Thursday, January 23, 2014

What True Love Looks Like

With Valentine's Day on the horizon and its arrival awaited with starry-eyed anticipation, there are many young lovers out there who think that this is what true love looks like.
I mean, that's a very nice image and all.  And although this doesn't really look like us, because we're not big wine-drinkers, I do love going out with my husband and having a nice romantic dinner for two.  I loved it even more when we were raising little boys and being alone for ten minutes was a rarity.  But once in a while, I still enjoy sitting across the table from the love of my life and letting someone else cook and do the dishes for us.

But hand-holding over glasses of wine?  That's not what true love looks like.

Perhaps some think it looks like this.
But I've got to tell you, in the 33 years I've been married, my husband and I have never dreamily smelled a rose together.  And if I ever asked my husband to pose with me for such a ridiculous picture, he would refuse.  (And I would know that I'd married me a real man!  Because no matter how many times a man presents his sweetheart with a dozen long-stemmed roses, knowing how pleased she'll be by the gesture, he just doesn't get as excited about flowers as the guy in this photo.)

Now if you substitute the rose for a baby, then definitely, my husband and I have found ourselves striking poses very similar to this one over the years.  And if I had a picture of the two of us sniffing one of our boys' (or now one of our granddaughters') sweet little heads to show you, then that would be what true love looks like.

Except for in the movies, true love really doesn't look like this.
But don't get me wrong--I'll take the chocolates.  Any day, any time--it doesn't have to be Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or any special day.

True love doesn't look like this, either--although sparkly things are very nice to get.
And Valentine's cards are nice to get, too, but true love doesn't even look like this.


(But AWWWWWW, we're getting closer now!)

The other day, as I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed, I saw a picture that illustrates perfectly what true love looks like.  But before I show it to you, let me give you the backstory.

My husband's younger brother is an airline pilot (who--like my husband--can be gone for days at a time), and he and my sister-in-law live in CT and have been married for 30 years.  She absolutely hates winter, hates everything about it--hates the snow, hates the cold, hates the shoveling and the icy roads.  In spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that she was raised in CT and is no stranger to the cruelty of Northeastern winters, she is always happiest when it's hot out.  Summer is her wheel house.  During heat waves, when it's in the 90's with 150% humidity and all of us are dying, she says with delight, "I love this!"  If she never had to don a winter coat again in her life, I think she'd be the happiest woman on earth.  She would wear a skort and a sleeveless shirt every single day, if only she could.

Well, the other day, CT got hit with a doozy of a snowstorm, and my brother-in-law (who takes care of the shoveling when he's home) was away on a trip, but due back that night.  So my sister-in-law bundled up and spent the day shoveling the driveway, so that he would be able to get his car in the garage when he got home.  But she did even more than that: knowing that he always keeps the patio out back shoveled off as well, she took care of that for him while she was at it.

Along with the posted picture, here's what her Facebook status said:  TahhhDahhhh!  Done and Done. And for those of you wondering... "Why the patio?" It's because my man always shovels the patio and when he gets home tonight, I don't want him to go out and do it... (I'm such a good wife...haha)

There's no "ha ha" about it--she is a good wife.  Because that's what true love is all about: it's about each person sacrificing himself for the other, and doing so with joy and without complaint.  It's about getting out there bundled up in a parka, when the thing you hate most in the world is being out in the cold, and shoveling the patio for your man--just so that when he gets home tired out from a trip, he doesn't have to do it himself.

So to me, this picture is what true love looks like.
Don't you agree?

20 comments:

  1. Woops--that's not a card that the little boy is holding behind his back. It's a heart-shaped box of chocolates! But let's pretend it's a card, because I love that vintage image and I don't want to put another picture in its place! :)

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  2. True love around our house lately looks like my husband giving me a nightly foot rub an my sore pregnant-weary feet. I would rather have a foot rub then a diamond ring!!

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    1. I hear you! It's the little things that add up, day after day, that mean the most. :)

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  3. I love this...

    ~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently posted: #whywemarch http://bit.ly/1aEsJk2

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    1. Awww, thanks, Iris. This one struck a chord with people. I posted it on my sister-in-law's Facebook page, and so many people have left FB comments.

      I loved talking about her--she's a great gal, and an even better wife.

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  4. Dis you see my baby girl's post on facebook? I just loved it! It said "Realized it was true love when he recognized that the low windshield wiper fluid light was on and took it upon himself to buy fluid and put it in the car when I stopped for gas. feeling loved" Your little brother replied, "Wiper fluid. Really? So, no dinner, no flowers, no jewelry...wiper fluid. Hm...dude, SHES the keeper!" She said that, "Jewelry and flowers are good but small loving gestures are 100xs better!" I just loved that. Her boyfriend really is a good man and makes her happy with the little things he does!!

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    1. That really is so sweet. I did see it. I think I "liked" it, but I can't remember. (If I didn't, I should have!)

      He sounds like a keeper to me!

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  5. I do agree. Real love is putting the needs of our loved ones first, thinking of what makes them happy. btw Rini, love that story:)

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    1. Isn't it great! We really like her boyfriend!

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  6. Oh yes. Yes yes yes.

    I've been married to my darlin' hubby for almost two years. In those two years, there are lots of times that I've felt truly loved, but one stands out most clearly. When I came home from parent-teacher conferences (I was on the "teacher "side of the desk), and the kitchen.was.clean. Is there any greater love than that!?

    Great post!

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    1. There isn't!!! That's the greatest kind!

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  7. This is just beautiful. And you set up the photo so well. Love how you wrote it.

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    1. Thanks, Maia. I was just so struck by my sister-in-law's simple FB status post that day...I felt the need to write about it.

      Marriage is supposed to be like that-- two people each giving of themselves 100%. It's not a 50-50 proposition; it's 100-100. :)

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  8. This is exactly what it looks like - only my husband did it for me before his flight out for business and he called "the shoveler" guy just in case we got more AND filled my tank with gas. This is why when he gets back, new sheets are on the bed and I will fold all 48 of his white t-shirts (don't ask) because he hates doing laundry!

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    1. We have a "plow guy" these days, now that our five sons (a.k.a. our "work detail," our unpaid laborers) have moved out and on. So I no longer have any shoveling duties around here. And in return for hiring the plow guy, I try to show my hubby how much I appreciate him in lots of little ways.

      Um...48 white shirts? (Sorry, you did say not to ask.)

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  9. You hit it on the head, that is some true love! It is the sacrificial love that lasts.

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    1. I think there would be a lot more happy marriages if people could see the beauty in self-sacrifice.

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  10. This is so true. It's the little things (big things, too) that matter in a marriage. We work together and sacrifice for each other. My husband does things for me without my asking and I make sure to thank him and tell him I appreciate him. And I do things for him, too. Makes for a pleasant, joyful marriage.

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