MY VALENTINE: ENDLESS LOVE
We are most alive when we are in love.
Here's a tale of two "love stories:"
Number 1. I was visiting some time ago with a woman in her early 70s. As we talked, she mentioned her children and grandchildren with fondness. Not hearing anything about her spouse, I asked, "What about your husband?"
"He died last year."
"Oh, I'm so sorry," I responded.
"Well I'm not. He was difficult, and I'm glad he's gone."
My heart broke for her and also for him. How tragic for those two lives.
* * * * *
Number 2. When it comes to love, let me be the first to acknowledge that I'm extremely fortunate and very spoiled. I've been living the dream - the Valentine's Day Dream - every day for the past 42½ years.
How did that happen? For starters, I married someone with sterling character. My wife Marcie personifies St. Paul's description of authentic love, and that permeates every facet of our relationship.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6
Second, we both do our best to live unselfishly, seeking the welfare of the other first. I love how H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and Katharine Hepburn each expressed this idea. "Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own." "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything."
Many people admire the concept of living unselfishly in marriage but have a hard time doing it. It was my good fortune to find a beautiful woman who not only understands the importance of unselfishness but who also puts it into practice every day.
Third, we share the core belief that a loving, nourishing marriage has the capacity and the destiny to become eternal. Marcie and I believe our Heavenly Father honors faithful, devoted marriages and will perpetuate them beyond the grave. Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern accurately described our feelings.
"Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we're gone."
When you believe in forever love, you treat your relationship differently than if you consider it temporary or transitory. You build differently when you build to last.
Thank you, Marcie, for showing me the meaning of endless love and eternal marriage. Happy Valentine's Day from your devoted and forever grateful husband!