This is a subject that has been a work in process for me since I’ve been married. Being married for 33 plus years now, I’ve always believed that married couples are responsible for each other’s happiness. It’s a daily process and my wife and I have managed to keep it alive by using some simple ways of showing affection. On some morning, after showering, I’ll write the words “I love you on the mirror” or some other words of affection, knowing my wife will discover it soon after I’m gone. If I or my wife are packing a lunch for the other, the napkin will have some words of encouragement or the words that say “thank you for being you”. On occasion while walking down the street, I’ll ask my wife to look at something in a store window, stealing a kiss when she least expects it. If I notice her car parked in the mall, or where she works I’ll leave a love note on her car windshield signed as “a secret admirer”. I travel quiet a bit and my wife usually leaves a love note in my suitcase and I leave a similar note under her pillow where I know she will find it. Just little things that suddenly focus attention on each other while we’re apart during the day. You never know when it will happen but when it does, the feeling is just the greatest.

As children came along in our marriage, it was just the matter of extending the process. Happy faces on pancakes, making them green eggs and ham, a note in their clothes pocket saying “I love you or I’m thinking of you” or a fun hug with the words “you are the reason for my happiness”. Sometimes children are shy about finding notes at lunch time from the parents telling them how much their loved or teens getting big hugs for no reason at all, but I know these little expressions of love will be extended to their children.

There are so many ways for you to be the source of your mate and children’s happiness and for me the best husband and father I can be; flowers for no reason, a silly poem sent through the mail, an unexpected note of affection in one’s pocket or on a lunch menu, or text messages and e-mails. The time invested in minimal but the payback is a feeling of being loved in a special way. No matter how difficult your loved one’s day may be a little reminder of how much they are loved builds memories for tomorrow.

Today I’m working on the last stage of being the best husband and father; that stage is being the best Grandfather.