“You two are like lovebirds.”
It was a simple observation on the part of my then five-year-old, but to me it was a statement of affirmation from God through my little boy’s voice. One of my strongest desires is for my children to find security in my relationship with their daddy. That the regular “I love you(s), the bear hugs that pick me up off the floor and the way he makes me laugh like no one else can won’t go unnoticed. Lewis’ comment reassured me of his confidence in the relationship his dad and I have. In the little things throughout the day, Lewis sees love.
We don’t “act loving” for the purpose of giving our children confidence in our relationship, but blessing them with that assurance is a wonderful byproduct of the affection we show each other. We do not have a perfect marriage, but we are committed to our commitment.
We choose love every morning. I did not say we feel love every morning, because to be truthful, there are days that I wake up a little grumpy and don’t really feel like loving anyone. On those days, I’m pretty sure Corey doesn’t feel like loving me either. But I think one of the most important things a spouse can do is to choose love even when they don’t feel like it. That’s where the strength of the commitment is tested. For almost 18 years of sunrises we have chosen love, and we have vowed to continue making that decision every day of our lives.
This year cancer entered our lives and that love that has been growing over the past two decades was forced even deeper than we thought possible. This year we’ve wept together. This year we’ve cried out to God together for healing together. This year we had to break our boys’ hearts by introducing them to the C word.
We now have a heightened awareness of the reality that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. And because of that we’ve become more open with each other. We even argue better. Frustrations that we would have let simmer in the past are laid out and dealt with. And after we let out the anger or hurt, we choose forgiveness and we choose love.
And though love is not primarily a feeling, choosing love every day has made the feeling of love stronger.
Several years ago, we had the opportunity to celebrate my great-uncle Marlowe and my great-aunt Hildy’s (who has since passed away) 50th wedding anniversary with them. As we were saying our good-byes, Marlowe made a motion with his foot as if he was drawing a line. “We’ve set the bar,” he said. “We expect you to follow us.”
Oh we will Marlowe. We might be too many miles behind you to see the bar right now, but we are heading in the same direction. Unless God above decides it’s time for one of us to fly home, we will get there. Don’t you worry.
After all, we are lovebirds.