What Is Love?

I have experienced a lot of different kinds of love today, the day of shared sentiments and gestures of affection. For me, love takes on many forms. Here is what I know love to be at this stage in my life.

Love is:

  • Sitting with yourself at 4:00am not understanding why you can’t sleep but quietly, gently letting it happen.
  • Making space to accept that things will not go as planned.
  • A spouse who tiptoes around the bedroom, waking before you rise to take care of a hundred things before your eyes flicker open.
  • Providing a shelter- safety, security, a roof over the heads of the ones you love.
  • Hearing small voices and feeling oh-so-grateful that they are here, that they exist.
  • A plate of eggs made just the way you like, brought to your bedside.
  • The stir of little hands and feet pushing their way around a growing womb.
  • Your child’s impossibly perfect face waiting in unburdened anticipation for a kiss goodbye to send her on her day.
  • The embrace of another child who absolutely delights in seeing you each morning.
  • The very brief, almost imperceptible sign off between parting spouses that carry the weight created by the thousands of times the same words have been exchanged between two knowing hearts.
  • The mother who forever anxiously watches her daughter make her own way with a hopeful and yet fearful heart.
  • The daughter who wonders if her mother will ever know how much she still needs her, still loves her, and who weeps at the thought of the day where she will have to live without her.
  • The friends who show up, day after day, to do the small things for one another with deep knowing and care.
  • The partners who agree to stand in the hard together, committing to forging ahead when giving up would be so much simpler.
  • The authentic smile of a stranger in the hallway.
  • The soul who gives of themselves without asking or expecting anything in return.
  • The fresh roses in the vase on the table.
  • The apples you like stocked in the fridge by someone who knows what you need.
  • The extra effort given by people who do not owe it to you.
  • The silly Valentine card that says “butt” because, after all, his is the best and you both know it.
  • The snoring dog who is not at all affectionate but who depends on you anyway.
  • The struggling child who says you are “terrible” because reading is hard and overwhelming.
  • The resilient mother who absorbs the insult but responds, “I am here for you anyway.”
  • The Nana who is the never ending cheerleader and champion of her grandchildren.
  • The spouse who embraces and encourages all the perfect imperfections of you.
  • The tired eyes that offer reassurance and acceptance to the misshapen figure in the mirror.
  • The couple that lays two feet apart in bed, attending to their television program, all the while silently recharging alongside one another.
  • Not feeling compelled to perform grand gestures.
  • Performing a million small gestures for all the days of the rest of his life.
  • Falling asleep near him, sneaking your hand to touch his back, feel him breath, and know your world began when he appeared in it.
  • Feeling comforted and supported by a thousand hearts who care for you, hold you close, and lift you up when everything hurt.
  • Sharing your soul openly and unabashedly, so that someone else may feel the kindness and grace you have for their heart.

Give ‘Em Hell

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