Love Looks Different Now

Love looks different now…

We visited my grandparents grave recently. My husband never met them. They were both gone before I was out of middle school. But even still… he knows them. He knows them because he really knows me.

While my family and I stood in the grass of the cemetery, emotion filled and reminiscing, he stepped away.

A little while later, he was back. Toothbrush and water in hand, stooped over their shared stone… scrubbing. Cleaning the dust and dirt and grass clippings that clung to the surface and in the grooves of each letter.

And my breath caught in that spot in the back of your throat that feels more like your heart.

Because… THIS is love.

When we were dating, we’d hold hands and hold gazes… and I thought that was love.

When he asked me to marry him, my eyes swelled, the ring on my finger sparkled, my heart danced… and I thought that was love.

When we stood at the altar, tux and gown, I was filled with dreamy joy… and I thought that was love.

And it was. It all was.

But I didn’t know the stories that were about to be written.

I didn’t know the times that love truly overwhelms the most, are usually not so shiny.

When we’ve felt broken in loss, but whole in one another’s arms.

When I’ve rounded the corner to find him and the kids asleep in the rocker; bedtime book fallen to the floor.

When the house is full of family or friends, and we teamworked it in the kitchen.

When we’ve cared for one another through sickness.

When he’s stayed up late putting together all sorts of everything for the house or kids.

When we’ve apologized.

When I've witnessed his successes and can’t stop the tears, because I’ve also witnessed his relentless drive for our family.

When… He disappeared to find a toothbrush, so he could quietly scrub my grandparents’ grave.

It was love before.

But the love that gets written as the story gets long, as the chapters get complicated…

It’s the kind that takes your breath away in the middle of an “ordinary” moment.

Because pages have been penned directly on your heart and memorized by your soul.

We still hold hands and hold gazes like we did in our dating days.

Except now when my thoughts whisper, “THIS is love,” they tell a deeper story.

Love doesn't look the same as the years go by...

But you realize it's your favorite part of the book so far.

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