Tuesday, March 22, 2011
When I was a kid, I was very aware of the "sainthood" bestowed on those relatives that had died. Coming from a big Italian family, whenever someone passed away, all of a sudden, they could do no wrong, and it was sacrilege to speak ill of the dead, even if you thought the person was a complete idiot when they were alive.
Now that I am an adult, and I'm in the situation of having a dead spouse, I, too, have bestowed "sainthood" on him, even though there were times when he really drove me up the wall. But in thinking about this "sainthood", it really isn't "sainthood" at all. I call it "putting things into perspective".
Bobby did quite a few things that would drive me crazy. He put his socks all over the floor, dirty clothes ON the hamper instead of IN the hamper, and one of his favorites...sitting his butt on the couch and watching yet another episode of How It's Made when there was something in or around the house that had to be moved, drilled, hammered, dug or mowed. When I would complain that I was doing something and he was doing nothing, he would pat the section of the couch next to him and say, "Then don't do it and come and sit next to me." Smooth talker.
I think the "sainthood" is just our way of realizing that old adage, "You don't know what you have until it is gone." We realize that all the things that our spouse did that drove us nuts weren't really horrible at all. And we realize all the good things that we may have overlooked or appreciated. He never once complained about not having anything to wear when I forgot to do laundry. He never once said anything about my fluctuating weight. Ever. When I came home from work, exhausted, he would either offer to cook (usually pancakes) or go and pick up a pizza. He never complained when I went to my writer's group or book club, even though I knew he would rather I was home with him. He would tell me I was beautiful, even when I was wearing sweats and a T-shirt with a stain on it.
I took these things for granted and boy do I miss them now! So when people question the sainthood that is bestowed on someone that was far from the dictionary definition of perfect, it makes me think twice; because to me, it's just putting it all into perspective.
Posted by Me at 9:43 PM