In the excitement and the emotion of our wedding day, I thought I knew everything that it meant to say that I love you. In my naivete, I thought I knew that I could not love a man more. I looked at you, wanting to spend my entire life with you, but even then, I had yet to understand authentic love.
On that day, I would have sworn that I would lay down my life for you, that I could not desire to give more of myself. That was true. Still, on that day, the fullest expression of my love was not realized. For my own sake, I wish to recount the kind of love I have realized for you.
I would still lay down my life for you, but to say this, is easy. As they say, ‘Talk is cheap’. Now, I understand that the character of real love is enduring, rather than exciting. It is not an emotion, and it is not a feeling. Love is choosing to bear all that another person is in the face of adversity and flaws, and doing it with joy.
When inevitable minor or major troubles come to our marriage, I want to face the rocky terrain with you because life could only be worse without you.
I want to offer you my whole self in a love so tangible that it becomes physical realities that require names. As time goes, I can only offer you a much older, less attractive and desirable me, but I will always give you everything that I am.
When the craze and the excitement of young love recedes, I just want to hold your hand and rest my head on your chest, while we fall asleep.
I want to bring you a kind of lifelong happiness which will slowly become embodied in the laugh lines behind your beautiful, dark eyes.
I want to lock arms with you while we walk, as I assure you that you are every bit as handsome as the day we met because, to me, you are.
I want to watch your beautiful black curls fade into silver, as the years behind us become greater than the years before us.
If our knees, no longer spry, hurt too much to do all the things we once did, I want to sit with you and keep you company, because there is no where else I would rather be.
And, if one day, your mind fails you, I hope you will still recognize my unwavering and steadfast love, even if you cannot recognize my face, because I will still be there giving you everything that I am, and accepting everything that is you.