From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

The Little Things . . .

Love is a great beautifier.

Louisa May Alcott

It’s the little things he does every day with love and affection. I often try to take the time to reflect on how lucky I am to have someone who cares so completely for me. The most powerful examples of his love for me, his wife, are the ways in which he makes sure that I am taken care of, not in macho, overprotective ways, but in caring expressions of tenderness and devotion. One such day that I will always treasure occurred in May 1993.

Jeff and I had been married for just over a year and a half. We were expecting our first child, who was due in August. Fortunately, my pregnancy was proceeding uneventfully, other than what almost all other expectant mothers go through adjusting to our body’s changes. I suffered with morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy. Of course, it was not just restricted to morning hours. My husband was right there with me, rubbing my back, as well as cleaning up after me when necessary.

My sleep patterns were so messed up that I thought I would never again see a good night’s sleep. Every little thing bothered me. Any noise, movement, light, heat, cold, you name it. But the worst disruption of my sleep was not being in a dark enough room. I wanted complete darkness. As my hormones began to dictate my behavior, I became angry at the street light outside, the neighbors’ security floodlight and even the moon for shedding such light into my bedroom.

On this day in May 1993, Jeff had put in a full day at work, which for him began at 4:30 A.M. He found time to go to Home Depot and purchase a window shade. He purchased a shade in the heaviest material he could find so that the most light would be eliminated from the window. The window shade had to be custom cut to fit our odd-sized window. He installed the shade before I arrived home from work.

When I arrived home, he escorted me into our bedroom and then into our adjoining bathroom where a bubble bath was waiting. I enjoyed quiet time in the bubble bath. When I was through, he brought me into the bedroom. He suggested that after my long day at the office I get off my feet and get right into bed. I agreed because nothing could have sounded better to me at that moment. But, of course, Jeff had another surprise waiting for me.

Jeff walked over to the window. I asked him what he was doing, and he told me to be patient. He gently pulled down the newly installed shade. The bedroom slowly turned from filtered sunlight to pitch black. He gave me a big hug, a soft kiss and told me to “Rest, sweet Sue.” What awonderful nap!

The wonderful sleep didn’t come because of the darkness. It came because of the peace and love, which was all around me as evidenced in the tangible and priceless window shade, which is on my bedroom window to this day.

Susan M. Miller

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