All I ever wanted was to feel noticed, to feel like what I did mattered and to be appreciated.
Honestly, I think it’s what most humans crave. As a wife, I know I really cranked these feelings up a notch.
Do you even see how hard I’m working? Or all the thought I put into this holiday? Do you think this baby just showed up with this diaper genie and these adorable matching sheets— No, I picked them out!! I made sure everything was ready. I’m the one who got your mom a gift, I’m the one who made sure you had a shirt to wear. Ughhh….. did you even notice, Joe?
All too often I felt resentment in our marriage. I resented that he was sick. I resented that this was our life. I resented that some of our joy was sucked out of life by cancer. But I can’t blame it all on cancer. Sometimes I think it was just normal feelings you have when you have a partner…. do you even see all I do?
I now know, Joe did see.
Truthfully, I knew all along. I don’t know if I wanted a parade or what but I look back and wish I hadn’t felt anger or resentment when I did. What a waste of time.
Oh, Joe the letter you left me said everything I had ever longed to hear.
“I support every decision you have made because they are good ones. You know what you are doing. Mira is going to have an incredible childhood with you as her mom”, he wrote.
“She is going to have the greatest birthday parties and all of her friends are going to want to spend the night under your roof all the time (not because you allow them to booze! But because you always have fun activities planned for them).”
“You will give her everything she needs in life because you are the perfect role model for her.”
Oh, Joe. I always knew you loved me and now I know— you did notice. You did see all of the silly things I do.
Now that you’re gone, Oh man am I so sorry for never noticing ALL that you did!
Joe’s extreme neat freak ways used to make me nuts. I always felt like I wasn’t doing a good enough job of keeping things perfect the way he liked it. I remember one day saying to him, “If this is the way you want it, you can do it.”
And it kind of went on like that. Only now do I realize that this man literally must have followed behind cleaning up after me all day, every single day.
My first realization was walking back into our bathroom and seeing my clothes still on the floor.
Well, why? How? Oh my, Joe, I’m so sorry.
I now know Joe has been picking up my clothes off the floor for the last five years. He always wiped down the counters before bed. I griped about some of the things at the time but now as I look around my messy house my heart breaks for all of the times I should have thanked him or even better, jumped in to help.
The worst of it is now I realize just how much I actually like having a clean house, I just don’t like to be the one who is doing it!
I’m heading into Valentine’s Day without you Joe. Such a silly holiday really, one you never cared much for but found a way to pull a last minute casanova move (even if it was a Walgreens stop on the way home).
I stopped at Joe’s ashes in the dining room tonight and placed my hand on them. I kissed the box softly and said nothing at all.
I wish I would have known that did Joe notice all that I was doing while I had still had the time to wrap my arms around his neck and breathe him in. I wish I could come home with one of those delicious looking cupcake cookie cakes I was looking at the grocery store.
More than anything I wish I could thank him.