Out of the countless memories of 50 years of marriage, a special kindness from my husband came to mind yesterday as we lunched on the porch near the front-yard flower gardens.
Bob has always loved growing his vegetables; I grew the flowers. He would often tuck a vegetable in among my flowers. ("You can't eat flowers," he'd say).
And I would just as often tuck flowers in among his vegetables. "It makes them look better," I'd tell him, "Some flowers even repel the critters." (I could see he never believed that).
In our younger years when times were tight financially, he might sometimes ask, "How much do we pay for all those flowers?" And when he did that, I would simply smile and tell him, "You don't want to know; just enjoy them."
With his frequent teasing about my flower gardens, if I ever got the feeling he didn't enjoy them himself, that feeling was banished forever after I suffered a serious brain hemmorage in fall of 1995. I was still in recovery mode in the following springtime, and we both realized that I wouldn't be planting my gardens of flowers that year.
One morning he went out with his truck, and when he returned, he brought a comfortable chair outside and set it within view of my garden space, in front of the porch; I could see that space had been carefully weeded and prepped.
The chair was for me, he said as he brought me a cup of hot coffee and then backed his truck onto the lawn. He began unloading a great number of flower plants; and all were my favorites.
"I'll keep positioning these plants in the garden, and you keep telling me where they look good, until I get it right," he instructed me, and the process began. When the positioning was right, he began the careful planting.
It was the loveliest garden ever, planted and nurtured by a loving husband.
It said a lot about what Bob and I have had together all these years.