During my last visit with my parents, my father did something in front of me that was both surprising and thought provoking. He did something that may have been seen by others as the simplest of gestures but, to me, it meant the world... He brought my mother her vitamins. To give you a bit of backstory, my parents have been married for 30 something years and, like every couple who's been married longer than I've been alive, they've had their series ups and downs. Marriage is hard and you have to work at it everyday. This, I believe, is part of the vow you make when you say "I do."
My father is the kind of man with a warm heart hiding behind a gruff exterior. He does not smile often, but when he does, it's a memorable moment. He is not an openly affectionate man, but every once in awhile he'll embrace me in a genuine hug or pat me gently on the head when I'm napping on the couch...then I'll smile to myself as he walks away, knowing deep down that I am loved. He is a man with many quirks, but I love the way he loves his family.
Anyway, my mother likes to come home after work and relax as she is sometimes pretty tired at the end of a work day. My father knows this. Both my mother and I were dozing off watching a movie I can't remember the name of when my dad walked into the living room with vitamins in hand and asked my mother, "Have you had your vitamins today?" And it was in this seemingly insignificant moment that I realized this is my father's way of showing his love. I knew my mother felt taken care of. Such a small thing.
Love is not grand gestures or fancy gifts. Love is not always glamorous and beautiful. Love can sometimes bring us to dark places that we don't think we'll ever return from. But, within these tiny gestures of tender kindness, we can find the light to return to love again.