Type “what is love?” into Google and you will get about 4,730,000,000 results in 0.21 seconds. Of course your first option is to watch that Haddaway video from 1993, which you may choose to do with no judgement from me. 1993 was a good year, after all. My roommates and I took an epic road trip down to North Carolina for Spring Break. I graduated from college after four years (a requirement of my folks for their footing of the bill). And I married the man I love (still). 20 years. Seems like both forever ago and yesterday.
In the 80’s, I remember watching movies that were set in the 60’s with my dad. He would groove quietly along with the music and roar at jokes that would slip over my head. I remember marveling at his having memories that were 20 years old. My parents graduated from high school and college in the sixties, marrying in the Summer of Love, 1967. Now here I sit in a future they barely dreamt of on that rainy summer evening, contemplating the question of the ages – ‘what is love?’
Poets, authors, musicians and scientists have struggled with this question for centuries. I don’t think there can ever be a definitive answer because, for all of us, it varies across time and situations. Love when you are a teenager measuring your relationship by “week anniversaries” is one kind. And love found among friends is different than the love of a parent or grandparent for a child. Love with the same person over time alters, too.
When I married Terry in 1993, we chose the Corinthians passage for our Gospel reading. You know the one, a fairly standard choice for weddings … “love is patient, love is kind…” That passage meant one thing for me on that day in September, and something entirely different two weeks ago when it was that Sunday’s Gospel.
For me, now, in 2013, love is having someone who shares your memories – someone who knows you so well and is still there in the morning – someone who challenges you to be your best self. -Love is looking at the children we’ve raised together and feeling both well pleased and exasperated, often on the same day. -It is seeing bills, leaks, and mice – and still laughing. -Love is calling one another during the work day because of a need to share a news story, or an event at work, or just because. -Love is quoting movies to one another, and not understanding why no one else does this on a daily basis. -It is the dishes being washed in the morning so I won’t have to. -Love is looking into the same eyes year after year, noticing the wrinkles but still seeing the boy.
Love is patient – always there. And it is kind too – it listens when you bitch, and helps you to find your path again. ” It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
So happy Valentine’s Day to all the people that I love. To my parents who taught me how to love by loving me, and taught me how to persevere by loving each other. To my kids who will have pink pancakes for breakfast (and pink milk) even though they are really getting too old :). To my family and friends who support me and laugh with me. And to my best friend, my family, my Terry, my Love.