I wrote the following essay in the September 12, 2010 edition of the Start Your Week with a Quilt newsletter which is published by the Clara Ford Foundation. I thought it was worth re-printing here.
Any time is a good time to talk about love, but I picked this day because today is my Dad’s birthday. Whenever I think of him, I think about how much he loved my mother. It wasn’t something he talked about or made a big fuss about. You just knew it.
My Dad was old school in the way he always brought his check home and placed it on the dresser knowing my mother would do the right thing with it. (Do men even do that anymore)?! My Dad was new school in the way he would help with the dishes which may not have been considered manly for men to do during his era. My Dad was a true partner in the way he took care of my two sisters and me when my mother took a job that required her to travel.
But the most memorable thing he did was make us all laugh when he teased my mother unmercifully about her church hats! My mother could wear some church hats. He always said she would rather get her behind wet on a rainy Sunday rather than one of those hats. That always made us laugh because we all knew it was true, and it made my mother smile.
I can’t ever remember hearing my Dad say the words “I love you” to my mother, but you just knew. You knew it every day of the 45 years they were married.
We all hope that we would be so blessed as to find that kind of love, don’t we?
So this week I share with you my quilt You Make Me Smile. The kind of love my Mom and Dad had must be tested over decades of ups and down, highs and lows, good days and bad days — but a good first step is to find someone who makes you smile.