Although, flowers, chocolates and jewelry are great, they don't represent what Valentine's Day means to me. Loving someone well requires thoughtfulness and action in ways that can sometimes be overlooked. It isn't flashy and bold, wrapped in beautiful roses or heart-shaped boxes. It comes in the simple, quiet moments of hard work, laughter, unspoken conversation, pain, exhaustion and sometimes tears.
Raising children as most of us know, is hard work and exhausting. However, I have been blessed that Ron has been willing to put in the hard work right alongside of me. Whether it was changing diapers, being a disciplinarian, or teaching life lessons to teenagers, he has always been ALL IN. Going to work at 4 in the morning just to be able to leave work early and coach our boys baseball teams all through the years, only to return to work after the games or practices were over to finish up any loose ends, is just one example of how his actions have given more to us than anything material he has ever provided. (I mean, I wouldn't throw away a diamond bracelet if it was offered...) but, always being ready to show-up for more than just the outcome, is one way that he has loved us well.
Life can be hard but laughter can make things a little easier. Sharing a similar sense of humor along with jokes that our children think are completely lame, has added to our good days and brightened up the dark ones.
*Side note: Our jokes and sayings are from the 80's!!! How could they possibly be lame? All funny sayings, although, mostly inappropriate, came from the 80's!
Whether Ron and I are laughing at one of our children, (sorry to parents better than us) a favorite show, or our chaotic life, we make an effort to laugh together. Not everyday and every moment naturally produces laughter but when you love someone well, you put in the work it takes to lift each other up and seek out small humorous moments to fit in when needed.
Despite my love of writing and blogging for all to read, I am a very private person. Showing my emotions is hard and can be difficult at times. Ron and I have endured many painful moments in our marriage, most early on and yet we've allowed each other the privacy and space to grieve together and separate. Being with a person who respects your feelings by going along with you when you "pretend" you're not crying or handing you a tissue without speaking a word, but knowing your heart in an effort to maintain your dignity, are what loving well has looked like to me.
Each year that passes we've grown together and that's what I celebrate. Valentine's Day is special and we do acknowledge each other like most couples, however it's the small gestures leading up to this day I am most grateful for. Getting flowers, cards, and gifts are all wonderful affirmations of love on this day yet, loving each other well everyday, will always mean more to me than any one day could possibly represent.