You prayed, despite your throat hurting so much you could hardly talk, “God give her the emotional support she needs to live through today.”
And you and I, we cried.
Only culture thinks it knows what our Valentine’s Day should look like, feel like, be like.
You saw past the chocolates, the cards, the teddy bears and the roses, you saw my real soul-need.
In our vows, when we married, before God and four hundred silent witnesses, we said we’d be there for each other,
“…in joy or sorrow, sickness or health, wealth or want, till death do us part…”
And on that balmy evening I knew I could not prove faithful those words, spoken by a fallen tongue.
“…With God’s Divine assistance, I hereby pledge thee my troth.”
It’s only in the knowing God that I can be faithful. It’s only in the commitment of my heart to Him, daily, over and over again that I can be faithful to this greatest of earthly gifts.
This gift of you.
When I’m sick you’re there for me. You massage my feet, hold me while I cough and cry and check on me every few minutes to see if you can get me anything else. You’ve been faithful as best you know how. You daily die to self, for me.
I shrink sometimes from doing the same for you.
And I know you must feel it.
Thank you for committing to love me through it all.
The dirty house, the coughing, the forgetfulness, the burnt lima beans, the late meals, the attitude and spirit that does not always choose to put you first.
Thank you for committing to love me despite myself, and despite the woman I’ve become since first you vowed to love me.
And while the world celebrates Valentine’s Day around us, you and I, we’ll eat noodle soup and peaches ‘cause it’ll slide down your sore throat easier.
And you and I, we’ll choose to live a picture of real love.