To Joey With Love


I have never been a great gift-giver.

Like most men, when Valentines day or a birthday rolls around, I would scramble to find ‘just the right gift’ at 5 pm on my way home from work, or walking through Walmart or Target the night before.  It’s embarrassing actually.  For me, and for a lot of guys I think.

But sometimes, I did pretty well.  Like on Joey’s and my fifth wedding anniversary.  I bought her a beautiful antique ring from Walton’s, on the square in Franklin (her favorite jewelry store, it’s where her engagement ring came from too).  Joey treasured that ring and how it symbolized our first five years of commitment to each other.  But in the end, she gave it away.  One evening this past fall, she just quietly slipped it on our oldest daughter Heidi’s hand and said, ‘this is yours now… I want you to have it’.

I’ve had a few good moments through the years, but overall, I was never really very good at giving gifts.  Thankfully, Joey never really wanted them either.  That wasn’t who she was.  Joey’s love language was service.  That is how she gave and received love.  In the book “The Five Love Languages” that we both read early in our marriage, we came to understand that different people speak different love languages… and my love language was ‘physical touch’, and Joey’s was ‘acts of service’.  She showed you how much she loved you by serving you.  And she was brilliant at it.  Whether cooking a meal for you at the farmhouse, or serving you coffee at Marcy Jo’s or helping you plant flowers by your mailbox, it’s how she expressed her love for you.  And if you wanted to tell her that you loved her… she didn’t want to hear you say those three magic words – she needed to see it in action.   So I learned to show her that I loved her by fixing door hinges, or keeping the yard mowed, or making it so she could stay home and still have a music career.  It is how she knew – how she really knew – that I loved her.

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