love letter it is?
“The fire of love stops at nothing— it sweeps everything before it. Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out” (Song of Solomon 8: 6b-7)