In fact, I would argue that True Love looks very different, because in the absence of these things, in the absence of traditional "romance," what is left? What songs does a heart sing when it is covered in and worn down by a life that doesn't smell like roses, one that tends to blow out the candles and that quite often leaves us with no words at all? What eloquence can the sojourn of Romance whisper when two hearts beat true beneath the weight of real life that often lacks dazzle and neat bows?
(photo cred: Rebekah Joy Photography)
It sounds like the rustle of a weighty trash bag, tied off and hauled out in the early morning, before even the sun has woken up.
It looks tired and sudsy, washing a sink full of dishes, hours after an already long day has ended.
It sounds like whispered shushing, and a soft rise and fall of breathing, as it cradles a restless infant head in the last hours of a night that was already too short, so that I can snuggle warm, instead of pacing cold.
It looks like diligence, day after day, going out and working long, to then come home as fast as possible, to the loud, the untidy, the often cranky and unlovely.
It sounds like laughter, when unexpectedly covered in unfortunate substances, deposited enthusiastically by smelly little offspring.
It looks like a clean room, a boon that came mere hours after my sigh over the futility of my efforts to catch up with all that there is to do.
It may not praise me on the rare day of a new dress and a done up face, but it comes home every day and looks unflinchingly at my unwashed, unbrushed self, covered in baby smells and residue, and loves.
It may not exude declarations of adoration in unprompted moments of ardor, but it lavishly heaps moments of thoughtfulness, hours of service, days and days of tireless love.
It may not sound like accolades over a well cooked, impressively presented feast, but it eats uncomplaining the burnt, undercooked, bland, uninspired and underwhelming.
It may not sound like a sonnet or look like passion, but it is. This is the Truest Love of my life, and it is eloquent and sings to my heart.
Ryan, thank you for being the Love of my life. Thank you for serving me and ours tirelessly. Thank you for sharing the crazy and making the mundane so rich. Thank you for teaching my heart what True Love looks and sounds like, and for calling me Wife, and calling this often messy chaos Home. I love you. And I am so deeply thankful for you.