How He Loved Me

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  So many of you will be looking for boxes of candy, jewelry, flowers, or something really romantic.  I recently saw a post on Facebook and I thought it very appropriate to talk about here on the blog.

This was all inspired by a gal from Facebook and her tag is Love Always, Heather.  You can find her HERE.

She wrote this:
He always pushes the grocery cart.

(and when we get back to the truck, he always unlocks the doors immediately so that I can get in, and then proceeds to unload the groceries, while I’m sat in the truck with the seat warmers on. rain or shine – every time – this is our grocery game plan)
Can I let you all in on a little secret?
It’s taken me many years to appreciate being loved like this.
You see, I spent (ie. wasted) a lot of time looking for all the ways in which love in shown in the movies, in the magazines, and on the commercials.
Flowers.
Chocolates.
Romantic meals.
Surprise getaways.
And guess what?
I was disappointed time. and time. and time again.
All because I was looking for the ways that I was being told he should show his love –
Instead of paying attention to how he actually does show his love.
And when I eventually came to that realization, Friends?
That was the relationship game changer.
For he rarely buys flowers,
But he calls me everyday when he gets off of work, to see if I need anything picked up.
He never thinks of buying chocolate,
But whenever he sees anything that resembles a slice of plant based, organic goodness, he always buys it for me – And is always so proud to surprise me with his latest grocery store find.
He can only boil eggs and butter bread,
So while I have never walked into a dining room with candles flickering and plates of gourmet goodness laid out – He wakes up every Sunday morning, puts on coffee, pours up my favourite mug, and passes it to me while I’m cozied up on the living room couch (and if my mug is in yesterday’s dirty dishes, he’ll always wash it out. bless him).
And while he cannot put together a travel itinerary to save his soul,
He has sat in a theatre on Broadway with me to watch a musical. He has walked through Ernest Hemingway’s home with me. He has been through more museums and libraries in a lifetime than he cares to admit. And he has never complained about any of it. Not even once.
And it’s more than that. So much more than that.
He’s gotten up in the middle of the night with a crying baby. If his restaurant order is better than mine, he’ll always switch plates. He watches Sleepless in Seattle when he would rather be watching Jason Bourne (at least I think that’s his name). He knows my most favourite ‘lady products’, and will run to the pharmacy to grab me them whenever needed (if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is).
…And, he will always, always push the grocery cart.
You know, the more I think of it,
The flowers, the chocolates, the romantic meals, and the surprise getaways?
That’s all just momentary anyway.
The flowers die. The chocolate and meals get devoured. And the surprise getaways happen, and then they’re over.
But it’s in the moments that you can depend on (over and over and over again), well, that’s where the love is found.
The good love.
The always love.
Like your ‘most coziest blanket on a fall day’ love.
…And it’s THAT kinda’ love that I want to walk through this life feeling.
Don’t search for the flowers, Ladies. Nor waste your time in want of the chocolates.
Search for the one who will push your grocery cart.

For that’s where the always kinda’ love is ♡”

I was loved like this… and like Heather, it took me… a while to appreciate it.  I am so thankful that I did appreciate it while Kramer was still with me.  Kramer my husband of 32 died of lung cancer in 2019.

When it came to romance…Kramer was not material for a romance novel at all.  He wore farm boots into my kitchen.  He burped out loud.  He often had his butt crack hanging out.  He was married to his job way too much…but he loved me.

He didn’t love me the way most girls want love.
-romance
-chocolate
-vacations
-wine
-jewelry

He loved me the way I needed to be loved but it took a while for me to realize it.  Love to him meant:
-providing for the family
-selling his snowmobile when we needed the money
-doing the dishes on the holidays when the kids were all home and I was tired of being in the kitchen
-when I said he had to do something or be there, he always was
-never complained when I bought crafting supplies
-always encouraging when I wanted to make a big purchase for me like a long arm quilting machine
-was right beside me backing up my parenting presenting a united front to our kids through their teen years
-He’d rebuild anything I asked him to as long as I was patient and didn’t ask during planting or harvest
-When I’d feel guilty for making a lame meal like pancakes and eggs, he’d compliment me on it
-He ate my not so perfect food without complaint
-He never complained about my housekeeping or prioritizing crafting over house cleaning
-acted interested in things I liked
-waited in the car without complaint or hurry if I ducked into a quilt shop staying in the car and claiming he’d happily nap
-was a good compromiser
-took care of all of the “guy” things without complaint
-He treated me as an equal in everything
-brought me ditch flowers a few times each summer

A more traditional thing he did once was this…I wrote about it in a blog post:

Hubby is so good to me.  On the outside, he seems like a gruff guy but honestly, he’s not at all.  Just to prove what I said is true, last week he had an errand to Fredericksburg.  He asked if I wanted to ride along but honestly, my to-do list is full so I have to get a few things off that list.  I sadly told him no-and I told him I guess that means that I’ll miss a chance to get a truffle.  See, they have truffles at the Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast, and Hubby and I stop and get one most every time we go through town.  He informed me that this was a farm trip and he likely wasn’t going to stop anyway.

He left-I got busy and forgot about the whole conversation until the next morning when I woke to see….a truffle on my computer keyboard…(yes I know it desperately needs to get cleaned)

Truffle-1

one of my charging cell phone….

Truffle-2

one on a project I was working on….

Truffle-3

One on my ratty ironing board…

Truffle-4

one my sewing machine….

Truffle-5

One in my cereal bowl….

Truffle-6

and one in the silverware drawer.

Truffle-7
I’ve tried to get him to tell me if there are more.  Seven seems like an odd number to buy.  Then again…maybe he bought eight and ate one himself.  He keeps telling me that I can keep looking though.”

You know, because Kramer didn’t buy chocolates often, it stands out even more.  If he had always bought me chocolates, this wouldn’t have been as special.  He did this one other time.  I was traveling to a childcare conference and before I left, he hid truffles in my luggage.  There was one in my makeup bag, one in my purse, one in my suitcase, one in my carry-on.  I will always remember this.

Doing it less often made it all the more special.

Although I loved the chocolates.  It’s still the day to day things that made me know I was truly loved.  Everyone can buy chocolates…Everyone won’t do the holiday dishes for 12.  Everyone won’t nap in the car without complaint while I shop at a quilt shop.

So if you’re a gal out there wishing for the romantic stuff, step back.  Look at the day to day stuff that I’m betting you’ll see that you are loved, as I was, in many of the simple things your partner is doing for you.  That love is true love.  It’s not what you’ll find in movies or books.  It’s the real love that long term happy relationships are built on.

I have this conversation with my girls all the time.  Me being older and have experienced love that isn’t from storybooks, can see that they are each loved by their spouses…just not in the big romantic ways.

I’m guessing each of you reading this are looking back and seeing ways your partner is quietly loving you.  While you’re stepping back to see if you can identify that kind of love in your life, please take time to see what kind of love you are offering in return.  Only you can give your partner the same kind of love you are seeking.

Kramer and I were never big on Valentine’s Day.  We didn’t like the commercialism of the day.  We didn’t want to be told it was the day to act lovingly.  Every day in a healthy relationship should include loving acts of kindness, support, and love.

I am so blessed to have experienced the true kind of everyday love.  I will forever be thankful that I was loved that way.  I am so grateful our love wasn’t’ based on things that are bought in a store.  Kramer’s love truly is the greatest blessing in my life.

I’m so glad Heather shared that post and it came up in my Facebook newsfeed.  It was the perfect reminder for me to be thankful for the love I had rather than mourn what I am missing.

 

46 thoughts on “How He Loved Me

  1. Marsha from Kansas

    What a wonderful post! No truer words were ever spoken. It’s all the little things. I had a doctor tell me I was close to getting my legs amputated. I went into lymphedema therapy. This includes wrapping my legs in triple wraps every night. He learned how to do it and has done it for 7 years. Is there anything better than that??

    Reply
  2. Pat Major

    Very true! I am glad you also mentioned it is just as important for us to give that same kind of love in return. I wish all the young starry eyed couples realized what true love really is.

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  3. Hedy

    This is so beautiful, I wish each bride could get this article when they marry. It’s the every day stuff that counts. I recently had pneumonia in a city far from home and was hospitalized. Hubby took care of my 4 furbabies and then me for a 6 week recovery period. Washed dishes, fixed meals, cleaned the house. No complaints ever. Who needs cards and flowers when you have the everyday love?

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  4. Kathy

    Wonderful post about the importance of love being a verb practiced by both. I too am sadden by commercialism of holidays. But, I’m lucky to have a husband who understand love as a verb.

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  5. Donna

    Thank you for sharing this post – I hadn’t seen it before. Even after so long, it’s still a message that I need to hear.
    Love and prayers

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  6. Susan

    I’m one of the lucky women too. I get the occasional candy and flowers but my husband is the guy napping while I’m in the quilt shop. He actually encourages my purchases and interests. I get help with dishes and he’s always asking if I need him to do anything. So much support and encouragement in everything that I do. One of my favorite things was turning a huge mahogany table into a sewing table. The ‘hole’ fits all of my machines- love that level surface! And less neck and shoulder pain with the machine that few inches lower. It’s true that it’s the little things in life……but those are really the big things!

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  7. Paula S.

    I love this! My husband is not the flowers and chocolate type, but he has taken good care of me and still does. Jo, my hubby and Kramer would have been great friends. So much alike in many ways.

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  8. Sandra Lanter

    I really enjoyed reading this….I teared up. This is good to remember….as I know I am truly loved by many of these “little” things my husband does for me, too.

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  9. Mary Jeanne Bruce

    Thank you Jo, what a beautiful story. My hubby is very similar to your Kramer and I feel that love every day. This was a perfect way to start my day and Valentine weekend. Thanks again for sharing this.

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  10. DebMac

    Heather’s post appeared in my feed also and reminded me of the year my husband gave me nice cookie sheets for Valentine’s Day. I had complained during my Christmas baking that my cookie sheets needed to be replaced but at $8 each I didn’t think they fit into our budget. His squadron mates gave him a hard time about how much trouble he would be in showing up on Valentine’s Day with cookie sheets instead of roses. I got all teary eyed because he listened to what I needed and provided it. Needless to say, he let them all know how happy I was with his choice of a gift when he took cookies in a few days later. Love is indeed a verb.

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  11. Elle

    Truer words were never spoken. Heather and you both write of truly being loved and valued.

    I used to get upset that “stuff” didn’t happen on V-day or birthday or anniversary. I finally (how many years?) told hubster, ” I would really love a card. Just a simple card. It was a big deal in my family to get a card as we had little $ and gifting wasn’t a focus. A card was a big deal.” He jumped right on that. Forward and we’ve both stopped being consistent even on cards. 41st anniversary is coming soon. I wouldn’t trade my hubster for all the $ on earth.

    Kalissa recently posted on this. I’m so happy for she and Craig that she has come to this realization so early in their marriage!

    Wishing you a Blessed weekend. Big hugs to you Jo.

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  12. Holly in GA

    Because you mentioned Whittles, I have been ordering but wanting to stop. With a few turns we can stop there on our way back and forth between our two homes in Ga and Indiana near our children and grands. This week was the week we finally made time to stop as the cold north was blowing us to warmer weather south. My husband took the dogs out back and then eventually came inside to find a bathroom. I saw him standing by fat quarters and had to laugh. What he was looking at in the box was a Bernina QE 970 with a honey of a discount. He is quiet in that way and now in Ga I am pushing all the buttons and loving him and the machine. Thanks Jo for sharing. He said he has been thinking of buying me a new machine since my electronic one has 8 million stitches and may not keep going although I use old machine like Singer 301 too.

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  13. Andi

    Good morning Jo!
    I am very blessed to have the same kind of guy. Mine is very much a ” how can I help”? kind of guy. We’ve been happily married for coming up on 43 years. Wouldn’t trade him for anything! So glad you had that with Kramer.

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  14. Barbara J Gordy

    Thanks for a lovely article and sweet reminder of the love I sometimes take for granted. I’ve been happily married for 35 years to a wonderful man. Thanks for the reminder.

    Bless you,
    Barb

    Reply
  15. marcia H bowers

    this post is so true and so wonderful in the way you realize how much love we get from our hubbies to bloom I get unexpected roses and a kiss everytime. He know how i hate to vacuum and he does it every day . he even does the dishes sometime just because.. yes I feel the love of a great man.

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  16. Kim Paventy

    Your guy sounds a lot like mine!!!! No fancy stuff but always on the lookout for sewing stuff at garage sales. Once in a while I find a gift in the top drawer of my bedside table.

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  17. Darlynn Venne

    Great words of wisdom!
    I was a stay at home mom, or worked part time while my husband worked long hours and provided well for his family. I remember complaining about all the work I did around the house and how he hardly did anything.
    Then I he died 2 weeks short of our 20th anniversary. Once gone, I realized all he did for his family and was ashamed of how I did not tell him often enough how much we appreciated and loved him.
    Don’t let this happen to you.
    I miss that man every single day of my life.

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  18. Kristy Wilkinson

    Thank you Jo for sharing this. I needed a good reminder to look at what I have and appreciate my sweetie more. Thanks for your encouragement. K-

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  19. Kim J LeMere

    Our son was born on valentines day (42 years ago) and we both felt that was the best gift ever and nothing can top it. Every year we call and sing the traditional song to him no matter where he is. It was such a relief to tell work mates, we are celebrating a 8 year ole birthday not lovers day, it felt like a get out of jail free card. Even today.
    I love the hidden truffles, how sweet and I’m sorry he is not with you today.
    Love is hidden in many simple things, opening a door, helping with groceries, taking the kids to the park, keeping them occupied while I make dinner etc…..Love is seen in everyday kindness if only we see it.

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  20. Cindy Yoakum

    Great post Jo. You were loved and continue to feel the joy of having Kramer be your hubby, partner and friend. Yes, you are right, I did start thinking about my hubby and what he did for me He passed away a bit over 1 year ago and I finally got around to start quilting again. That’s when I realized one of the sweetest things he did for me. My sewing cabinet has an edge where I would sometimes hit my knee and boy did that hurt! I complained about it when he asked, “are you okay, what happened?” I heard him coming up the stairs a few minutes later with a foam tube cut out lengthwise and tape. He asked me to move and immediately placed this foam on the corner of the sewing cabinet. It was such a sweet and simple thing for him to do. But he didn’t want me to get hurt again. The foam tube is still there and is a constant reminder of his care and love for me. He did many other things for me which I discover/remember weekly. Great memories and warms my heart. Thanks Jo for your post as Valentine’s was not a big deal for me or hubby either. We daily said we loved each other and it showed for the 35 years we were married. Bless you and thank you for showing us how to live life! — CindyC

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  21. Cindy Kuipers

    Your husband sounds a lot like mine! Except that instead of waiting in the car at a quilt/fabric store, he comes in and looks around too. And usually finds something he knows I will like. I now have a lovely green mechanic’s chest in my sewing room because he knew it would work to hold all my notions, and it’s my favorite color! The saying at our house is that EVERY day is Valentine’s Day. I’m so thankful that he loves me his way. It’s exactly what I need.

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  22. Elizabeth Rodgers

    Thank you so much for the wonderful thoughts about love, I especially see it in my daughter’s new husband. The little things they do for each other, so special and comforting to me. You showed me what was so wonderful about them.

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  23. Evie H

    This is the most beautiful post you have ever written, and that says a lot because you have a wonderful way with words. Thank you for the reminder that it’s the “little” things that count the most.

    Reply
  24. Alice

    Beautiful memories, such loving husbands. This made me tear up, and wonder why I never found anyone like that. Had a brother in law like that, a wonderful man, passed last year, missed dearly by all, so I’ve seen it first hand. You are all so blessed. Happy for you.

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  25. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Different people have a different love language. My husband shows his love by letting me do what I think I need to do, with no complains or asking me when I’m coming home. I spent 11 months house/pet sitting for my daughter when she was deployed…I was in Florida for that time, clear across the country from home! I spent 4 years living with and caring for my dad…750 miles away from home and since he died last March, I’ve still been in the same place, unable to go home. No complaints, just quiet support. I don’t know many other guys who would willingly do this, especially since we’ve been married 11 years and I’ve been gone for well over half our marriage!! Keepers, for sure!!

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  26. Oriongirl

    Yes, it’s the little things in life that matter the most. Remember them cherish them never let go of them for there will be a day when you’ll say goodbye and the regrets will try to overshadow you but it’s the little things that have the most courage to get you to smile again, to laugh again, to love again.

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  27. Quiltdivajulie

    My DH is like your hubby was – considerate, patient, wise, dependable, supportive, and above all else kind. Those qualities are more valuable than gold or diamonds any day. Fabulous post!

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  28. Janet Rice

    I, too, have one of those hubbies who is not vocal or demonstrative in the traditional sense. But he’s done a lot of dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. during our marriage. We laugh about the time I was mowing the grass and he was hanging laundry on the line. I enjoyed mowing back in those days.

    He’s shop hopped with me willingly, never cared what I spend, and would do anything I asked him to do…..even though he wouldn’t do it by himself.

    He and I have both had foot issues in the last two years and we’ve had to take care of each other. The worst part for him is that it’s his right foot, so he cannot drive, but he’s learned to deal with it. (Yes, we know you can make cars drivable with hand controls, but he’s not yet ready to admit he won’t drive normally again.) He recently had another surgery and when he woke up, immediately asked how I was. I didn’t recognize the importance of that until it was pointed out to me.

    It will be 40 years of marriage this year. I have come to value the way he loves.

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  29. Jan Rosenbaum

    Beautiful! I now realize that my husband is my “Mr. Darcy” (from Pride and Prejudice). Who could love me as well as he does? In a we-do-what’s-needed on our pig farm way… For our 50th anniversary we got each other a puppy — much better than a golden teacup!

    Reply

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