In our marriage, Ed and I tried to notice the little day-to-day things we did and say “thank you.” Ed thanked me for doing things like laundry, washing dishes and keeping the family calendar. I thanked Ed for taking the boys to Scouts, fixing things and reading bedtime stories. We tried not to take each other for granted. We felt appreciated. It helped reduce and soften arguments.
I especially liked the things Ed did related to our cars. He loved cars, and he maintained our cars well. He would warm up the car in the winter, open the car door for me and check that my seat belt was fastened. Ed was an excellent driver. I felt very safe with him. If someone cut us off and Ed had to brake hard, he would quickly reach across and put his hand in front of me and ask if I was OK. His care for me was like a warm hug.
Once, while in a Detroit gift shop, we saw a beautiful handbag made of seat belts. Ed saw how much I liked it and bought it. He said the bag was as unique as I was and that seat belts would remind me of how he much cared for me.
After Ed passed away, I started using the bag for daily Mass. I hold the bag close to me, feeling Ed hugging me as I walk to and from church. Thank you, Ed, for all the times you thanked me for doing little things for you. Thank you for doing so many little things for me.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.
The 2023 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are Sept. 15-17 and Nov. 10-12. All weekends take place at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.
To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.Tags: Catholic Marriage