My parents have been, and still are, the shining example of what love should be.
They make time for each other
They respect each other’s differences
They support the other when life is not what they have expected
They are at their happiest when they are together
They make love look effortless.
My parents taught me about family and the unconditional love that must always be shared. They reminded me that family is the group of people who will always be there for you. I am lucky to have two younger sisters and as I grew up. I knew I loved them, even if they annoyed me or got in my way. As an adult they are two of my closest friends. Even though I am certain that I was not a perfect older sister, they found away to love me in spite of my shortcomings.
When I met Doug, I thought that I had love all figured out. But this time, there was something different. I could feel it deep in my core.
There was something in how he made me feel.
He made me laugh.
He was genuine.
He made me feel at ease.
Of course, his deep blue eyes and warm smile helped, too 🙂
With any new love you get that tingling anxiety and prickly excitement every time they call or accidently graze your skin. You become so wrapped up in the newness and the thrill and you devour every moment together because they all pass by so quickly. You are learning about this new person and you have a million things to ask so you can feel that you really know them.
Eventually the rational side of your mind knocks on the door to remind you that all of these special feelings are just wonderful but we need to know if this guy really measures up. Is he really as good as he seems? And with that you begin to check off the items on the checklist that you have created over your dating history. You look for flaws and reasons to disqualify this new guy. This is where love comes in.
Getting to know people takes time. It cannot be rushed. Love is what carries you to the next step and by that point, if you do find a flaw, doesn’t seem quite as important as before. Love smoothes out the wrinkles and allows you to accept people’s imperfections. After all, we are all imperfect.
Loves grows. It changes with every season.
With each stage love is there as the foundation.
These are what keep your relationship together and growing, but love is the backbone.
I thought I understood love.
I knew that when it was right, it would just work. Like it did for my parents and like it did when I met Doug. I knew that love took work and it would be there if you learned how to say “I’m sorry” and to work together. I knew that unconditional love is the easiest to take for granted. But the day that Donovan was born I learned about a new kind of love.
When you are planning to get pregnant you are thinking about a person that you don’t even know.
When you find out that you are pregnant, it becomes real. You watch your belly grown and you feel this life inside you move and turn. You might even name this little being. But…
You still don’t know this person.
The day your baby is born and you meet them for the first time, you are in love. The pain of labor and the frustration of pregnancy mean nothing because you are finally holding this special person. A tiny representation of you and your partner—a symbol of your love. And you are filled with more love than that you could ever imagine that your heart could hold. You never knew that your heart could feel so full.
As I held Donovan I could not believe that I loved him as much as I did, after all, I barely knew him. And at the same time, I was willing to do just about anything for him. I didn’t have to find his flaws or qualify whether or not he deserved my love. It was just there, overflowing unconditionally.
As I watched Doug hold Donovan and share the same emotions, I couldn’t help but think that love is a funny thing. It is different in each relationship. It is hard to define. It makes people do incredible things.
I reflect on love as Doug and I celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. Love has many shades and forms. And in some ways, love is a culmination of a lifetime of love shared with you by others. I am so thankful for the examples of love that have taught me life-lessons that I didn’t even know that I was learning. I am honored by the unconditional love of my family. I am grateful for the love that didn’t allow me to disqualify imperfection. And I am in awe of love that has come into my life and changed me for the better.
If it wasn’t for love my life would be different. Love will still change and it will continue to grow in new ways. Tonight I am just so thankful for all of the love that fills my life.
I love you, Doug. Thank you for loving me each day in spite of my imperfection. For always working together to make our relationship work. And, for the love that grows with our family. I couldn’t love Donovan as much as I do if it wasn’t for you. Happy Anniversary!
From me to you