He is more than I asked for, and more than I thought to pray for. He is my Colonel Brandon, my Gabriel Oak, my Dawsey Adams. He is my calming and steadying influence and also the cause of my constant anxious anticipation. He knows to kiss me when I'm mad, to let me have a good cry when I think about, talk about, read, or watch Little Women, and to let me have the big chunks of toffee from the Ben & Jerry's.
This summer I read Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and the heroine's father gave her some timely advice that has cemented itself in my brain as the finest of all love advice:
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion . . . That is just being ‘in love’, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. But sometimes the petals falls away and the roots have not entwined. Imagine giving up your home and your people, only to discover after six months, a year, three years, that the trees have had no roots and have fallen over. Imagine the desolation. Image the imprisonment.
He and I are still in those early stages of "temporary madness" where most of the time it is as he would say "cupcakes and butterflies." And yet, he has already seen me during so many unflattering moments. He has seen the no makeup days, the frizzy hair days, the days where I have lost faith in myself, the days when I cannot stop crying because stress has taken over, the days when my quiet rage settles in with an awful pallor, the days when it feels as though I am not simply riding the Crazy Train, but that am the conductor of said train. And he has yet to throw in the towel, he has yet to be anything less than loving and kind. This is not to say that it will always be perfect; because I know it will not be perfect, that eventually "all the pretty blossoms [will fall] from our branches". But I do have faith in the intertwining of our roots, of the eternity of growth that has yet to occur. I have faith in the beauty and love of our everyday. Love and life with him could never be and will never be desolation or imprisonment.
This is our love story.