David Trinko: Remember why they really will miss you

My wife started verbalizing all the things she had to do the night before she left on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation with her mother and sister.

The list had surprisingly little to do with the trip. It included items such as catching up on laundry, watering the flowers and picking up dog food.

These were all things the rest of her family, staying behind here in Ohio, could easily accomplish on her behalf. Yet they were the things she thought she had to do before she left town.

Those are wake-up moments, when you realize how people see themselves and their role in others’ lives.

I suspect there’s someone in all of our lives who thinks we only love them for the things they do for us. This experience reminded me that it’s important that they know how much more they are than that.

My wife isn’t just a task-doer to us. She’s not a maid, gardener or personal shopper. She’s a crucial member of our family, with a personality that pulls all of our personalities together.

She’s my best friend and confidante.

She is the person who can keep all the friend drama straight in our daughters’ lives.

She is the only one in our family who understands how different people in our community are related to each other.

She has a wicked sense of humor that can bring up the energy of the whole house.

She can visualize what she wants done in our home and family, and she makes it happen.

And yes, she does do some chores along the way, as we all do. Her value here isn’t in the work she does but in the person she is.

When our children heard this task list that encumbered their mother, they started quietly working on a few of the items so she wouldn’t have to do it. After all, for the length of her trip, her tasks would become our tasks anyway.

Before long, we were able to enjoy a fun, relaxing night at home with everyone living here these days. We had a lot of laughs splashing around in the cold water on a hot night. We enjoyed the breeze as the sun set. We enjoyed one of the most memorable nights of doing almost nothing on the night before she left.

That’s what we want and expect out of her, just her time and her presence. That’s what we value most from her.

Of course we miss her while she’s away making memories. We carry on in her absence. Once she returns, it will be her presence that we greet warmly, not just the work she’s willing to do for us.

This time around, we’ll make sure she knows what we truly love about her.


See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

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David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.