September 7, 2015
(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)
I came home from the gym today to find a fresher house—bathroom and kitchen floors scrubbed, tub scrubbed, house vacuumed, laundry and maybe more that I haven’t noticed yet. Hunger hadn’t taken over yet for David’s pre-surgery two-day non-solid diet but a hunger to put things in order before his surgery on Wednesday drove him to clean the house. Yesterday he shopped for some easy-to-cook meals for me while he can’t eat and is in the hospital for five days. I am lucky to be married to someone who, even in his discomfort, is concerned about me. I tell him that I’ll be fine but my husband is a good caregiver. The clean, shiny kitchen floor is more than what it seems to be. It’s more than a finished chore or something pleasant to look at. It is a symbol of caring and love.
Years ago, I remember thinking that my mother overdid her daily housework, which she taught to her daughters so we could fulfill our duties when we married. My sister and I spent time sitting on the floor, dusting the curved scrolled feet on the dining room table. We also helped with hanging laundry and ironing. My mother ironed handkerchiefs and my father’s underwear. I used to wonder what difference it made whether or not the underwear was ironed. It would become wrinkled very quickly and no one would see it anyway. But my father would notice and that was important to my mother. I understand now how a household chore can be more than a chore—it can be an expression of love.
My gift today is a clean kitchen floor.
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