Friday, July 19, 2019

Wabe: Appreciate your partners

Timeout Corner

IN A blink of an eye, I almost lost the love of my life in a vehicular accident. This kind of experience is something that leaves an indelible mark on me and my family for life. When it seems that you have lost the most important person in your universe, it definitely doesn’t just put things in perspective, it changes everything, including you.

Three weeks ago, my husband Erfe went out of the house early on his motorbike. I was annoyed that he left his dirty hanes white shirt again on the floor and not in the laundry basket. This annoying habit is a typical occurrence in my house. I remember picking it up for the nth time, as I imagined pulling his hair for leaving it on the floor when the basket is just a few steps away.

Unfortunately, he met an accident and was bumped by a 10-wheeler truck while on full stop by the emergency shoulder. While waiting for his 12 hours of surgery to finish, all I could think of was that shirt...I wish I had more of his dirty white shirts because I want to smell him. The hospital antiseptic scent is gloomy and depressing. Why did I always make a fuss about his shirt? It seems so inconsequential now.

With the stark realization that my husband could have left this earth before me, and that he still actually can, makes me feel weak. I’d do anything just to make him whole again. I want so badly to have the opportunity to pick up his dirty shirts again. All of us, in our relationships, we have a tendency to make a huge deal about the smallest and most insignificant details, only to realize that these little things matter more.

And, I guess, this being overtly annoyed and nit-picky over minute details is an increasingly common problem with couples who have been together for quite a while. A common thing I happen to notice among many couples is appreciation, or to be more exact, the lack thereof. Why is it ever so easy to overlook our partner’s efforts, see their mistakes, and/ or take them for granted? Probably because we got so used to being together and we think that they’ll be around forever.

But having a loved one literally almost snatched up away from me with a snap of a finger is a wakeup call. It’s something we all do not want to happen. But believe me, this is something we should all think about and prepare for. I thought this is something I only read about or watch in the movies, but here I am living it.

The lesson here is to appreciate our partners or significant others more. Don’t wait until the last minute to show them genuine gratitude. Notice all the efforts they do for us and our kids, be it the grand gestures and the small daily little ones, everyday. Be thankful for what they do in order to care for our family and relationship. This is something most of us overlook because we see it as their obligation. Empathy is necessary to make us appreciate them even more.

Most importantly, don’t dwell on the negative traits. Instead, be more accepting because hey, you too aren’t perfect, but your partner accepts you. To lessen some of life’s roughness, it is essential to communicate and affirm our partners daily. Relationships need nurturing to grow, especially if we want them sustained enough to last through years and decades. It doesn’t take care of itself!

In the grand scheme of things, our partner’s annoying habits are a part of the qualities that make them and our relationship unique. Sometimes, their little habits and quirks may seem irritating, but the moment we are faced with the possibility of losing our partners, it’s these little eccentricities that will be on our minds. What appears to be a simple thing, suddenly becomes important when it doesn’t get done because the person doing it is no longer there.

In a fateful twist of events, my car refused to start in the hospital parking lot. Ordinarily, I’d call my husband because he is my go-to guy for when there’s a crisis. I felt really bad and helpless when I couldn’t call him because he’s in the ICU. It’s such a huge slap on my face to realize I have come to rely on him for so many things. The possibility of him not being there is just too much to bear. All I could do at that time was to pray to God to grant me more time with him. I promise not to complain about a dirty white under shirt ever again!


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