Today is a co-worker's 52nd wedding anniversary. I wished him a happy anniversary.
I told him “You are blessed,” meaning two things: the marriage had survived that long, and that both parties had lived those 52 years.
He said, choking up, “Yes I am…"
"You know, she still lays out my clothes for me every day …"
He couldn’t say anymore and walked away, wiping his eyes. Tears came to my eyes, too. (I can't take it when a man cries.)
Later, I thought about why that little interchange was so touching. You see, laying out clothes is not that big a deal ... but the love and care behind it is very special.
Daily for 52 years, or at least 18,980 times, that wife cared what her husband looked like. She made sure there were clean clothes for him to put on. She matched them for him. I feel I know her well enough to know she picked out seasonal, job-appropriate clothing so he would represent their family well, replacing items when needed.
She actually gave him the gift of time - his clothes were laid out and ready to go; the gift of confidence - knowing his clothes were appropriate; and the gift of love - knowing she cared that much about him to do something daily.
Maybe we don't have to do earth-shaking things for the ones we love.
Maybe it's just being there ... every day.