I was reminded this week that life is what we make of it. Our family is what we make of it, and our memories are what we make of them.
My husband has never exactly been Mr. romantic. He doesn’t send flowers all the time, he doesn’t go out of his way to plan exotic romantic adventures, and he is not romantic on a daily basis. Now, saying all that, I can tell you that I know he loves me. At one time in our marriage, I can remember thinking that I wished he was more romantic. Wishing he would sweep me off my feet on a daily basis. The problem with what I was wanting from him was the fact that it was not who God made him, and after a while it probably would not mean that much because I would come to expect it.
Brad might not be Mr. Romantic, but I can tell you, when he does do something for me he puts his whole heart into it. I can still remember the anniversary I woke up to rose petals leading from the footsteps of my bed all the way to the kitchen counter where a dozen red roses awaited me with the most thoughtful card I have ever read. Or the time he grabbed me and started dancing with me in the kitchen as he so sweetly sang to me. After one of my miscarriages, Brad and I had been arguing as if we both were taking our stress and anger out on each other. I woke up one morning to find hand picking roses from our yard in a vase on the table with a note, “I am sorry for what you are going through and I love you more than you know”.
Over the years I have learned that it is the little moments and the special memorable moments that mean the most. If Brad spoiled me with romantic acts on a daily basis, I would not appreciate them or recall them. The moments Brad goes out of his way to show his love for me, are moments I will never forget. They are moments that I know he put his entire heart and soul into it to make sure I knew his love for me.
My birthday this year was one of those moments. Many times Brad has a hard time buying gifts for me. I am very simple and often tell him I want nothing at all. Most gifts Brad picks and picks at my brain until he finds out exactly what it is I want; so much so I often have somewhat of a clue as to what I might be getting. Brad had given me one of my gifts early, which was a black and white canvas picture of Bethany Hope to match the three black and white canvas pictures I have of my other children. This is something I have wanted for a while.
My surprise gift came at my birthday dinner. Brad had stayed home from work on Valentine’s Day, cleaned the whole kitchen, and prepared a big dinner feast for my birthday. This in itself is a HUGE deal, considering Brad does not cook. After dinner I was presented with a cake and presents. My last present was from Brad; an unexpected gift. I opened the gift to reveal a photo book. It was a book of our family over the last 10 years, from past to present. There was a page for every member of our family, including Bethany. Tears were streaming from my face as I reached the end of the book and looked to the back, the final page. It was a large family picture with the following words. “Brad, Amy, Kayla, Gabe, Brayson, and in loving memory of Bethany”.
This was truly one of the most thoughtful gifts he has ever gotten me, and I will never forget this birthday or the love he has shown me.
Life is not about the money or lavish gifts you spend on the ones you love. It’s about the moments and memories you treasure and truly appreciate. It’s about the little things and the little moments that make life worth living.
A few pages from the Book: