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Small Demonstrations of Love

People have probably noticed that in my articles on grief, I am being transparent. Anyone grieving needs to do this at least with themselves and counselors (which can include caring friends and family). I also admit to muddling through it all and probably never knowing the answers.

This time, I am admitting that I underestimated Charlene's love for me. In my defense, we had a time of troubles years ago and she said she did not love me as much as before. In her defense, people change over time and she did indeed love me again later on. The other part is that I did not know until she went to be with Jesus how much I love her.

People don't need to dramatically proclaim and demonstrate "I love you!" all the time. Love can be demonstrated in small ways as well, trickling in as time passes. They don't have to be material, either. Encouraging remarks, courtesies, showing respect, and other things add up. I bought a small book light so I could read in the living room without disturbing her, for example.

There was a song playing in the store, something I had never heard before by a country artist. He was saying how every day is Christmas for him, and he would buy her little things throughout the year because he thought she'd like them. I cried, because I did that for Charlene. She showed her love in ways that didn't always involve buying stuff.

Another day that I learn through my grief. This time, I realized that bagging up trail mix and animal cookies for me was an act of love by my wife.
Bagging up animal crackers
Well, she bought me a zippered lunch bag, pretty much insisted on it. This held my pills, lunch, snack things, e-book reader, and other stuff. She wanted to help me out in my work day...oh, right, she also bought me some high-end shoes, insisting on that as well. Anyway, back to the smaller gestures.

I like animal cookies. They're small and not overly sweet. She would buy the big bags of them and stored them in gallon bags, count out the cookies, put them in snack-size bags, and put a passel of them in a plastic container. When it was time to go to work, grab the big container and take out a small bag to go with my lunch. This took a bit of time, but was only needed once a month or so.

Also, she would do the same treatment to trail mix. There are many styles of that around. Charlene dug it out with a half-cup measuring scoop and put it into the snack-size bags. These, too, were stockpiled in a plastic container so I could grab them on work days.

Although I have been admitting to shame, I also admit that I thanked her for her efforts; nobody likes an ingrate. It didn't sink in that what she did was a labor of love. After all, she could have told me to get to it and bag up my own stuff. Today, I cleared off a space on the table and did just that — thinking about how she did that out of love.

Grief includes confusion. I also wonder if some of my guilt was handed to me by Satan, the Father of Lies.

We saw Jo Dee Messina in concert at a county fair.