I never thought I was the marrying type. I always had serious relationships, but I also had serious commitment issues. It was a running joke with my older brothers that the “Francisco sisters had commitment issues.” We were too independent. No man was ever going to tell us what to do. My Mom wanted a lot for all of us kids: to grow up and be liberated men and women – go to school, graduate from college, get your Masters then Doctorate, get a great job so we never needed to depend on anyone. Then, we could fall in love, get married and have that great part of life. I think I listened too well to some of the story, but missed that “happy ending” part. So I waited a long time, loved some really great people but didn’t think that wedding ring was in my future.
Then, to my great fortune, my best friend became my great love. I was so incredibly humbled that he would love me, convinced he was a much better person than I ever would be, and in awe that he would want to spend his life with me.
And you get married… the greatest day of your life. Your emotions are so big that your heart feels like it is about to explode. You walk down the aisle, and see your husband standing there… the sunlight radiant. He is radiant. He is brilliant. He is strong and kind, smart and giving. You are the luckiest person on earth.
And years go by. No matter how much you love your husband or wife, time mellows that brilliance. You become accustomed to it. It is familiar and comfortable. That bright summer sun is more of an autumn gold. Sometimes you are short with him or her. He cleans the kitchen for you, and you notice it and are grateful, but you don’t mention it to him. You expect that he knows. He works hard, picks up the toys, and still you grumble if he leaves his socks on the table. You sit a cushion away on the couch, instead of next to each other. And sometimes, you forget a good night kiss. You love him deeply, but can’t remember if you said it when you walked out the door in the morning.
Then one of those times comes when you see him new again. Tonight was one of those times. My husband has been working hard on a project for almost two months now, and while I’ve supported him, I’ve also grumbled when he has to take a call late at night and spends all evening sending emails, making arrangements, doing what he needed to do for a charity event he’s putting on. I still grumbled when I drove up, cranky that he was not with me while he was running around doing “more important” things.
And suddenly, I found myself nervous for him. Tonight had to be a success. All the maddening things over the last few weeks, I saw them in another way. As he went from person to person, calm, smiling, organized and passionate – taking care of them, taking care of arrangements, taking care of everyone – he was new again. Those curtains of routine fall back, and you can see what is right in front of your eyes. I fell in love with a man who gives more of himself than most people on this earth, who would be (and was for me many years ago) the only person show up to help you move mountains of boxes in a tough time – even though he had only met you two days ago. I fell in love with a man who is often unappreciated… who’s gruff surface covers one of the softest hearts and gentlest spirits. I fell in love with a man who believes in justice, in black and white, with an unwavering commitment to that which he loves.
As for me, who hovers around in shades of grey, I am yet again humbled that he loves me and wants to spend his life with me. He is a much better person than I will ever be, and I am proud to be Mrs. G.
I was reminded tonight that you can never say “I love you” often enough, that you should always sit next to each other on the couch, and that a sock is just a little bit of cotton and your spouse is your life.
Is there anyone in your life that you need to say “I love you” to? Is there anyone in your life that you need to say “thanks” to? Years may go by, but they may not. Don’t delay.