Jackson Brown, Jr. once said, “Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own”. Valentine’s Day occurred a few months ago and many were excited or depressed as usual. There are those that are excited because it’s the day of “love” and they are going to get flowers, or go on a date, or even get jewelry while others dread the day. This is the day they have to be reminded of what they don’t have, not just single individuals but those who are in a bad relationship or widowed or just lost. Me, well I try to on the love I have with my husband everyday because those are the days that matter.
Tuesday, February 14 my husband and I had some BIG plans. We both worked! No date, no dinner, no movie instead we spent our day like every other day of our lives, but I happen to think that is pretty special. He wakes up, get dressed, and heads to work before the sun has even peaked its head out for day. About two hours later I rise get dressed, get our daughter dressed, and take her and my little sister to school. On the way to the daycare, I call him like I do every morning and tell him “good morning, I love you, and hope you have a great day”. I will literally say that sentence word for word just like I do everyday. Then he will say the same and we will begin our morning conversation which usually includes a “good morning” to Desi and an “I love you, baby but I have to get back to work”. The call won’t last but a couple of minutes, nothing major will be said, but we will start the day like every other day making sure we both know that we love each other and that we hope for one another’s success and happiness throughout the day. And that is love… no magic, no fireworks, just sweet, simple, lasting love.
Valentine’s Day we both worked throughout the day and unless something went wrong, we didn’t hear from each other until that evening. It’s not that we don’t think about each other, but cell phones have made it seem like necessity to be in touch with somebody 24/7. It’s not, actually I personally think constant contact through text or phone isn’t healthy. No matter how much you love a person, you still need a break and when at work your focus should be on work. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about Dennis at work, I mean I’m writing a column about him but he doesn’t have to know that at least not right now. Everything in this world is not urgent and sometimes slowing down, taking away the technology, and just enjoying life is the best thing for you and your relationship. I think about Dennis, just to think about him, not for him to know, not for him to return with a gift or something special. I think about him because he is a part of me and that makes him a part of everything in my life from work to home and because that is so normal it doesn’t have to be boasted about so I don’t call him, I’ll see him that night. And that is love… honest, hardworking, humble love.
Afternoons when I get off of work, I call him as soon as I get in my car and leave the office. I start with “how’s your day going”, just like I always do. He usually replies with a funny line about a co-worker or he just sighs and says, “It’s been one of those days”. I always ask him what he wants for dinner, sometimes he knows, sometimes he don’t, but we talk for a few minutes and then he says, “Baby, I got to get back to work. I’ll see you tonight, love you” just like he does every day. I usually pick up Desi and head home to make a quick supper. Sometimes I have to work at night when a meeting comes up and Dennis gets home just in time for me to give him a kiss, tell him Desi is eating her supper, and I’ll see him in about thirty minutes to an hour. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t roll his eyes, or get aggravated at the idea of having to come straight home to watch a very over-enthusiastic two-year-old. Instead he just gives a smile and says, “okay, hurry back please”. When I get home I usually find him in the recliner with Desi either eating off of his plate or curled up with him watching Rugrats. And that is love… selfless, sincere, sacred love.
I always prayed to have a love like my mom and dad’s. To find each other at fifteen years old, to love each other through it all, growing up, becoming parents, becoming partners, and business owners, their love was meant to be. My dad gave my mom many things in her life but of the most important were things like honesty, security, and sincerity. The most important thing I think my dad gave my mom though was the freedom to move on. I remember a few years after my dad had passed away, my mom and I were talking about him. She said she felt like he knew, kind of a gut instinct that something was going to happen. She told me that a few months before died, one night while in bed, he told her out of nowhere, “If something happens to be, Beth, I want you to move on. I want you to be happy”. She brushed him off saying, “nothing is going to happen to you, Dylan”, but those words stayed with her even after he left us for Heaven. That moment, those words, that love… was pure, selfless, true love.
In today’s world jealousy runs supreme, ex-wives and husbands run up and down the roads screaming the other one will never be happy, or they decide to go back and forth throwing children in the middle of a sad love triangle where the most innocent get hurt. People fight, argue, hit, and call each other names then scream, “but I love you”, that’s not love, I’m not sure what it is, but it isn’t love because love…real love is honest, sincere, and only wishes the best for those it holds dearest. I always dreamed of growing old with Dennis, but after I had Desi and found out I was going into heart failure, I lost that dream, thinking it’s unachievable. That’s on me, that’s on my lack of faith and needing to make it stronger. However, on my day’s of doubt when I think of not being here to watch my daughter grow up and see my husband’s head turn all gray, I think of what I would want for him. I would want him to meet someone just like me or better. I would want her to be Christian and hold that faith very close to her heart. I would want her to be a total soccer mom just like I would be for Desi, and if possible artsy, because I totally suck at the art stuff. I would want her to understand what love really is and how stable and unwavering it truly is. I would want her to keep my memory alive but I would mostly want her to be everything I am and everything I couldn’t be, because Dennis and Desi deserve nothing less. And even though I pray each day that I get to rock on the porch with Dennis when we’re 80 and see Desi walk down the aisle or her first runway show (whichever comes first), I hope and pray each day that if the Lord calls my name to leave this Earth, He will bring an angel into their lives on Earth. And that is love…patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring, not self-seeking, not easily angered, never keeping a record of wrongs, never delighting in evil but only rejoicing in truth, always protecting, always trusting, always giving hope, always preserving, but mostly never failing love.