My husband isn't the type to send flowers or buy gifts. I believe I've gotten flowers six times in 37 years of marriage: once on my birthday (he was in the Air Force and far away), four times when I was hospitalized (twice for the birth of our kids), and once during a very rough patch in our marriage.
When I was young and stupid(er), I longed for the romantic gesture, the surprise gift-for-no-reason that would tell me he'd been thinking about me, preferably in an amorous way. I thought about wives whose husbands brought home bouquets or naughty nightwear, and--though little given to envy--I envied them.
My guy is a practical guy, and his gestures and ways of expressing love and care reflect that. He makes sure my car is in top shape and has a full tank. He'll bring a cold one to me out in the garden when I've been slaving away under a hot sun. He invites me to come with him on business trips when he can. I've grown up and recognize these things for what they are. But sometimes he does surprise me, even after all this time.
This morning he called me around 7:00, on his way to work.
"I had to call you," he said. "The moon ... go look in the southeast, just above the horizon."
"Okay ... wow!"
The thinnest crescent of moon hung there, lit by the not yet risen sun. It glowed faint pink against a near-black backdrop, and I thought I could barely perceive the outline of the whole, round, dark moon to the right of the crescent. Magical, almost surreal.
"I knew you wouldn't see it if I didn't tell you about it," he said.
Now that's a gift.