Love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible.~
W. Stanley Mooneyham
American minister and speaker, 20th century
One of my favorite Valentines from Tom one year ... our little pond shaped into a heart
Years ago, a friend posted a challenge on her blog to answer the question, "What is love?"
It made me really think back over the years Tom and I had shared. I've had plenty of red roses and chocolates, but true love, and the demonstration of it, is so much more than that. I'm grateful Jill motivated me to write this, so I never forget the many other ways we've shown our love for one another.
In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm reposting it (again!) with a few additions...
...Love is the sound of drums coming from my house...fulfilling a wish I had tossed aside, believing it couldn't come true because there wasn't a spot for them in our new house. Tom surprised me with a set (thank you, Craig's List) on our anniversary a few years ago. It proved to me he pays attention. At least sometimes.
...Love is throwing him not one, but two surprise birthday parties...plus a huge family reunion/50th birthday party that lasted two weeks and involved having people sleeping on every square inch of the house
...Love is coming in the house from a long weekend, relieved to discover your coffee grounds from four days before have (thank the Lord!) been dumped and all the pieces are clean and dry, ready to go...despite the fact that your spouse doesn't drink coffee. (If he hadn't cleaned it for me...ooh, gross!)
...Love is picking up empty Dr. Pepper cans from all over the house...and outside...and biting my tongue.
...Love is finding the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper separated for me, without asking.
...Love is gathering up the Sunday newspaper, at times from different rooms in the house, and putting it in the wicker basket where it goes.
...Love is not minding that I plant myself in front of the computer every evening after dinner to write...and biting his tongue when he sees I'm on Facebook instead.
...Love is not minding that some nights he just crawls in bed and flips channels, instead of working on whatever project is in progress at the time, because he's physically and mentally worn out.
...Love is not being jealous about phone calls from old boyfriends, or emails from old boyfriends, or birthday lunches with old boyfriends.
...Love is not being jealous about his women friends and co-workers.
...Love is always dancing the Cotton-Eyed Joe and the Schottische even though his hips and ankles still hurt from that accident in 1998.
...Love is sitting by his side in the hospital for a week, afraid to leave him...holding the urinal in place for an hour because he thinks he can "go" on his own...feeding him ice chips, sleeping on a fold-out chair, grateful for the sound of his snoring because it means he's alive.
...Love is piecing together sections of workshop floor matting for me to lie on when I do sit-ups, so my tailbone doesn't get bruised anymore.
...Love is subscribing to Men's World e-newsletters and forwarding the good ones to him to keep him healthy.
...Love is not nagging each other because the bathroom he/she is in charge of cleaning is a borderline health problem.
...Love is hanging on to and supporting each other through the illness and death of a parent, financial worries, and the never-ending ups and downs of having children.
...Love is saying to hell with everything that needs to be done around here to play ping-pong...or go for long walks along the creek...or travel virtually to Ireland or Istanbul or Italy with Rick Steves.
...Love is listening to each other vent their frustrations about work or friends or family without feeling a need to fix it all
...Love is accepting that he likes to plan and ponder before getting started on a project, while I like to spring into action, and that each method is okay.
...Love is keeping an eye on my tires, knowing they are prone to going flat, and I'm prone to being oblivious to them (I blame rocky roads and new construction sites)
...Love is buying me a special drill that will make holes in hard ground for my For Sale signs... and tagging along to put up those signs for me in really rough terrain
...Love is nagging him about getting his colonoscopy for a year until he finally did it
...Love is supporting each other through dreams of finishing college, running construction businesses, writing books, starting a photography business, building a house, starting a real estate business...
...Love is still joking around, still having fun, still laughing at each other and at ourselves after more than 37 years together...and hoping we can share another 37.
Happy Valentine's Day! What is love to you?
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
~1 Corinthians 13:7