So I chose “love” as my one-word theme for 2013. That being said, I find Valentine’s day to be rather annoying.
So it’s a corporate holiday, where we’re supposed to spend money on cutsy cupids and little hearts. Or maybe a piece of jewelry. We’re supposed to celebrate “love,” which is the stuff of Hollywood and romantic comedies. It’s where you see someone, your heart does this flutter-flutter, and you just can’t help but “fall in love.” You send cute gifts, get expensive things, and have a fancy wedding. It’s all cute, pretty, neat, and tidy.
Folks, that’s not love. Love isn’t cute. It isn’t neat or tidy. It isn’t pretty. And it isn’t something that just happens to you.
Love was my husband coming home, dead tired, after work, the day after our baby had spent an entire night screaming in pain. Love was him coming home with a candle and a flower–the candle from Beanie because she knew we’d figure out what was wrong and make it better; the flower from him, because the only way we’d get through this was together.
Love was my friend, listening to my frustrations about my daughter’s screaming and health issues, just listening, hearing it all and taking it all in, offering no advice, no platitudes, but saying, “I love you” and not being turned away.
Love was Rob, after Moonraker’s near-sinking, pulling me close, and saying “this can either bring us closer together or destroy us–and I won’t let it destroy us,” right before we began the “great purge” of our house.
Love was Rob’s cousin, after we had decided to have Beanie tested for autism spectrum disorder, telling me to call her any time, and offering empathy and advice from the trenches.
Love was Rob coming to me, during a rough time, and saying “You can do this. You’re strong. I don’t doubt you at all.”
Love was a close friend, checking up on me through e-mail, multiple times a day, through multiple days, just to make sure I was all right, and to offer encouragement, during the same difficult time.
Love is not borne out of beauty. Like a flower forcing its way through concrete, love is beauty that comes into being in the middle of–and in spite of–great ugliness and great darkness.
Love is not a cute little card, or a stuffed cupid. It’s not an expensive ring or a fairy tale wedding.
Love is standing together, hand-in-hand, amongst the ashes of what was once your dreams, your reality. And proclaiming, for everyone to hear, “We’re going to build something better!”